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Evergreen Newsletter / November-December 2012

It’s the last issue of 2012 and the fifth installment overall. Thanks to all those contributors who continue to make this happen.

The Evergreen Hack-A-Way By Rogan Hamby

In October we had our first ever Evergreen Hack-A-Way in Atlanta, GA hosted by Equinox Software who gave up their conference room to developers near and far from the 10th to the 13th. The goal was to give the developers a chance to meet mid-year outside of the annual conference and keep up a momentum of collaborative development. After a review of how the 2.3 release went, Mike Rylander was named release manager for 2.4. Three new core committers were named: Ben Shum of Bibliomation, Jason Stephenson of MVLC, and Jeff Godin of Traverse Area District Library, representing both the commitment they have shown to the community and quality of their contributions. A lot of discussion centered around the need for new testing frameworks (both automated and human) and the need for involvement from all corners of the community in that effort. Progress was also made in discussing new possible client server communication models, handling current security issues, expanded added content module support and much more.


International Evergreen Conference 2013 in Vancouver, BC By Tara Robertson

Program - everyone who submitted a proposal has been contacted (if you haven't heard anything let me know – information.detective@gmail.com) and the draft program will be up on the website this week. It looks like a really strong program–thank you to everyone who submitted a session. Clever titles include: Ol' Time Acquisitions Rodeo and Variety Show, The Accidental DBA, and Contributing Code to Evergreen is Easier Than You Think. Thank you to the program advisory committee for helping Shirley Lew and myself out:

  •  Anoop Atre, Equinox Software
  •  Shauna Borger, Indiana State Library
  •  Matt Carlson, King County Library Systems
  •  Dan Scott, Laurentian University
  •  Chris Sharp, Georgia Library PINES

Register for the conference: http://eg2013.eventbrite.com Book your hotel: http://www.deltavancouversuites.ca/1304evereh And, if you're not Canadian, get a passport. Here's a one minute primer on the important bits of Canadian culture: http://youtu.be/BRI-A3vakVg, though Molson Canadian isn't very good beer.


Google Summer of Code 2012 wrap-up: thank you! By Dan Scott

Tis the season to give thanks for all that we have been fortunate to receive over the past year! Well, actually, as a Canadian that time was well over a month ago, and even the Americans in the crowd celebrated Thanksgiving last week. Given my tardiness, I hope it’s not too late to celebrate the accomplishments of four students over the summer. Back in March, we were all excited to hear that Evergreen had been accepted into the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program for the second year in a row. This year, we were offered four student internships, up from two slots in 2011–an encouraging sign about the maturity of our project.

  • • Joseph Lewis returned for his second year in the program. In 2011, he built a greatly enhanced Library Settings user interface that included search filters and setting histories. This year, he worked on one of the crucial tasks of upgrading our core infrastructure from the aging Dojo 1.3 to a more modern version of Dojo, and along with his code contributions he left us with valuable advice on how to proceed with finalizing the work. Joseph’s mentor was Thomas Berezansky from the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.
  • • Swenyu Duan tackled the challenge of optimizing Evergreen’s search performance by porting some of Evergreen’s core database routines from PL/Perl to C. Swenyu’s work leveraged the ICU Unicode library for normalization and built on libxml and libxslt2 to provide C-language versions of some routines used in merging and overlaying bibliographic records. Ultimately, he found that the gains to be had from porting to C were minimal–one of the hard lessons that we often run into as developers is that theory does not work out in practice–but learned a lot about measuring performance and creating extensions for PostgreSQL and shared his lessons on his blog. Swenyu’s mentor was Mike Rylander from Equinox Software.
  • • Pranjal Prabhash joined us for the summer to work on building a standard OpenSRF library for PHP, so that developers will have the ability to easily integrate Evergreen with common Web frameworks like Drupal and discovery layers like VuFind. Building on some of previous efforts in this area, Pranjal was able to build a functioning OpenSRF PHP library and turned his efforts towards the end of his time towards preparing the code to be accepted by the PEAR project. Pranjal blogged about his progress and was mentored by Lebbeous Fogle-Weekley from Equinox Software.
  • • Daniel Rizea stepped up to work on another common wishlist item, an Android client for Evergreen. His efforts included both a patron-oriented application and an application containing a subset of the staff client. Daniel’s work exercised and refined Evergreen’s support for Java and resulted in functional code (ed. I know of at least one university that has built an experimental app based on Daniel’s code). Daniel wrote about his efforts on his blog and was mentored by Dan Wells from the Hekman Library, Calvin College.
  • In summary, we were fortunate to have been able to work with four students over the course of the summer. I like to think that we helped them gain important experience in working in a large distributed software project, and hope that (when exams are over and course projects are out of the way!) that we’ll continue to see them in the IRC channel and on the mailing lists.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Google Open Source Programs Office for supporting the Evergreen project by accepting our application to GSoC this year and so generously providing stipends for four students. Google also covered the costs for both Thomas Berezansky and I to attend the GSoC Mentors’ Summit in October, where we met up with hundreds of other developers from open source projects to make connections and exchange experiences and insights during a two-day unconference at the Mountain View Google campus.


