[Koha] Barcodes - various thoughts and questions

Archives and Collections Society paul.a at aandc.org
Thu Mar 17 03:50:09 NZDT 2011

Now approaching the end of our Koha ( on Ubuntu 10.10) 
implementation of barcodes is the next "problem" to be resolved. There 
seems to be very little Koha documentation on the subject and what little 
there is either "not to be used", "deprecated" (e.g  hbyymmincr.pm which 
looked promising but "This format is deprecated and SHOULD NOT BE USED") or 
has been relegated to "dead files" e.g. 
is now found in the "Abandoned RFC" part of the Wiki.

There is a default "generated in the form <branch>yymm0001" in admin -> sys 
preferences, which is close to what we require (replace "branch" - this 
would be a constant without practical value to us - with first four letters 
of "call number") but no obvious means of getting there. [Already we have 
rewritten callnumber.pl (nonfunctional) as acscallnumber.pl and use it for 
the callback on new items set as default through the admin interface Marc 
Subfield structure|edit|more constraints|plugin AND have written a separate 
perl routine for batch imports.]

We can obviously modify barcode.pl and write a batch import routine, as 
this appears to be similar or parallel to the callnumber routines. However, 
this requires the 'SHOULD NOT BE USED' module above.

So the questions are:
         - are we missing something?
         - is there some documentation (barcodes in general, 
coding|scripting in particular) that someone can kindly point us to?
         - what are the reasons for the various 'deprecated', 'should not 
be used', 'abandoned labels'? and what pitfalls are we opening ourselves 
to? what are the replacements?

Our thoughts revolve around our overall respect for all the development 
that has gone into Koha (thank you all) - it is a remarkable project. But 
also around the quasi-total lack of technical documentation. We are still 
attempting to map the logic and data flows in the Koha architecture. We are 
still struggling with messy implementations of Zebra which has to be 
reindexed after every rewrite to koha.db during batch jobs (12,000 
operations take 10 hours on fast hardware - but cannot find any 
documentation e.g. why the daemon must be replaced by a cron job, which 
might be very pertinent) - and we're going to have to do this again for 

Any assistance and advice would be appreciated. We (Pete, who also posts 
here, and myself) are pretty thick-skinned so please do not hesitate to 
tell us that we have missed out on simple solutions.

Thanks and regards,
Tired old sys-admin

Archives and Collections (ACS) Society
205, Main Street, Picton, Ontario, K0K 2T0, Canada
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Dedicated to maritime conservation and education. 

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