[Koha] First things first for a Koha foundation

Thomas Dukleth kohalist at agogme.com
Sat Oct 10 05:51:03 NZDT 2009

Reply inline:


Original Subject: Re: [Koha] Koha demo links on koha.org

On Fri, October 9, 2009 14:12, Kyle Hall wrote:
> What we really need is fr.demo.koha.org, en.demo.koha.org, and so on.
> This would require Liblimes assistance, and we can ask, but I don't
> know how long it would take to set up.

It would take only a few minutes to direct domains or subdomains to
something under community control.  We should move on with the business of
setting up a legal entity for the Koha project which can manage that and
receive funding.


The fastest way to set up such an entity which can receive donations to
support what may be needed at least for an interim period is through
having a foundation held by HLT or SPI for a temporary period.  Setting up
an independent Koha project entity should also be done but would take
perhaps some months of discussions about bylaws which we could be
discussing while already having legal status via another organisation such
as HLT or SPI.

An independent foundation now choice for which the majority voted in the
first poll perhaps without understanding the question or implication well
would delay matters because of all the discussion about bylaws and other
matters needed and which ought to occur before registering.  [There were
some problems with the design of the first poll which we should fix in
future by having wide community discussion of the drafting of any poll.] 
Registering an independent entity with the government is easy and may take
little more than a couple of weeks.  More weeks may be required to obtain
certification of non-profit status.  Yet before all that one has to know
all the particulars of the registration and decide in what jurisdiction it
should be registered primarily which may take months to agree.

I believe that I understand correctly that both HLT and SPI either already
have in SPI's case or within a few days can have in HLT's case a bank
account in the US and in Europe to receive monetary donations in the local
currency.  Receiving donations in the local currency would allow the
project to direct their use in that currency without any loss of value in
currency conversion.  HLT certainly already has a bank account to receive
donations in another local currency where there is significant interest in
the project.  HLT is certainly the most flexible.

I favour HLT because of their greater flexibility and commitment to the
Koha project from its very inception.  SPI has much better governance
rules which we could discuss adopting or adapting for ourselves as an
organisation held by another organisation and later as an independent
organisation.  HLT's charter grants them perhaps a little too much
flexibility and the Koha community should expect a legal guarantee from
them to take on the full trust of the community.  They have demonstrated
over the years their complete willingness to not try to exert any undue
influence on the project for any private interests of their library. 
Combining that implicit trust with a guarantee for the Koha community
gives me great confidence.

I might be persuaded that SPI is a better choice but I merely guess that
the very size of SPI would make it more difficult to obtain rapid
attention when it may be needed.  Perhaps some reports from other projects
they host would persuade me otherwise.

The Software Freedom Conservancy could also be a good choice but their
worst problem is that they have become so popular that to preserve the
degree and quality of attention given to each accepted project there is
now a three to six month waiting list for application consideration.  I
think that the application waiting period is now too much time for the
level of impatience I perceive from those most active in the Koha

In the final ballot, please vote for a project organisation which we can
actually implement now.  Of the possibilities currently nominated that is
only a foundation held by HLT and SPI for an interim period.  The project
can have all assets held on its behalf transferred to own independent
foundation soon afterwords but everything needs to be agreed and in place


> Somewhat of an annoyance, the 'Demos' link on koha.org takes me to the
> showcase, not to demos.

I had identified a large number of such problems including that one
specifically when the new website went up.  I reported them to the mailing
list but I have not yet taken the time to report them formally as bugs.

The worst problem is that the navigation links are not displayed in a
visible manner on the world's most commonly used web browser, Internet
Explorer with the default IE configuration.  I have had to fix CSS
problems with Internet Explorer and it can be tricky because some things
are interpreted backwards to the standard.  The default Plone stylesheets
would have worked but they were not modified or replaced for the Koha
website with cross-browser compatibility in mind.


> As an alternative, I just registered kohademos.org. I could make
> en.kohademos.org point to http://demo.koha-fr.org/, and
> fr.kohademos.org point to
> http://demo.koha-fr.org/cgi-bin/koha/changelanguage.pl?language=fr-FR.
> It seems like a reasonable way to handle it would be to have one
> company host a demo in their native language, for each language. This
> would spread out the amount of work and bandwidth required.

We should coordinate such efforts through an entity in which we can place
our collective trust for holding the domains and other key aspects of the

When we have ourselves properly organised, then we can make requests of
LibLime from a position of strength as a community prepared to offer an
alternative if LibLime is disinclined to cooperate.  Presently, with
LibLime in control of the community domain and no official community
alternative to offer any request is made from a position of weakness.


Thomas Dukleth
109 E 9th Street, 3D
New York, NY  10003
+1 212-674-3783


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