[Koha] Let's fix it together!

BWS Johnson abesottedphoenix at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 24 05:01:13 NZST 2012


    Let's fix it together!

In June, there was discussion on the list dealing with search. [1] I had long been a proponent of "Don't touch it! I love it! It works!" As Koha matured, the search slipped a little. I get annoyed when I find preferences that result in stunningly different search results on different catalogues.  I don't want there to be a large discrepancy in what users can find at one Library and won't ever find at another if both Libraries run Koha.

Some search related system preferences are somewhat counter-intuitive, and not nearly as helpful as one might hope. I resigned myself to sadly nodding my head when I checked on the behaviours mentioned in the listserv discussion. Jared mentioned wanting to see search fixed on IRC, so I challenged him to be the one to take it on.

I still think we have a better search than most ILSs, but I want to get back to being the best out there by far. We've talked about group financing of enhancements before. Sometimes this happens. I feel that a lot of enhancements for Koha don't come to fruition because folks are scared to ask for aestimates, or realise that they can't afford it all on their own. 

Your Library doesn't have to sponsor this on its own. If you've not put in for developments recently, we urge you to do so now. If you know about an appropriate grant for this sort of work, do let me know. I'll take a shot at writing it.

Jared is willing to bang his head against this project. I am willing to run test searches. I asked him to dice things up so that people can afford to contribute. Some subcomponents of the rewrite will only run about $3000. The loose aestimate for the entire first phase is roughly $70,000. 

I realise that budget times are tight, but we're hoping with a new fiscal year, now might be a good time to act on fixing a major stumbling block to usability. If we split the costs, this is eminently doable and will happen sooner rather than later. Jared and I want to make this better for users, but neither of us can afford to do so for free.

We want your feedback in this process. We don't want to develop in a vacuum. It would be nice to have a few discussions like we did with holds slips. You can see what we're talking about here:


Ask Jared for an invitation if you want to modify it. We'll also be adding material under the RFCs section of the Community Wiki.

We'll need people to test things and to run searches that will make us laugh and cry.

So let's do it. Let's make it happen. Let's make Koha better.



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