Koha Release Manager newsletter #11 and #12 2012-10

Welcome to this monthly RM newsletter.

Hey, it’s the beginning of november, and I published no RM newsletter at the beginning of october !!! So, for the price of one newsletter, you’ll get a double one !

Koha and Plack

The most important thing for the next release is probably the support for Plack on the staff interface. It was OK for the OPAC in Koha 3.8, in 3.10, I think it’s stable enough for staff interface as well. I wanted to investigate the user benefit for Plack, and have written a long email on BibLibre blog. You should read it !

Release process

String Freeze

As announced, we entered “string freeze” 2 weeks ago. It mean that no new features will be added into Koha 3.10, because nothing changing a string will be added. So, practically, no enhancement will be added.
Since the string freeze I’ve pushed many patches fixing bugs, some critical, many that are not.

Branching 3.10

At the end of last week, Jared (the 3.12 Release Manager) and me (the 3.10 Release Manager) agreed to “branch” Koha 3.10 on Koha git repository.
What does it mean ? git is the tool we use for tracking and managing changes in Koha source code. Each version of Koha is managed with a “branch” in git. There is a “master” branch, that is used for the future version of Koha, and a 3.8.x, 3.6.x, … branch that is used for the released versions.

When a change is made on the “master” branch, if it’s a bugfix, it’s also applied to each “maintainance” branch.

We’ve branched 3.10.x means there is now a 3.10.x branch, that is used for Koha 3.10. Jared started “playing” with “master”, I don’t push onto master anymore, just on 3.10.x It requires a good coordination between Jared and me, because I’m interested in seeing bugfixes pushed on master as quickly as possible. Once it’s done, I “merge” them onto 3.10.x branch, and they’ll be available for 3.10.0
The positive benefit of this is that Jared can already start pushing things that will be for 3.12 only. He also can start learning how to push, so, when 3.12 cycl start, he will be ready !

Important patches pushed in september and october

I’ve pushed 492 patches in two months. Some add important features in Koha and deserve a hilight:

Bug 7412: pre-filling items in cataloguing

Koha can now remember what was in the previous item filled, to be able to create multiple items quickly. By default, all subfields are prefilled when the PrefillItem syspref is on, unless you specify which fields you want to prefill in the SubfieldsToUseWhenPrefill syspref (With a value of “f u v”, only the $f, $u and $v will be prefilled, for example)

Bug 7621: Match age restriction of title with borrower’s age without using categories

Public libraries and school libraries often have to deal with a lot of age restrictions, e.g. with FSK (see http://www.fsk.de) or PEGI (Pan European Game Information, see http://www.pegi.info) and/or with regional rules regarding movies (virtually every canton in Switzerland has it’s own rules).

The functionality submitted with Bug 7621 provides an easy way to match age restriction on biblio records (e.g. on field 521a for MARC21) against the patron’s age.

Bug 5911: Transport Cost Matrix

Create transport_cost table, added UseTransportCostMatrix syspref.
transport_cost table contains branch to branch transfer costs. These are used for filling inter-branch hold transfers.

Bug 7986: Export issues for patron

In the circulation page, you can now export (as csv or iso2709) a list of items which are currently checked out by a borrower.

Bug 8757: longer descriptions for authorised values

Authorised values descriptions are now 200 chars long (instead of 80 before)

Bug 8597: Add mobile functionality to ccsr theme

The CCSR theme for the OPAC have been added to Koha.
This patch also adds some systempreferences:

  • OpacMainUserBlockMobile – alternate content for the MainUserBlock for mobile
  • OPACMobileUserCSS – custom CSS for mobile views only
  • OpacShowFiltersPulldownMobile – whether or not to show the index dropdown on the mobile view
  • OpacShowLibrariesPulldownMobile – whether or not to show the library dropdown on the mobile view

This patch adds mobile specific display for the OPAC. If you use this theme, your OPAC displayed on a mobile phone will be specific. Many things are automatically hidden, to be more readable on a small screen.

Bug 8211: Add exploded search options

When working with hierarchical subject headings, it is sometimes helpful to do a search for all records with a specific subject, plus broader/narrower/related subjects. This patch adds support for these “exploded” subject searches to Koha.

Bug 7993: Save reports with Group/Subgroup hierarchy

This should make saved reports more manageable by adding new fields to saved reports.
Group/Subgroup hierarchy is stored in authorised_values, categories REPORT_GROUP and REPORT_SUBGROUP, connected by REPORT_SUBGROUP.lib_opac -> REPORT_GROUP.authorised_value

Bug 7751: Decrease loans for items in demand for holds

This patch let the library choose to reduce the loan period given to items on renewal when they are in high demand for holds.
If the system preference decreaseLoanHighHolds is set, the check-out duration is lowered to decreaseLoanHighHoldsDuration if there is more than decreaseLoanHighHoldsValue holds placed on a given item.

Bug 5339: Invoices management improvement

This patch adds new features to acquisition module:

  • invoices.pl: allow to search in invoices on several criteria
  • invoice.pl: permit to view and modify invoice details. Invoices contains:
    • shipment date
    • billing date
    • shipment cost and budget used for shipment cost

Bug 7401: Shelving Location facet

This patch enables the shelving location facet as an alternative to the branches fact in two situations:

  • when SingleBranchMode is enabled
  • when there is only one branch in the branches table

Bug 2060: Update command line MARC import scripts

Tools to import iso2709 files has been improved and can now import an authority file.

Bug 5335: More granular VAT

The available VATs is now a syspref containing a list of possible values (0.055|0.196 in france for example).
Each supplier will have a default vat value, but for each order line the librarian is now able to choose the VAT to apply.

Bug 7913: Receiving serials in a loop

Librarians can now generate the number of issues entered from a message box and apply ‘arrived’ status to all of them in one click.

Bug 8674: Adds script batchdeletebiblios

This (command-line) script deletes biblios which biblionumbers are in a file passed in parameter.
If one biblio has items, it is not deleted.

Internal and plumbing

Many patches have been pushed to quiet warnings, fix perlcritic errors, add documentation, fix translatability, improve Koha test suite, fix security vulnerabilities,…

QA tools

A few months ago, Mason James started to work on a Perl tools to check patches submitted to Koha against our coding guidelines. This tool has been improved by Jonathan Druart, and is now used by the QA team to detect QA errors that can be detected automatically. For example, with this tool we can detect that a patch introduces something that make XML or Perl code invalid, or a template not translatable anymore.

The tools is now available on git on our git server

Koha 3.8 Release Manager Founder and owner of BibLibre, french company dedicated to OpenSource and libraries