[Koha] Why are there 2 versions?

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Mon Jun 6 20:57:32 NZST 2011

Paul wrote:
> 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."

It would be good if people using no-longer-community-supported
versions in production would note some contact details on
http://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/Koha_Users_Worldwide or
so that they could group together if a new 2.2 or 3.0 release is
needed to solve some critical bug.

Some of the co-op's client libraries tend to be slow updaters.  At
least one put things like "one upgrade a year" in their first contract
- I think they were burned by a past system provider.  But there comes
a point where, like with Ubuntu, the security updates stop coming but
the security problems still affect you.  Then you have to choose
whether to maintain it yourself and effectively build your own release
management and security infrastructure, monitoring news from the
latest versions in case it implies work that you should do, or whether
to upgrade and rejoin the main community versions.  If someone paid us
enough, we'd probably support them on an old version, but the cost
would get high eventually.  In general, we suggest people keep to one
or other of the stable versions because usually, cooperation is good
for everyone.

The other thing I'd suggest is if one customises Koha, try to do it in
a sustainable way.  Things like git help a lot, although the 3.4
template changes are often a bigger step than it handles neatly.  Even
if the customisations were developed outside git, it shouldn't be too
hard for a 3.2.5 library to move to git and upgrade to 3.2.9.
Basically, checkout 3.2.5 from git, branch it, apply your changes,
commit it, then merge 3.2.9 onto it and resolve any conflicts.

Hope that informs,
MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
http://koha-community.org supporter, web and LMS developer, statistician.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire for Koha work http://www.software.coop/products/koha

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