Fwd: Re: [Koha] Some questions from a newbie

Simon Blake simon at katipo.co.nz
Thu Aug 24 13:53:15 NZST 2000

Hi Scott

On Wed, Aug 23, 2000 at 11:35:54AM -0400, Scott McGillivray said:

> First, does Koha support interlibrary loans through z39.50?  Or maybe some
> other method?  I didn't see a way to do it through the web interface, but
> maybe it's accessible through the telnet interface?

It's probably not (or maybe it is, I dunno :-) immediately obvious but Koha
was a Y2K rush job, in order to replace a system, or more strictly a
network, that clearly wasn't Y2K compliant.  Consequently, anything that
wasn't imediately necessary for Levin Library to handle it's own collections
was largely ignored.  So no, there is no mechanism for Koha to communicate
with other systems via any standard protocol, other than possibly ANSI SQL,
which is probably a little lower level than we might all like.  

Having said that, we're keen to see Koha as standards compliant as possible,
and so would support addition of both Z39.50 and XML interfaces (or indeed
anything else that was deemed worthwhile).  However neither are a priority
at the moment over basic bug fixing and functionality enhancement.  OTOH, if
somebody else added z39.50 support, or offered us a bunch of cash to elevate
it up the priority list, then you never know what might happen.

> Next, it looks to me like everything needed to make Kona run should work on
> Linux for the Alpha processor as well as x86.  Has anybody tried this?  Is
> there anything I should look out for?  My current automation system runs
> under OpenVMS on an AlphaServer and I'd like to keep using this machine.

It needs perl, a database engine accessible from perl via DBI, and a
webserver.  The further you "deviate" from linux&mysql&perl&apache, the more
little changes you're likely to need to make to get it going.  However, I
don't see any reason why it shouldn't work on any *nix pretty much out of
the box, and with a bit of love it would probably work directly under
OpenVMS, or Win32.

> I guess that's it.  I'd love to hear how this system has worked out for
> people...good and bad.

As indeed do we :-).  Bear in mind that it's a very young system, with the
commensurate bug problems and functionality holes.  Having said that,
there's a fair bit of interest being generated in it, which is neat, since
it hasn't been publicised particularly widely yet, and we're dead keen to
see it be a roaring success.


Simon Blake                                             simon at katipo.co.nz 
Katipo Communications                                       +64 25 300 825

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