[Koha] Why are there 2 versions?

Paul paul.a at aandc.org
Sat Jun 4 12:38:47 NZST 2011

At 10:52 AM 6/4/2011 +1200, Joann Ransom wrote:
>A wee word of caution from someone who has been badly stung and never want 
>to be again ...
>Horowhenua stayed on Koha 1.x for years and years and years because it was 
>perfect for our needs and we didn't see any value in sifting to 2.x 
>.  This was largely because the introduction of Marc broke our FRBR system 
>but also because our acquisitions module worked beautifully and error free.


Thanks for the reply. Might I suggest that your "word of caution" reflects 
the point that I was making. You write: "didn't see any value in shifting" 
... "worked beautifully."  My terminology was "if it ain't broke, don't fix 

>Slowly it dawned on us that  we were on an abandoned fork. The main 
>project had raced on and got better and better.

If, as you write 'abandoned' = 'beautiful'|'perfect for our needs', then 
did 'better and better' = new features that were part of your requirements? 
[and I'm not sure what an 'abandoned fork' really means; whether you simply 
add logos and change layout schemes in CSS, or modify MySQL structure and 
delete perl modules, every customization is a 'fork' that is not followed 
by the community at large. We probably all do it without feeling abandoned.]

>When we did make the jump to 2.x it was hideous - everything was "broken" 
>in our eyes.
>  Shifting to 3.2 was another big jump; again we had left it too long and 
> did not stay current.

Were you in a production environment? 'Hideous' and 'broken' are anathema 
to me (but my IT training and experience for a quarter of a century from 
the late 1950s was in national defense) and since then I have always 
attempted to programme to [end] users needs. I think you're saying that 
'stay current' was the cause of your dilemma - a possibility that I wish to 

>So from now on this is my vow :) I intend to always upgrade to the current 
>stable version, limit customizations to an absolute minimum, and when I do 
>commission enhancements I also fund for that work to be incorporated into 
>the main trunk (and yes it doubles the cost but I want to be certain I am 
>always swimming in the main Koha stream).

I take my hat off to you (and to those who can double your budget), but 
would suggest that while swimming in the main stream is ideologically 
perfect, some of us may be constrained to more pragmatic surroundings. The 
charity that I work for looked for a low [to reasonable internal] cost 
solution to its needs. We have succeeded *thanks_to_Koha* and consider 
additional bells and whistles to be a low priority luxury. Your [and 
others'] mileage might well vary.

In peace, friendship and respect,
Tired old sys-admin.

>Cheers Jo.
>2011/6/4 Lori Bowen Ayre <<mailto:lori.ayre at galecia.com>lori.ayre at galecia.com>
>Thanks Paul!  I appreciate getting my wrong assumptions straightened 
>out.  Very good points about that being another value of being on an open 
>source product.
>Lori Bowen Ayre // Library Technology Consultant
>The Galecia Group // <http://www.galecia.com/>www.galecia.com
>(707) 763-6869 // <mailto:Lori.Ayre at galecia.com>Lori.Ayre at galecia.com
>Specializing in open source ILS solutions, RFID, filtering,
>workflow optimization, and materials handling
>On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM, Paul 
><<mailto:paul.a at aandc.org>paul.a at aandc.org> wrote:
>At 01:00 PM 6/3/2011 -0400, Owen Leonard wrote:
> > > So while there is no more
> > > development to 3.2, any bugs found will be fixed.  At some point, 
> even that
> > > will stop and everyone will be expected to get themselves upgraded.
> >
> >And indeed, the 3.2.x Release Maintainer has said that the upcoming
> >3.2.10 release will most likely be the final release of the 3.2.x
> >branch.
>"expected to get themselves upgraded" ... or, of course, to retain 3.2.x in
>We have a functional, extensively customized, 3.2.5 that meets the
>requirements of our cataloguers and users.  While I might spend some of my
>spare [?] time looking at 3.4 (I really like the concept of templates), the
>customization has to be done all over again, and is proving troublesome.
>Nothing wrong with Koha, all to do with our requirements; I ended up
>modifying the SQL structure to accept longer, searchable keywords and
>abstracts; to facilitate serials cataloguing; and to remove all "lending
>library" features to speed things up considerably (we are
>reference/research only.)
>If and when I get 3.4 running to our requirements, we'll evaluate whether
>we migrate; but in the meanwhile, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  And
>I'm sure there's got to be a lot of other Koha users who are also wary of
>"upgrading" a fully functional tool.
>This is the great strength of community-driven, open license products - you
>can reach a point where you have achieved what you set out to do. Anything
>after that can be considered much lower priority. Quite frankly, my only
>concern at this point is to get rid of Zebra and integrate different search
>methodology which is apparently not high on the Koha horizon; barcoded
>spine labels, dustjacket images and emailed fines are not in our
>Everyone achieving their own specs, again, is a Koha strength. Otherwise
>we'll end up following the "M$ business code" - if Win98 is good enough for
>a Koha kiosk (and it most certainly is) you don't need to go chasing Vista,
>Win7 or Win8.  Our Ubuntu 10.10 server is perfect for Koha, so I only look
>for the ultra-rare Ubuntu security alerts.
>Given our satisfaction with Koha, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on
>future versions; but in the meanwhile, I respectfully beg to differ with
>the statement that "everyone will be expected to get themselves upgraded."
>Regards - Paul
>Tired old sys-admin.
>Archives and Collections (ACS) Society
>205, Main Street, Picton, Ontario, K0K 2T0, Canada
>Canadian Charitable Organization 88721 9921 RR0001
>Dedicated to maritime conservation and education.
>Koha mailing list  <http://koha-community.org>http://koha-community.org
><mailto:Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz>Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
>Koha mailing list  <http://koha-community.org>http://koha-community.org
><mailto:Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz>Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
>Joann Ransom RLIANZA
>Head of Libraries,
>Horowhenua Library Trust.
>Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
>Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz

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