November Developers Meeting By Kathy Lussier

Last month’s Evergreen Developers meeting had a packed agenda. The following topics were covered during the meeting:

  • • Developers discussed ways to improve testing for fixes to security-related bugs. This testing poses difficulties since there is only a small pool of developers who can test the branch before it is released.
  • • David Busby volunteered to set up a server that can be used to test the code from Google Summer of Code Intern Joseph Lewis to upgrade Evergreen’s version of Dojo. Once the server is set up, Kathy Lussier will coordinate testing of the various dojo interfaces.
  • • The developers agreed that the older javascript catalog (jspac) should disappear in Evergreen 2.4. However, the new Template Toolkit catalog (tpac) is still missing several features that were available in jspac. Several community members volunteered to update http://www.evergreen-ils.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=dev:opac:template-toolkit:plan to more clearly identify the missing jspac features and to create related bug reports in Launchpad. Features that should be reinstated in tpac before jspac is removed will be identified with a jspacremovalblocker tag in Launchpad. People with concerns about specific features missing from tpac should contribute and note specific blockers to ripping out jspac.
  • • There is a large backlog of bugs in Launchpad. Those who can test submitted code should do so.

Evergreen Development – News

Seeking Development Partners: Alphabetical Browse in TPAC

The Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative (MassLNC) is planning to work with Equinox to implement an alphabetical browse in the Template Toolkit catalog. A true A-to-Z browse is something we believe will be of value to many Evergreen libraries. However, MassLNC needs help funding this project. If your library is interested in seeing this project implemented in Evergreen and in becoming a financial partner, please send an e-mail to Kathy Lussier at klussier@masslnc.org for more information.

MassLNC’s original project requirements can be found at http://masslnc.cwmars.org/node/2589.


Evergreen Libraries Update

In the Spotlight: The COOL Consortium (OHIO) By Tony Bandy

Since moving to the new TPAC and Evergreen 2.3.1 in November, the Consortium of Ohio Libraries (COOL) has been enjoying the speed of the catalog as well as the several new enhancements to the staff client. Online at http://cool-cat.org, one of the biggest hits we've found so far is the TPAC, with the extensibility and flexibility of being able to quickly apply both system updates and opac templates to the individual member libraries. From custom images and colors to individualized CSS, the TPAC has really helped our member libraries to directly address their own unique library and community needs. We've also found that system administration of 2.3 and the TPAC is much easier as well. As we are getting ready to add several libraries in the Spring of 2013, this will help us get them migrated over to the system quickly, reducing downtime for their patrons. For the future, we're hoping to go ahead with further customization of the TPAC as well as the self-checkout and kids KPAC options. While we've still got a long way to go, the future looks promising. Check us out online at http://www.cool-cat.org!

The Howe/Evergreen Project

Meriden Library in Meriden, New Hampshire will be going live with Evergreen in early December. Meriden is one of four libraries that have joined the Howe/Evergreen Project.

After migrating to Evergreen in 2010, the Howe Library in Hanover, NH formed the Howe/Evergreen Project to share their Evergreen system with other libraries in New Hampshire. The four libraries who have joined the Howe/Evergreen project have never been automated. By sharing a system and receiving support and training from the Howe Library staff, these small libraries are able to have access to a first-rate system at a reasonable cost.

Missouri Evergreen added 3 more libraries in November. They added Lebanon-Laclede County Library, Stone County Library, and Webster County Library.

Evergreen Indiana recently welcomed its 100th member. With the recent addition of the Peabody Public Library (Columbia City) as the 100th member library, the Evergreen Indiana catalog now provides access to over 6.7 million items and serves 962,252 Indiana residents. This milestone has been four-years coming as Evergreen Indiana has grown into one of the largest shared-catalogue consortiums in the world.

The Berklee College of Music Stan Getz Library, which went live on Evergreen in August, has a small campus with a library in Spain also running Evergreen. The library is called the Berklee Valencia Library.

The COOL consortium in Ohio just upgraded to 2.3 and will be adding three more libraries in the next 6 months. The three libraries are Worch Memorial Public Library, Blanchester Public Library, and Wornstaff Memorial Public Library. Their group link is here: http://info.cool-cat.org/.

The Balsam Consortium in Maine has been awarded a MFC Grant to create de-duplication tools. The Consortium has now grown to 17 library systems encompassing 27 branches. It is mostly rural, single branch libraries and public school systems.


If you have any news for the next issue of the Evergreen newsletter, the January-February issue, please email this news to Amy Terlaga at terlaga@biblio.org.

communications/newsletter/nov-dec_2012.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/03 16:15 by terlaga

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