Koha ILS

KohaCon13: The Koha History

Chris Cormack and Paul Poulain were up to talk to us about the history of Koha next at KohaCon13.
Chris and Paul KohaCon13

  • Sept 1999 – “It’s just a big database how hard can it be”
  • Jan 2000 – Koha released to library
  • Sept 2000 – Koha released as open source to the world
  • May 2001 – People from non-English speaking countries started to work on Koha
  • 2002 – A very busy year
    • Koha 1.2 is released along with tools to foster collaboration (Wiki & Bugzilla)
    • Translation tools needed
    • MARC support needed
    • The first elected management team was put in place
  • 2003 – A new team was elected
  • 2003-2005 – The addition of MARC support, Serials, Statistics, Advanced OPAC and bulk importing of records in to Koha
  • 2006 – The first KohaCon in France (which actually started out as an invite to a presentation and exploded)
  • 2006-2007 – The road to 3.0
    • Needed a new search engine to scale well for larger libraries that were interested in Koha – Zebra
    • Moved from sourceforge to savannah and then git
    • A mailing list was created
    • A French Koha site was started
  • 2007-2010 – A hard time to explain and a hard time for the Koha community – “Open Source is Stronger”
    • In 2007 in LibLime bought Katipo Koha activity and domain name
      • Soon after a company called PTFS joins the Koha world and LibLime cries “danger”
      • Something happens at LibLime and they decide to stop sharing – which is strange because they were great sharers before
      • A lot of LibLime developers/employees resign
      • LibLime announces LibLime Enterprise Koha – a hosted-only version of Koha where the code is not shared – this was legal because of a hole in the GPL2 license
      • The community now loses access to the official Koha website
      • Sometime after this PTFS says it will buy LibLime – and then it pulls out – and then it does buy LibLime
      • The community moves from the original website to the now official koha-community.org website
    • The consequence of this crisis was that there was a delay in releases and the developers spent more time dealing with this instead of hacking
    • In short this hard time made open source stronger! It has proved that no one can steal the software – the software evolution doesn’t depend on a single company’s success or decision!
    • Paul says: “Alone you go faster – together we go further”
  • 2009 – KohaCon09 in US
  • 2010 – KohaCon10 in New Zealand
  • 2010-2011 – Changes made to the workflow – monthly IRC meetings, well defined patch workflow, QA managers reinstated, and many many new contributors
  • Apr 2011 – 3.4 was the first time based (every 6 month) release
  • Oct 2011 – KohaCon11 in India and Koha 3.6 released (365 bug fixes and improvements from 3.4)
  • Apr 2012 – Koha 3.8 released with many improvements including a new look and feel for the staff interface and 130+ enhancements and fixes
  • Jun 2012 – KohaCon12 in Scotland
  • Nov 2012 – Koha 3.10 released with 160 enhancements and new features including a mobile friendly theme and 433 fixes
  • May 2013 – Koha 3.12 released
  • Oct 2013 – KohaCon13!
  • Nov 2013 – Koha 3.14 (Pi) will be released!

Read more by Nicole C.

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