KohaUS 2016 in Monterey, CA
Know what’s better than a group of like minded people? A group of like minded Koha people! And that’s what you can expect when attending a KohaUS conference. The conference location was awesome and the hosts at Monterey Public Library were fantastic. Monterey Public Library offered a great space to hold our KohaUS annual meeting and kept us supplied with great treats! The library location is a stone’s throw away from the Monterey Wharf and close enough to walk to the world famous Cannery Row so eating out was a snap and the fresh seafood (yummy clam-chowder) was wonderful.
The presentations stirred up good conversation with a lot of insightful feedback. Of all the presentations offered two items really stood out for me: The much discussed necessity for having a list of outside developers to help with library demands and need for developments and the last day and a half spent on showing the participants how to use the sandbox to sign-off on developments. You can find more information on the Koha Wiki under the category of Developments.
Ben Daeuber from Fargo Public Library in North Dakota brought up the idea of forming an outside group of vetted PERL programmers available to help meet the demand of development requests for Koha. Ben said many libraries like his have money budgeted for developments and he/they would like to put it to good use and receive timely developments. Many at the conference agreed with Ben. I’m hopeful that the Koha community of users and KohaUS members will begin to form a method for doing this and bringing it to the community for discussion and approval. What needs to be understood is that anyone with sound and proven programing skills can create developments for Koha. Following the developments information on the page listed above is the best way to ensure it will make from the developers desktop, through the sandbox, release manager and then into Koha. The Koha community of programmers have well formed coding guidelines for Koha developments, the submission of developments and the admission/integration of the developments into Koha.
The sign-off of a development (testing) is a critical first step to getting a development on its way to acceptance and integration into Koha. Nick Clemens and Brendan Gallagher of ByWater led everyone through the process of doing a sign-off and an incredible amount of information was gained as a result. The participants trepadations were quickly allayed and each walked away from the development sign-off training with a great deal more confidence, knowledge and a renewed sense of their importance to participating in the sign-off process. Knowledge is key to confidence and using this knowledge is one way to maintain and increase personal skill levels.
For all items related to a development sign-off you can use the development link above for all the needed information. Just look at the first 3 topics under the “S” category and you’re on your way!
How would I sum up KohaUS?? Fantastic! If you haven’t participated in a KohaUS conference then I highly advise it. I mean really.. what can be better than hanging out with a bunch of Koha minded folks anyways??