Koha Release Manager newsletter #3 2012-01

I publish, every month since i’m Release Manager, a newsletter, that is, I hope, usefull for people to discover what is new in the coming Koha. newsletter #1 and #2 have been sent by mail to koha-devel list only.

Everybody should read this newsletter in detail.

If you’re planning to submit patches, you must. If you’re just a user of Koha, there are some interesting announcements too, you can read it
as well !

Bugzilla news

There are 87 bugs waiting to be signed-off.

That’s too much ! and a problem is that is seems that hard-to-test patches can be lost in the wilderness for a long time.

Small/easy patches are usually quickly signed-off.

The patches to QA pile show a correct 30 patches. Unfortunatly, that’s the hardest ones too, as I QAed a lot of ‘trivial’ patches this month…


Earlier this month Ian, our QA manager made important changes to our bugzilla setup. The “patch status” field has been removed in favor of the “status” field. The previous “patch status” have all be moved to “status”.

2 new status have been added:

  • in discussion = will be used when a patch need a deeper discussion to see if it can/should be added into Koha. The discussion can be functional (is the feature desirable in Koha ?) or technical (is the way it’s made OK ?) The “in discussion” bugs will be discussed on the monthly meeting.
  • ‘pushed to stable’: pushed has been splitted in “pushed to master” and “pushed to stable”. The RMaint (Chris N. for now) will use “Pushed to stable” when he pushed a patch to stable (3.6). The “pushed to master” is used by me when pushing to master (for the future 3.8)

The only side effect of this bulkchange is that date of last change of each bug has been reseted to the date of the bulkchange. That’s annoying if you want to see which patch to signoff is the oldest.

Coding guidelines

I’ve updated the code guideline page on the wiki (http://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/Coding_Guidelines)

I’ve removed all deprecated guidelines, and added some that we already use, and that were not written.

I’ve added a general rule for QA:

General rule: if you submit code that fixes an existing code that violates those guidelines, the QA can still be passed. You don’t have to fix everything. If you want to fix more than just your fix, to respect current guidelines, you’re welcomed of course. But in this case, please to it in a 2nd patch, to have reviewers being able to distinguish easily what’s related to your bugfix and what is related to your guidelines-violation fixing.

Important technical patches pushed

Some important internal changes have been pushed. Those change won’t be visible for users, but are important for developers

Date formatting & displaying

Chris has written a nice Template::Toolkit plugin that will take care of date formatting for you. Before the patch, you had to format dates before sending them to the template, something like:
my $entrydate = C4::Dates->new( $data->{'entrydate'}, 'iso' );
$data->{'entrydate'} = $entrydate->output("syspref");
# entrydate is now available

Now, you still can do it that way, but that would be a really bad idea: just send the date as it’s provided by mySQL (iso format), and, in the template, write

[% MyDate | $KohaDates %]

don’t forget to put [% USE KohaDates %] at the beginning of your page to tell Template::Toolkit you’ll use this plugin. What must/can be done now is … update all code & templates displaying dates to use this plugin ! Bug 7444 has been created to reflect all the patches that will be made to switch to KohaDates template.

Coding Guideline rule

  • all new code displaying date *MUST* use this plugin
  • existing code can still use previous option, but cleaning is highly welcomed
  • Datatable jquery plugin

    We’ve decided some months ago to get rid of the various jquery plugins we use to display large tables, in favor of Datatable.
    Datatable has been pushed into master, with a first page using it (patron reading record), and some documentation on the wiki (http://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/DataTables_HowTo)

    Coding guideline rule

  • all new code displaying potentially large tables *MUST* use this plugin (preferably the “server side processing” option)
  • existing code can still use old plugins, but cleaning is highly welcomed !
  • Important functionnal patches pushed

    Some patches that contains important new features have been pushed. Don’t hesitate to test them again and again if you’ve a sandbox. They’ll be available in Koha 3.8

    UnwantedFields in member entry (bug 6190)

    A new syspref now let you choose fields that you don’t want to have in patron forms. A very interesting feature as there are many fields available. Note that this is a syspref, so you can’t remove some fields for a given category and keep it for another. But that’s a nice first step anyway !

    Acquisition changes

    Some changes, coming from the stuff made by BibLibre for StEtienne university have been pushed:

  • show cancelled order in basket page (bug 5358): after the list of orders, you now also have the list of cancelled lines, on every basket
  • late order management (bug 5347): Koha now keep track of how many claims you’ve made on a given order line, and the date of the last claim. The default claim notification has been updated and your claim will have to be updated when upgrading to 3.8
  • The breakdown of budget spending has also been reintroduced (Bug 929) : on acqui-home.pl page, on each budget you can now see how the budget has been spent.

    Local cover images (bug 1633)

    You can now upload images to your biblios, that will be displayed as cover image. You can also zoom on the image, and, if you’ve uploaded more than just one, see all of them. This feature can be activated on staff and OPAC independantly.

    j2a.pl script

    The j2a.pl script, that is in misc/cronjobs was previously very basic, upgrading Childs to Adult (hardcoded category) when they reached 18. The script now has many new option to make it much more usefull

    Hackfest in Europe

    Again, in case you missed the news BibLibre (my company, in case you don’t know) organize a hackfest in Marseille in March. More information at http://drupal.biblibre.com/en/blog/entry/2012-hackfest-in-europe, feel free to join, all attendees will get a special thanks on this newsletter after the hackfest. We already have Owen coming from USA, Marc, coming from Switzerland, Katrin coming from Germany, Dobrika and Marijana coming from Croatia, and -probably- Zeno coming from Italy. It’s still time to join, don’t hesitate anymore !!! See you next month for the #4 and in the meantime, happy hacking !!!

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