Open Source News

Bonjour, the Buzz from the Koha Hackfest in Marseille

Picture of the city of Marseille from a high vantage point. HackfestFrench Koha service provider, BibLibre hosted Hackfest this October at their Marseille, France location. In attendance were developers, advocates, and support technicians for Koha.

What were some of the concepts and projects being talked about and being discussed that week?

Elastic Search

Elastic search was a hot topic, probably the most popular based on attendance of the information/demo session for it.   Benjamin from Oslo,Norway, showcased the newly-in-production, Deicemanske catalog. It is an architecture that is built using Koha platform for administrative tasks like circulation, using elastic search for indexing, and using triplestores for semantically linked data. They went live this October with the finished project. They have spent over two years developing this, along with their own custom tools to convert MARC to RDF format for the semantic web components.  It was a very exciting way to see how Koha can be the core of very large and dynamic library systems.

Nick Clemens, of ByWater Solutions also demonstrated a system using elastic search for the group.  ByWater partners from Europe were in attendance to see how elastic search development was progressing.  This new, agile, search program will open many doors to many new services and developments to be integrated in the Koha system and is expected to increase speed and performance of Koha systems.

Linked Data/Semantic Web

The momentum towards linked data in Koha is building and not just in Oslo.   This was another subject of high interest at the hackfest. It seems larger and academic libraries are dipping their toe into the semantic web pool, first.   Work is being done by Catalyst in New Zealand, the aforementioned project in Norway, etc.


From the wiki: Mana is a web-service dedicated to centralize common information between different Koha instances. It’s based on crowd-sourcing. Librarians can share, import and comment information, like subscription numbering patterns, to Mana. The goal is to make easier tedious creation in the Koha database by proposing already existing information on Mana.

Mana is meant to make a technical services librarian’s life easier. When typing in a new serial subscription, patterns and frequencies can be populated from Mana. Right now, Mana is only developed to share serial configurations, but future expansions include sharing of sql reports and vendor data. Mana will be yet another step towards realizing the power of the library community with Koha.

ERM – Coral

Biblibre is continuing to make great progress in their developments on the integration of the electronic resource management program, CORAL, with Koha. Many libraries, particularly universities and colleges, are interested in the integration of CORAL with Koha.


Work was done to further develop the coding guidelines for plug-ins and on creating endpoints for connectors in Koha.

Another successful week of smooshing bugs in Koha’s Bugzilla, collaborative work, and group discussions for the Koha community has been accomplished. Merci to the host, BibLibre.