[Koha] fighting feature creep and cleaning up Koha

Gaetan Boisson gaetan.boisson at biblibre.com
Sat Apr 7 03:32:34 NZST 2018

  Hello community,

(please don't answer to this message with comments about the specific 
issues mentioned, do it rather on bugzilla to keep things manageable, 

during the last hackfest in Marseille we started a list of features or 
parts of Koha that currently exist but don't make us entirely happy for 
a reason or another and could be removed. At first i was only thinking 
of broken features that are part of Koha, then defaults that could be 
better, and it grew to whole parts that might be considered not so 
useful. (The list was made mostly by me and two other BibLibre project 
managers : Claudie and Stéphane, Owen also had a look.)

Since we started i have found the right term for what i was concerned 
with: feature creep.

I feel like there's been a very solid effort into refactoring code. But 
we should also consider the features themselves. Every feature comes 
with a cost: we need to maintain the code for it, we need to maintain 
documentation about it, we need to train people about them, etc. Having 
redundant features might look like it leaves choice to the user and is a 
good thing, but it can turn into a mess pretty fast. Another aspect that 
i am really concerned about are features that don't actually work. The 
best example for this according to me is results highlighting. I'm so 
used to the interface I barely see it any longer and don't pay 
attention, but it's broken, and new users notice it. This kind of not 
really functional feature included in the release looks extremely bad in 
my opinion. We need to do something about it to make Koha more 
accessible and better.

As this is very much as controversial as this sounds, some of these bugs 
have generated debates, as expected. So i'm bringing this to the mailing 
list in order for all users to be able to have a look at them and tell 
us what they think. Since there are a few places concerned, an omnibus 
was created: 
https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20396. I don't 
want to send one message per topic to the list, that would probably be 
way too much. I also think it won't be that productive if the debates 
start from this generic message on the list. If you are a library with a 
strong opinion about one of these issues, i suggest you create an 
account on bugzilla and voice your concerns there. You are most welcome 
to do so in order to say that killing feature X is a great idea! (I 
expect we are more likely to hear from people who are against change 
than from people who are for it.)

I'd like to add that since i don't write code, i'm not going to "kill" 
any of these features myself, this is more about putting the spotlight 
on some aspects of Koha that i think should be streamlined.

Here's what was created so far, i will try to put the more contentious 
issues first:

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20415

Remove UseKohaPlugins system preference

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20417

Remove OpacCloud system preference and feature

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20528

Remove the items tab from the detailed bibliographic view

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20398

Add a system preference to disable search result highlighting in the 
staff interface

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20401

"Item circulation alerts" is overkill and could be removed

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20406

Remove ISBD display

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20408

Remove the availability facet and filter

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20414

Remove COinSinOPACResults system preference and make it always on

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=10047

"Cataloguing search maybe useless?": in the cataloguing module, there is 
a different kind of search, that we could do without.

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=12561

Omnibus: Deprecate non-XSLT detail and result views

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20399

"Remove "did you mean" for the staff interface"

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20403

Refactor "Keywords to marc mapping"

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20404

Extended patron attributes should always be on

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20405

enhanced messaging preference should always be on

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20409

Remove OpacBrowseResults system preference and make it always on

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20410

Remove OpacGroupResults system preference and feature

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20411

Remove StaffDetailItemSelection system preference and make the feature 
always on

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20413

Remove the "template" system preference

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20416

Remove hide_marc and advancedMARCeditor system preferences

- https://bugs.koha-community.org/bugzilla3/show_bug.cgi?id=20418

Remove UpdateTotalIssuesOnCirc and make it cron everywhere

Gaetan Boisson
Chef de projet bibliothécaire
+33(0)6 52 42 51 29
108 rue Breteuil 13006 Marseille
gaetan.boisson at biblibre.com

More information about the Koha mailing list