Governments Urging the use of Open Source

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This from OStatic:

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has issued a missive to French ministers, including a complete action plan urging government usage of LibreOffice and PostgreSQL. But the action plan calls for more. As noted on Slashdot: “He also wants them to reinvest between 5 percent and 10 percent of the money they save through not paying for proprietary software licenses, spending it instead on contributing to the development of the free software.

France is just the most recent in a list of other governments that I’ve seen encouraging the use of open source software. Recently I read about Italy on The H Open:

On 7 August, a law was passed by the Italian Parliament that requires the use of open source software by public administrations where possible. Article 68 of the Italian Digital Administration Code (Codice dell’amministrazione digitale) states that, from 12 August, public administrations looking for a new software solution must either use an application which they have already developed in-house, develop their own new program, use open source software, or any combination of these.

And on the local front, I have Open Source for America bookmarked and have found that the White House has a GitHub account (not much there yet).

Let me know of other open source government movements and I’ll share that info with everyone … also I have to note that if entire governments can do it … why can’t more libraries??

Digsby Goes Open Source

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Digsby is an instant message client with a pretty nice interface. I wasn’t using it in the past because I wanted to go with an open source alternative and I was liked Adium. That said, TechCrunch is reporting that Digsby has gone open source and so I might have to try it out again!

The move gives a new lease of life to Digsby, which integrates different messaging and email clients into a single, unified view.

If you’d like to get access to the source code you can visit GitHub.

Creating Routing Lists in Koha 3.4

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Part of serials management sometimes includes routing serials to specific staff members before putting the item on the shelf for the public. This practice is common in special and academic libraries. The following video will walk you through creating and printing routing lists using the serials module in Koha. This video assumes that you have already set up at least one subscription in Koha, if you haven’t you might be interested in my tutorial video on setting up subscriptions.

As always, if you have an idea for a video, please just let me know and I’ll add it to my list of things to record.

Setting Circ & Fine Rules in Koha 3.4

Koha

One of the most critical administrative tasks in Koha is setting up your circulation and fine rules. This video, while a bit longer than most of my tutorials, covers this very necessary task of setting up Koha to circulate your items according to your specific rules.

As always, if you have an idea for a video, please just let me know and I’ll add it to my list of things to record.

Who’s using open source

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This is a neat little summary of the proprietary companies out there using open source. The article starts with a neat claim:

So if you are going to master software you must master open source. You can’t do it otherwise. There is no way to succeed in a services world without it.

And goes on to list companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Intel who are both using and contributing to open source software! Got to love it!

Learn more at TechCrunch.

Tech Employers Searching GitHub

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This article from CNET is pretty cool (well cool to this open source advocate at least):

Forget LinkedIn: Companies turn to GitHub to find tech talent

Because engineers and designers can post their work for all to see, more and more companies are realizing they can see what people can actually do, not just say they can do.

If you don’t know, GitHub is one of many sites out there where open source code is shared and worked on. The article goes on:

[Zach] Holman also said that internally, GitHub is seeing more and more signs that outside companies are using the service as an initial indicator of whether a potential hire is good or not. “Whether or not somebody has contributed to open source is a good indicator of whether they’re a good engineer,” he said.

So, if you’re looking for a job in computer programming, maybe it’s time to stop developing behind closed doors and get out there in the open!

Read the entire article.

Batch Delete Withdrawn Items in Koha 3.4

Koha

One of the most common uses for the batch delete tool in Koha is to batch delete items you have previously marked as ‘withdrawn’ from the collection. This tutorial will walk you through deleting a batch of items that have been marked as withdrawn. The report mentioned in this video can be found on the Koha wiki here.

As always, if you have an idea for a video, please just let me know and I’ll add it to my list of things to record.

Open Source Culture in Business

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Several years ago (seems like a lifetime ago to me) I left the library to work for a vendor, an open source vendor of course, but a vendor nonetheless. I used to joke that I had crossed over to the ‘dark side.’ Five years later I can’t imagine ever going to back to working in the library itself. It’s not that I don’t love libraries – of course I do! I want to keep working with libraries forever and ever – I just don’t want to work in them.

Until today I thought that was just because I had the best work environment ever. I work for a company that is open, supports openness and takes everyone’s opinions in to consideration … in short, we’re all treated like the experienced adults that we are. I thought this was unique to ByWater, but have just finished reading a post by Shay Chapman on opensource.com about her experience as an intern at Red Hat (another open source company – if you didn’t already know that). Shay says:

This internship wasn’t my first experience in a corporate environment. I worked full time after completing my undergraduate studies and while pursuing my Master’s degree in Informatics, and I have seen managers take a very micro-management approach. I’ve noticed how some employers treat employees as if they are numbers rather than assets with unique skills and talents.

Working at Red Hat has been different, and I think that’s because of the company’s open source culture. Anyone at Red Hat—whether they’re an employee, customer, or partner—has the opportunity to voice their opinion about the products being offered and the direction of the company. I saw the power of that during my internship. When employees are kept in the know about crucial events and plans, they are quick to point out the good, the bad, and the ugly. It can be a painful process, but no stone is left unturned and the community grows stronger.

I still think I have the best job ever – for the best company ever – supporting the best open source product ever :) but now at least I know that others out there are getting to have the same experience that I am and doing what they love at the same time. I think that libraries (and many other companies) could learn from this style of corporation and management and benefit greatly from treating their staff as a community rather than just employees.

If you want to read more, check out Shay’s post and/or my column in Vol 3/Issue 3 of Collaborative Librarianship on Collaborative Leadership [PDF].