Evergreen 2.4 — What’s new

Evergreen 2.4.0 was quietly release on May 3, 2013, but did not receive it’s normal announcement and fanfare.  The post following this will very likely be the announcement of version 2.4.1, which provides significant improvement, though while late, we hope this run down of what’s new in the 2.4 series does it justice.

The release notes do a good job of running down all the new and changed features.  What the release notes don’t show is the collaborative effort that went into creating the features for 2.4.  There were were a total of 41 distinct patch authors and 13 committers, including end-user documentation.

Of particular note regarding collaboration was the effort among members of both the Evergreen and Koha communities to generalize and improve Evergreen’s core search parser, QueryParser, for use in both projects.  While our projects have shared code in the past — Koha has internalized the SIPServer code originally created to support SIP2 in Evergreen — this is the first time we’ve had such direct collaboration.

Related to this, 2.4 sees the general maturation of Evergreen’s search infrastructure.  With the improved QueryParser and additional backend features we now have a solid base on which to build new and exciting functionality.

Acquisitions received a major UI overhaul in 2.4 as well, a project that is ongoing and continues through 2.4.0 and 2.4.1.  These improvements are based on real-world use of Evergreen’s ACQ features and represent a big step forward in usability.  EDI improvements mean that more materials vendors can inter-operate with Evergreen electronically, reducing staff workload and improving efficiency.

The TPAC continues to move closer to feature parity with its predecessor, and while significant work remains, the existing feature set covers most of the important staff and patron use cases.  One of the design goals of the TPAC was upgrade-safe customization, including the ability to add new interface components, and with new, generalized features 2.4 such as search filter groups being exposed for use we see this goal being met well.

Internationalization got a lot of attention.  This means that we should be able to expect more, and more complete, translations of the strings in Evergreen to languages other than English.  With that, hopefully, will come a lowered barrier of entry for developers from around the world, as well as the obvious benefit of increased use outside North America.

Basically, Evergreen 2.4 is the best series yet, and that’s thanks to this amazing community of user, developers, tester, document writers and all others that contribute through any means available to them.

Thanks, all!

Mike Rylander, 2.4 Release Manager