Karen Coombs from OCLC stopped by the Koha IRC channel today with some interesting news: basic limits on all xIdentifier Web services have been increased to 1,000 queries per day.

Chris has added a commit to change the limit in Koha.

Thanks, Karen, for stopping by to tell us, and Thanks Chris for getting the necessary code changed so quickly. Awesome.

The National Program for Free Open Software Technologies (NPFOSST) at King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) is organizing the international workshop on Free/Open Source Software Technologies (FOSST). The workshop will be held at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the period 24-26 April 2010.

Here is the workshop agenda details: http://www.motah.org.sa/web/guest/agenda

This workshop aims to bring together researchers, developers, and users of FOSST to share their experience and contribute toward FOSST initiatives in the region and the world. The workshop aims to show how FOSST may contribute toward local economic future and community in many aspects.

I have a slot on 2nd day to do a 30 min. presentation titled: “Open Source Library Software: Empowering Arabic Libraries – Creating Opportunities”. I am quite honored to share the floor with these world-class:  http://www.motah.org.sa/web/guest/speakers, who are taking the responsibilities of raising the awareness bar in their communities and the world of the noble FOSS movement.

Massoud AlShareef, Kware

Over the last 2 weeks the Horowhenua Library Trust Koha Subcommittee (The Committee) has been communicating with John Yokley from PTFS. We believe it is past time that we inform the Koha community on where things stand at the moment.

NZ Koha Trademark

It had come to our attention that in February 2010 Metavore, INC. DBA LibLime filed an application to register the Koha trademark in New Zealand. When the Committee became aware of this action by Joshua Ferraro, on the 15th April, we wrote to John Yokley drawing to his attention to the application and inviting PTFS to withdraw it.

Inaccurate Trademark statements

The Committee were also concerned about recent changes made to the trademark and copyright statements which have appeared on the LibLime site in recent weeks:

“Koha and the Koha logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of LibLime in the United States and other countries.

This statement is wrong and we requested that the earlier version be reinstated:

“Koha and the Koha logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of LibLime and BibLibre in the United States, France and other countries”.


John Yokley approached a number of individuals to discuss Koha business but these discussions did not eventuate for 2 reasons. Firstly, a non-disclosure agreement was required to be signed and secondly the Committee believes that PTFS needed to work with the Committee as the elected representatives of the community on the issue of the Koha trademarks and website. We assured John of our discretion, reserving the right to publish a précis of discussions that touch on Koha project policy, and welcomed the opportunity to enter into discussions.

On Monday 26th April John wrote to 4 Committee members requesting an official response to Kelly Sherman’s request for collaborative help in supporting the Koha.org web site. The community response to Kelly’s request had been consistent: the community home is now koha-community.org, come join us and please redirect all traffic from koha.org to the new site. This was interpreted by John as being negative.

Our individual responses to the discussion list supported the community opinion. None of the individuals who comprise the Committee have any authority to make agreements or commitments on behalf of the community. When PTFS were ready to work with the Committee we would respond in a timely manner, after considering the issues with the best interests of the Koha global community interests at heart.

Working with HLT Koha Committee

The Committee has written twice to John Yokley issuing invitations to work with the Koha Committee to resolve outstanding issues. This invitation was accepted earlier this week, and The Committee have been invited to participate in a conference call.

The Koha community’s preferred method of working is in an open and transparent manner. However, as an acknowledgment of LibLime/PTFS sensitivity around the community asset issues the Committee believed we were authorised to work privately with PTFS to settle these issues.

We were not comfortable with a conference call and explained this to John:

“The Koha community has established ways of communicating: email and IRC. Email allows participation of all parties regardless of timezones and allows a thoughtful, considered response. IRC allows for collaboration and real time discussion. Once again though everyone has a voice and has a chance to absorb, digest, translate and contribute to the conversation – even if the thread has moved on.

There is concern that the proposed conference call will be ineffective. To begin, not everyone can attend at the proposed time. Moreover, there is scope for varying interpretations of what has been agreed. Frankly we prefer our well established processes, described above, as they have proven effective over many years.”

