The Evergreen Pre-Beta is here. For the impatient that just want to jump in: the OPAC is at http://demo.gapines.org. We strongly recommend Firefox when viewing the OPAC. The staff client is available for download from http://www.open-ils.org/cvs.html.
Okay, for those that are still reading: there is still a ton of work to do before Evergreen hits the production release this summer. This pre-beta release has an incomplete set of features, and still has bugs that will be repaired over the course of the next 6 months. You can view the Evergreen development group’s “to do” lists on our documentation wiki at http://open-ils.org/dokuwiki/. There is one for the OPAC, one for the Staff Client, one for Reporting, and a General todo list. The various todo lists contain a mixture of bugs and feature requirements that we’re working on. When a particular item is completed, it is crossed out on the list (you’ll see that many have already been completed).
We held 5 PINES subcommittees meetings (OPAC, Circulation, Cataloging, Reporting, and ILS Advisory) in February and early March to get feedback and suggestions in regards to the software. Thanks to those of you that participated in these meetings– they were extremely helpful to us to ensure that development was on the correct course, and they helped solidify the Evergreen version 1.0 picture.
So, now what? Take a look at the software and the todo lists, then tell us what you think. Probably the best place to send feedback or questions is to the mailing lists, so everyone can participate in the conversation. Over the next few months, we’re steadily going to work through the todo lists, perform load testing, write documentation, come up with training materials and dates, and start working on the PINES data migration plan. We plan to release a full-featured Beta in May, a production release (version 1.0) in July, and the PINES go-live is scheduled for September 5th, 2006. PINES library staff will be getting specific information and direction on all of this soon.
Another project we’re working on is an OPAC useability survey for patrons. It will ask participants to look at and use the OPAC, to try certain tasks, and to provide feedback to the development team from a patron’s perspective. We’ll send out a link to the survey when it’s completed. We’d be grateful if you could corner some of your patrons, ask them to take a look at the OPAC, and help us all out with their comments and suggestions.