Koha ILS

KohaCon13: Get involved in the Koha Community!

Paul Poulain from Biblibre spoke this morning at KohaCon13 about how the Koha community is organized and how it works. First, who makes up the community? Anyone!!! If you do something you are part of the community. The community involves around 20 active developers around the world and up to 2000 people who are involved as users, ticket commenters, bug reporters, conference volunteers, etc. etc. A few of the “official roles” are listed here:

  • Release Manager is responsible for the next version
  • Release Maintainer is responsible for the stable version.
  • QA Manager is responsible for Quality Assurance. The QA is done from the source code point of view in -ensuring the code will be “better’ after the patch.
  • Documentation Manager: responsible for writing documentation. Virtually each patch involves change to the documentation.
  • Translation Manager: responsible for managing translate.koha-community.org website
  • Installation Documentation, Packaging, Live CD/DVD, Newsletter Editor

How do I get involved?

“But, I can’t program computers.” No worries, there are a ‘zillion things’ for one to do in the Koha community.

  • Subscribe to the Koha mailing list and answer a question!
  • If you find areas of the manual that could use some tweaking, contact Nicole Engard, Documentation Manager and offer your technical writing skills to that project.
  • Report Bugs. Bugs cannot be fixed if they are not known by the developers. Bring issues to the community’s attention and participate in discussions for other bug reports.
  • Sponsor development for new features.
  • Submit code to Koha. If you are a developer and enjoy writing code, and any changes you make may be of interest to other libraries, submit them for inclusion into ‘official Koha’. This benefits others in the community and yourself when you wish to upgrade to new releases.

What are the Koha tools?

Koha is worked on 24 hours a day for 6 days a week. Koha is a loose organization in the sense that there is no central organizational body. Because of the diversity, Koha uses specific tools for communication among community members.

  • http://koha-community.org is the main website where you can finds news, documentation and even downloads of the software.
  • http://wiki.koha-community.org is the community wiki.
  • bugs.koha-community.org is our ‘bug’ or change tracking tools.
  • irc.oftc.net is the URL for the IRC, or the chat we use. You will find someone there all day and find answers to your questions often immediately. #koha chat users are friendly, just be sure you ask nicely and clearly-specifics are great!

How are decisions made?

An idea or enhancement is suggested and people agree. Sometimes there is a discussion in order to refine the idea. Sometimes a vote is taken, but usually the discussion leads to a solutions that works for everyone.

Koha workflow

Koha is released every 6 months on November 22 and May 22. Features and fixes are included if they are ready and pass QA, otherwise they will wait for the next release.

  • Create an entry in bugzilla
  • Attach your patch (piece of code that is applied to Koha that fixes a bug or adds a feature)
  • Someone will test it and “signoff” on that patch. Sign offs mean that the patch works as described and didn’t appear to break anything else.
  • The QA team will look at the patch. Side effects will be looked for to see if it will impact anything else. If the patch respects the coding guidelines it will be marked “Passed QA”.
  • Release Manager looks at the patch and pushes it into Koha. The Release Manager has the final say.

It can take time to have a patch applied. If no one is looking at the patch, it may not have interest to the community. At this point, jump into #koha channel and convince us it is important. If the patch is refused, please realize that it happens (rarely). Don’t take it personally! Many new contributors are added every year!! All are welcome!

Read more by Joy Nelson

Tags kohacon13