[Kete] Intro from Jo Ransom, Horowhenua Library Trust.

Joann Ransom jransom at library.org.nz
Tue Jun 5 10:58:19 NZST 2007

Kia ora folks,

I am Jo Ransom, the Project Manager for Kete Horowhenua.

I thought it was about time we got this discussion list rolling now that 
Kete is so far down the development track and a number of other Kete 
projects are in the works. I am sending this email to anyone who has 
contacted either myself or Walter at Katipo in recent months. I urge you 
to please join this discussion list, and register on the blog. Kete is 
an Open Source project and I'd really like to keep communication 
channels open too so we are all aware of what development to the core 
code is planned over the next 12 months.

To this end, maybe we could each introduce ourselves and give a brief 
run down on where we are up to or what our interests and goals are with 
Kete. I'd also like to arrange a get together in July if enough people 
express interest.

*Jo Ransom from Horowhenua Library Trust.
*I have been project managing the development of Kete Horowhenua. We are 
discovering and fixing up stray bugs still, but essentially its pretty 
well finished. I am now developing the user manual; we have learnt an 
awful lot in the last 3 months!

I have spent a lot of time in the last month filling out funding 
applications. We have applied for a second grant form the Digital 
Strategy fund, a grant from National Services Te Paerangi (Te Papa) and 
just submitted an application for the 3M Award for Innovation in 
Libraries. All of these may result in cash - something we need quite 
urgently as we are running at a current development deficit of about 
$25k. I have just set up a Paypal facility on the Kete website and 
(hopefully by the end of the day!) the Kete Blog too, to make it easy to 
donate to the cause.

*What next? *

The next big chunk of work to be done is to get the code available for 
download and install. We plan to write and release the following over 
the next 6 months or so:

1. Signoff on a stable version of the Kete Horowhenua web application.

2.a. Build the 1.0 release of Kete so that it can be downloaded from our 
development site. To ensure that the product is attractive to other 
communities we need to move the features in the Kete Horowhenua code 
that are "HLT centric" into system preferences.

2.b. Add functionality to the Kete Horowhenua code to enable a new 
installation to be configured via a web based configuration wizard, thus 
enabling a unique installation of Kete. To setup up Kete currently 
requires a good deal of knowledge about Kete and how it works. The 
person doing the install also needs to be comfortable with locating and 
editing code in configuration files by hand using a text editor. We plan 
to build a web based configuration and installation wizard that assists 
with field choice and selection, templates creation, topic hierarchy 
structure, compulsory vs mandatory fields etc. Where possible this 
wizard will make suggestions to the person doing the configuration so 
that their Kete is immediately useful: how to set up baskets, offer the 
option to automatically load in some sample data,etc so that it is 
easier to see how Kete works.  

3. Develop a theme or 'skin' to allow new Kete installations to be 
customized to establish its own look and feel, reflecting the culture or 
style of its parent organisation, and differing in appearance from other 
Kete.  Kete users need to be able to 'brand' their installation of Kete 
so that it reflects their corporate image or style, developing a 
customisable 'look'. 

4. Create and support an online community of users and developers to 
support the Kete software. A new website, www.kete.net.nz, will be 
established as the portal to a number of tools that will enable members 
of the Kete community to communicate with each other, and keep up to 
date with development progress. These will include a mailing list, bug 
tracker, changeset view and log and a code repository.
5.         Facilitate easy import of data and images from Past Perfect, 
providing seed content and enabling regular additions of new content. 
Past Perfect is a museum collection management system used throughout 
New Zealand. Much of the seed content for Kete Horowhenua has come from 
the Past Perfect databases of Foxton and Horowhenua Historical 
Societies. It is the content that makes Kete Horowhenua 'zing' and 
having a solid body of quality content for new Kete users to 'play' with 
is very important. A set of custom scripts were written to extract this 
data and used it to populate Kete Horowhenua. The scripts went through 
and created not only Items, but also Topics and the linking of Items 
together. An Import Assistant will be written that is web based and will 
step a Kete administrator through the process of extracting their data 
from Past Perfect and importing it into their Kete installation.


So, that's me and what we're up to. I'd really like to hear what other 
people are up to!


Cheers Jo.

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