Koha thread re: releasing under free license


Rachel from Katipo, bringers of Koha, had interesting things to say on the Koha list regarding their decision to GPL their codebase, and lessons learned for others confronting that choice. Among others: "For Koha going open source and GPL has been the making of the project." Her message responds to this question.

Infotoday feature on Open Source


Richard Poynder writes: "This article [informed by and including comments of many regular oss4libbers in response to Richard's call for comments here and elsewhere. -ed] is now online." Aside from RMS's standard "but you don't mention freedom" concerns, overall this is one of the most balanced pieces I've read on this topic, particularly as it pertains to the library community.

Hampshire Favors Noncommercial Web Software


Charles writes: "This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education talks about the Hampshire College's gravitation toward OSS solutions."


brent simpson writes: " is a new website dedicated to fostering the adoption and successful use of free and open source solutions in education.

We have organized the site into informational categories. Our idea is to use the roles of those in the school community as a lens through which to view how free and open source software and content can serve a school. That is, instead of starting with categories such as operating systems and applications, or books and videos, we end with them. We start by asking questions such as these:

  • What does a teacher want or need as an instructional tool, and how would he view those tools?
  • What does the School Administrator or Manager need to do her job well and what issues does she want addressed?
  • And of course, how do open source tools fit the needs of the computer skills teacher, the system administrator or the technology co-ordinator (ICT)?
  • Last, but perhaps most importantly, what does the student need? How can we best serve him or her and the community?

    As everyone reading oss4lib knows the library is an integral part of any school and we will welcome discussions of library and related software.

  • IL symposium on open source in libraries


    Peter Schlumpf wrote to oss4lib-discuss: "On 9/21/2001 the North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, Illinois is hosting a symposium on open source software in libraries. The Symposium will address the issues of open source software and what it means to libraries. It will feature presentations by developers and users of open source software for libraries, including MyLibrary, jake, and Avanti. For more information and registration, please visit the Symposium website"

    Looks like another great program, not unlike the very successful event back in April at Wesleyan.

    Update from the O'Reilly Open Source Convention


    Jeremy writes: "So, there are at least two librarians here at O'Reilly's Open Source Convention - both myself and Eric Lease Morgan. After 1 full day of conferencing, I have to say that this is top-notch - the content is great, and O'Reilly really knows how to put on a convention (3 free drink coupons for the fajita fiesta, as an example ;-)). For those who aren't familiar with the conference, it isn't just about Open Source - there are tracks on XML, PERL, Java, MySQL, Emerging Technologies, and more. This morning's keynote was in 2 parts: First, Fred Baker from CISCO talked about the future of Open Source in the Internet. He was followed by W. Phillip Moore, from Morgan Stanley, who talked about Open Source use on Wall Street. Both talks were interesting - Fred Baker gave the spin that Open Source would only continue to be successful with the help of the corporate world. W. Phillip Moore then went and contradicted much of what Fred spoke about. Very interesting stuff.

    I attended a talk on web services and the semantic web - the speaker talked about a concept which to me sounded like a re-invention of the Open URL concept. I will be trying to catch the speaker to follow up on his talk and see how his concept might relate to the OpenURL (I did get to ask him if he was familiar with the OpenURL - he wasn't).

    In the afternoon, a attended a few XML-related presentations, including a good presentation on XML-Schema. I also had the chance to chat with Tim O'Reilly for about 10 minutes (he's an extremely nice guy, btw) about OSS plans for ALA annual. I think we'll get some help from Tim and O'Reilly and Associates for the planned OSS Pavilion in Atlanta."

    Free Dimitry Sklyarov!


    The U.S. vs. Sklyarov case threatens us all, down to the very core of what we do as librarians. Do your best to read up on it, be wise about it, and spread the word -- Dimitry needs our help, and the DMCA must be fixed! See for a good starting point. Profits from the new "fight the DMCA" tshirts will be donated to the EFF.

    Library 'Radicals' Targeted


    JM writes: "Interesting CNET article about the ongoing struggle between librarians and publishers." Ms. Platt has also responded to a query on this from Blake over at

    Open Source for Librarians


    Richard writes: "I'm currently working on something on open source, and am looking for some views/experiences from librarians. I would, therefore, be grateful for any responses from librarians to this posting. The kind of things I am interested in are the relevance of open source to librarians, any experiences of using open source (good or bad), hints and tips on using it, and details of any particularly good open source products for librarians. Also, any comments on the current "debate" between Microsoft and the open source community gratefully received! -Richard Poynder, Freelance Journalist, richard.poynder at or

    Larry Wall at Open Source IG Program at ALA


    Jeremy writes: "Larry Wall, inventer and maintainer of the PERL language, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Open Source program at ALA in San Francisco. The program takes place Sunday morning, 8:30, at the Marriot Golden Gate Section B. We have a very exciting lineup, with not only Larry, but also Eric Lease Morgan (MyLibrary@NCState), and William Scholten (Executive Director of the Waitt Family Foundation Technology Resource Center)."