John has proposed 3 agenda items:

1. The Integration of acquired assets with community versions of the Koha software
2. PTFS involvement in the Koha Project Organization
3. Koha.org/Koha-Community.org Web Site

The Committee proposed the following agenda:

1. Pointing koha.org to koha-community.org,
2. Transferring the koha.org domain to HLT,
3. Withdrawal of application for the New Zealand Koha trademark,
4. Correction of the false trademark statements on LibLime website,
5. USA Koha trademarks,
6. PTFS involvement in Koha project,
7. Reintegration of LEK back into Koha.

The Koha Committee believe that items [1] through [4] could all be solved by PTFS very quickly. They are very important to the Koha Community and probably non-negotiable.

The Committee believes that items [6] and [7] are outside the scope of what the Koha Committee have been authorised to do. Our only role is to advise the Trustees, whose only role is to hold property on behalf of the community.

[6] It is entirely up to PTFS to decide whether they want to be involved in the Koha community or not. We would all like PTFS to be a part of the community.

[7] The reintegration of LEK back into the Koha project would be great – but again it is entirely a PTFS business decision. A reading of the lists confirms that the Koha Community would love to have PTFS back in the Koha project. After all, most of the LibLime clients acquired by PTFS thought they were buying into Koha as an open source community project, not LEK which is a closed proprietary one.

John Yokley is not prepared to discuss issues with the Committee via email or IRC. He reads our flagging of the non-negotiable items as The Committee indicating that we don’t really want PTFS as a corporate partner and that we are looking for an excuse to terminate our discussion and any possibility of coming to an agreement. John also believes that the committee is more interested in playing politics than working together globally to build a better open source ILS for libraries.

The Committee disagrees with that last assertion. We have been acting to fulfill our remit to secure Koha project assets as directed by the community.

The Committee Position.

The Koha Committee reasserts its belief in the core values that have sustained and will continue to sustain Koha:

  • Koha is a good that collectively belongs to its users and developers
  • Open communication on matters of interest to Koha users and developers
  • For-profit and non-for-profit organizations all have a role to play in strengthening Koha, but on the basis of open partnership
  • Koha community assets should be held in trust for the benefit of the whole community, and are not the sole property of any commercial entity

The specific remit of the Committee includes the following aim: “to advise the Trustees regarding the acquisition and safeguarding of property of the Koha project.” The Committee considers the koha.org domain to be historically and properly the property of the Koha community, and will still aim to secure the domain for the Horowhenua Library Trust for eventual transfer to a non-profit foundation or other collaborative organisation for Koha. However, the Committee also sees that the koha-community.org family of websites is a good new home for the global Koha project. While it is our preference that PTFS transfer the domain and the US trademark interest in Koha to the Trust, we do not view ourselves as being dependent on any action by PTFS.

The Committee is, and will always, stand ready to engage in communication with PTFS. However, we also firmly believe that a true partnership with any corporate citizen of the Koha community must be made on the basis of respect for the history and norms of the Koha project.

The Committee would like to call a community handover meeting on 4 May 2010 at 19:00 UTC+0 on the #koha IRC channel to discuss our report. As usual, all members of the Koha community, including management representatives from PTFS, are invited.

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Horowhenua Library Trust is thrilled to announce that Bob Birchall from Calyx in Australia has agreed to be the 7th member of the Koha Committee. This appointment is made by the other members under clause 5.6 of the Horowhenua Library Trust Koha Committee Rules.

The Committee now comprises: Bob Birchall, Chris Cormack,  Galen Charlton,  George Sue,  Henri-Damien Laurent, Joann Ransom and Rachel Hamilton-Williams.

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Koha is an active project, to date we have:

  • 12640 commits
  • 4773 files
  • 558966 lines of code
  • 2636 Bugs fixed
  • 110 Different people committing
  • 100’s of translators, translating thousands and thousands of lines

This post is planned to be the start of a new regular feature, we plan to do a monthly stats round up. So this is just setting the historical base line. Look for the April statistics post at the end of the month.

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There is a new Koha YouTube Group (well not new apparently I created it ages ago and never added anything to it) that has over 25 videos in it with tutorials and intros to Koha. It is not easy to search on YouTube for Koha, so if I missed any videos – go ahead and add them – and of course feel free to join the group!

I also set one up on Vimeo to be fair – but there was only one video on there … so the group isn’t as exciting.

I have added both of these to the social networking page on the wiki as well.

