[Koha] Fwd: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Evergreen foundation (again)

Joe Atzberger ohiocore at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 05:49:13 NZST 2009

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:39 AM, MJ Ray <mjr at phonecoop.coop> wrote:

> Joann Ransom <jransom at library.org.nz> wrote:
> > I think forming a combined 'open source in libraries' foundation is
> > definitely worth considering. I don't know much about Code4Lib as an
> > organisation, but is that a body tat may have arole to play here? I need
> > more information!
> I thought code4lib was a conference, email list and website, not a
> non-profit corporation, so turning that into a FOSS-for-libraries
> association (please not a foundation) would be about the same amount
> of work.
> Sharing overheads would be good, but I wonder if the different history
> of Evergreen may mean the communities are too different, that we would
> be looking for different things.  For example, conferences and
> extending development seem high on their list of priorities, but not
> near the top of our doodle straw-poll.  That may just be because we've
> had independent conferences and new developers often already.
> Probably worth exploring though.  Anyone willing to try leading that
> effort?  If so, please add it to
> http://wiki.koha.org/doku.php?id=kohaheldbyfoundation
> in the "New FOSS Libraries association or foundation" column.

Code4Lib members have typically resisted formalization of the community
structure overall, while still supporting more defined working subunits
(Conference planning, T-shirt committee, the Journal, etc.).  We are likely
to find allies in that group, but not a home for a Koha Foundation.

I think there should be some Koha association (call it "Koha Foundation",
"Koha Core", "Koha Crew", "Kohaxors Intl." -- the name is unimportant to me)
to serve as the more democratic and active version of what was initially
conceived as the role of Kaitiaki.  This seems to me the natural fit, and
not overreaching.

If there is a joining of forces between Koha and Evergreen, I think it
should be (at least at first) as a working group, at a low level.  "What can
we do to help each other?  What code components can we share?"  It is far
too soon to talk about merging projects or codebases... let alone
hypothetical foundational bodies.

It does not seem reasonable to expect the high level foundation/governance
questions to be ironed out simultaneously between both communities when
neither has them clarified internally.  Indeed, like MJ, I suspect that
neither community would much appreciate a formal governance body, in
particular since it is hard to see where it would get (1) resources or (2)
developers.  Even if a unified body promoted both ILS's, I would still want
individual groups that focused on each project, so basically, I think each
community should pursue it's own group.

In fact, I can see broader FOSS4LIB type group forming and being active
(over more than these 2 projects) more quickly and more effectively than a
Koha/Evergreen group (over *just* those 2 projects).

--Joe Atzberger
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