[Koha] Announcing Koha 3.0 (Alpha)

Joshua Ferraro joshua.ferraro at liblime.com
Sat Jan 5 22:27:16 NZDT 2008

Hi folks,

I'm happy to announce that a packaged alpha release of Koha 3 is now
available. You can download from the usual location:


You can check the integrity of the package; either by verifying the provided
GPG signature (.sig) or by comparing the MD5 checksum:

4fbd715cc6cd197264bba12b53391e42  koha-3.00.00-alpha.tar.gz

I've also tagged this in Git as "version 3.00.00 alpha" v3.00.00-alpha

This is the first packaged release of Koha 3. Prior to the official stable
release of Koha 3.0, software issues, bugs, and unimplemented features must
be addressed. These are documented on Koha's Bugzilla:


and organized on the 3.0 RM's QA notes Wiki page:


The release notes for this alpha version are pasted in below, and will also
on the koha.org website sometime over the weekend.


Joshua Ferraro
Koha 3.0 Release Manager

Koha 3 is the next-generation release of the award-winning Koha open-source
integrated library system.

You can obtain Koha 3.0 Alpha from the following URL:


These Release Notes cover What's New in Koha 3, information about the new
Revision control system (Git), and Version-release process, pointers to
Download, Installation, and Upgrade documentation, a brief introduction to the
new Templates, a call to Translation and Documentation writers, and finally,
Known Issues with this version.


1. Zebra plugin - Zebra is a high-performance, general-purpose structured
text indexing and retrieval engine. It supports large data sets (tens of
millions of records) and includes support for SRU, Z39.50 and several query
languages: CCL, CQL, and PQF. For more information about Zebra, please see:


Koha's new search engine, built on top of Zebra, supports features such as
relevance ranking, field weighting, truncation, stemming, use of fuzzy
operators, language-specific indexing, sorting, etc.

Indexes are updated in real-time with circulation transactions, enabling
limits by availability and statuses.

Faceted refine-by limits are available from both staff and opac interfaces.

For libraries that don't want the overhead of maintaing Zebra, Koha 3 ships
with a NoZebra option, in which bibliographic and authority data is indexed
in the RDBMS.

2. New installer - based on the common Perl module ExtUtils::MakeMaker, the
new installer makes it a snap to get Koha running on just about any platform.

The installer comes complete with a Developer's Toolkit target ('dev') that
can be used to get a development environment linked directly to revision
control, to support rapid prototyping and an agile development process.

3. Standard APIs - Koha 3 supports a number of important library search and
retrieval standards and microformats, such as SRU/W, Z39.50
(http://www.loc.gov/standards/sru/), UnAPI (http://unapi.info/) and
(http://ocoins.info; http://www.niso.org/committees/committee_ax.html).

Also supported is the popular Internet standard: OpenSearch
(http://opensearch.a9.com/) created by Amazon's A9.

Records are stored internally in an SGML-like format and can be retrieved in
MARCXML, Dublin Core, MODS, RSS, Atom, RDF-DC, SRW-DC, OAI-DC, and EndNote;
and the OPAC can be used by citation tools such as Zotero. Creating new
export formats is a trivial exercise in writing XSLT; records can be passed
through XSLT transformations either directly out of the index, or via a
separate parsing function.

To retrieve and interact with Circulation and Patron data, Koha 3 includes
support for 3M's Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP2), using the OpenNCIP
libraries (http://openncip.org).

There are also an ever-expanding set of native REST APIs to handle
interoperability with external tools such as third-party cataloging clients.
These APIs provide authentication as well as add/edit/delete control over
bibliographic data within a Koha system. For more information, see:


Koha 3 also includes pluggable authentication - easy integration with LDAP and
Active Directory via the Auth_with_ldap module.

The Amazon.com module can be enabled to enrich bibliographic data with jacket
covers,  professional reviews, ratings and comments from Amazon users, as well
as point to 'Similar Items' within the catalog. OCLC's xISBN, and
LibraryThing's ThingISBN can likewise be enabled to provide an 'Editions' tab
on item detail pages. New with Koha 3 is service throttling for these services,
to keep within subscription limits.

4. Cross-platform, multi-RDBMS, Web-server agnostic - Run Koha on the platform
of your choice: Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris. Koha 3 also
includes better support for multi-RDBMS (MySQL 5.0 and PostgreSQL), and runs
under Apache2, IIS, or the web server of your choosing.

5. Multi-lingual support - Koha was designed from the ground up for multilingual
libraries. Koha 3 can handle Chinese, Japanese, and even right-to-left languages
such as Arabic and Hebrew with ease (BiDi).

Koha's index engine (Zebra) can handle record formats containing any UNICODE
compliant script, such as Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese and Korean. Zebra
has this support via the ICU libraries created and maintained by IBM.

You can translate Koha into your language using the built-in translation tools,
or by visiting http://translate.koha.org.

6. New templates - Koha's staff and patron interfaces are developed with a
template system that's easy to theme. The default templates are composed of 100%
valid XHTML and CSS. Koha aims to meet or exceed U.S. Government Section 508 and
W3C's WAI-AA standards for sight and motor impaired individuals. All
Javascript usage comes with fallback modes that work in any web browser.

7. Koha 3 has quite a few new modules, as well as enhancements to existing
modules, including: news writer, label creator, calendar, OPAC comments, MARC
staging and overlay, notices, transaction logs, guided reports with a data
dictionary and task scheduler, classification sources/filing rules.


With Koha 3, we've started using a new distributed revision control system
called Git; it's the same system in use by many other projects, including the
Linux Kernel. To learn more about how to develop Koha using Git, please see
the Wiki page:



With Koha 3, version numbering has been changed to use a method similar to


  * major:    one digit
  * minor:    two-digit
  * revision: two-digit
  * build:    three-digit

This alpha release of Koha 3.0 is versioned Every database change
or significant enough code change requires an update to the 'build' number,
and developers will be able to easily upgrade their systems using the built-in

Koha 3.0 Release Schedule:

This alpha release of Koha 3.0 will be followed by a beta release on Feb 1,
2008, including fixes to the following components:

  * General Bugfixing (everyone)
  * New API for item management (gmcharlt)
  * MARC21 Authorities (gmcharlt)
  * Improved I18N/L10N, lang detection (kados)
  * OPAC Templates re-design (oleonard)
  * Documentation and Translations (everyone)

The final stable release of Koha 3.0 is slated for March 1 2008 and will
include bugfixes to 3.0 beta.

Subsequent releases of 3.0 will be bugfix releases, and won't include any new

New features will be available in Koha 3.2 and subsequent releases.


The upgrade process from a previous version of Koha is documented on the Wiki
at the following page:



You may have heard that the templates for Koha 3 have been re-skinned; there
is also the start of a template style guide on the Wiki:


Kudos to Owen Leonard and the Nelsonville Public Library for their


Koha 3 alpha (this release) currently has complete translations for en-GB
(English) and fr-FR (French). The Koha Team welcomes additional translations;
please see http://www.kohadocs.org/usersguide/apb.html for information about
translating Koha, and join the koha-translate list to volunteer:



User-contributed documentation for Koha 3 is available on the Koha Wiki
(http://wiki.koha.org). The Koha Team welcomes documentation contributions;
please join the Koha-devel list to volunteer:



Known bugs are documented on the Koha wiki: http://bugs.koha.org and at the
3.0 RM's QA notes Wiki page:


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