Official Koha Newsletter (ISSN 2153-8328)
Volume 1, Issue 4: April 2010

Table of Contents


Hello from Koha Arabia,

We are very excited to bring a fully arabized version of Koha 3 to the Arabic library communities. In addition to providing fully bilingual (Arabic/ English) user interface, help and documentation, we also made searching Arabic words and phrases a dream comes true; commercial closed ILS normally faces big challanages to handing pre-fixes and suffi-fixes for Arabic words. Thanks to the OSS noble movement for allowing developers like us to serve their native language needs at the level of Koha, Zebra and ICU source code. Here is a link to our Arabic Koha demo system to try:http://badir.maktabat-online.net/

We are also very excited about the idea of bringing Koha and Kete in one seamless solution. Kete has been a breeze and really fun for us to localize to Arabic. Thanks to the people at Katipo for providing  a developer translation module, like Kete/Translate. I wish Koha will adopt the same localization approach.  Here is a link to our Arabic Kete demo system to try: http://kete.maktabat-online.com/

As one of Koha communities, we wish to bring an Arabic version of koha-community.org to the Arabic librarians. The ideal approach is to stick with the same theme and thus to keep up with the latest additions to the same template (theme) used for this site. Kindly, can someone tell us if  it is possible to access koha-community.org site theme, and if so how and where ?

Thank you everyone for your support, and for your great contributions to the many culturally diverse and linguistically rich communities everywhere in the world.

Massoud AlShareef, KnowledgeWare Technologies.

We’ve been working hard here, trying to get the site up and running. Here are a few of the things we have come up with to make life in Koha-land easier:

Prettier interface to our bugzilla – One complaint I’ve heard a lot is that bugzilla is hard to search, and hard to understand for users of Koha. We’ve tried to make this easier for you by providing this simplified interface to search our bug database.

Lists of enhancements and their statuses – Another complaint was that it was hard for people to tell what was “coming down the pipe” in Koha. This page gives you direct links to items in our bugzilla marked “Enhancement,” organized by their sponsored status.

Improved aggregation of Support Company news – This pulls news items directly from the support companies, so that they do not have to make a special trip here to post their news. If you have a Koha specific news feed for your company that you would like to have added, please send the URL of the RSS feed to wizzyrea (at) gmail (dot) com. Support companies without access to a feed are welcome to post their news items in the Support Company Press category, and they will be listed here as well.

Questions, comments, or suggestions welcome on any of these improvements, just leave it in the comments!

The purpose of this post is to provide links to flesh out the itinerary of the roadtrip from Auckland to Wellington for the Koha Conference 2010.

Day 1:  Friday 22nd Oct

Arrive at Auckland International Airport.

Transport into the city hotel is easy. Just go outside and head over the carpark to the waiting shuttle vans and taxis. If you are on your own a shuttle van is heaps cheaper, they run often and will take you to the door of the hotel, otherwise grab a taxi.

We have a nights accommodation at the Mercure Hotel in the city.  If you are arriving before this night we can book you extra nights if you like.  Its not top of the range but is perfectly adequate and lets face it, you’ll be so tired you’ll sleep anywhere 🙂 Accommodation is on a share twin basis.

Dinner in town at one of the Viaduct harbour restaurants, venue of the America’s Cup series. We can easily stroll here from the hotel.

Day 2:  Saturday 23rd Oct

We’ll collect the rental van, load up the trailer and head south, stopping at Tirau which is a groovy little Kiwi town with great coffee.

We’ll arrive in Rotorua around 1pm or so, depending on how much we dawdle along the way.  We head over to Te Puia for the Te Po combo experience at 4.15 so you will have time for a snooze or a swim in the thermal hot pools  at the Rydges Hotel (make sure you bring your swim suit).

Day 3:  Sunday 24th Oct

9am Drive south to Wellington, stopping briefly at Huka Falls before turning off to Mokai Gravity Canyon for optional activities like bungy jumping and the flying Fox. These are both adrenaline filled Kiwi adventures. Bungy is where you fall off  a very high bridge into a river with only an elastic band around your ankle, and the flying fox is where 1 – 3 people are strapped into a harness and then fly through the air along a cable above a canyon – really really fast.  Not for the faint hearted.

We head south for another couple of hours, grab a quick ice cream at Levin (we make the best icecreams) and then on down to Wellington for the Conference.

Costs: looking like $270 per person but will confirm exact costings once final quotes have been received and we know who wants twin rooms and who wants to sleep by themselves (because they snore like tractors!).