I have a smorgasbord of stuff I want to talk about today. Some of these are recurring questions the PINES/Evergreen team seems to get, some are in response to issues raised in library blog-land or email lists, and a couple are news from the development group. Thereâ€™s something for everyone on this buffet of a blog entry. Grab your plate and come â€˜on.
Our baby Evergreen is all grown up. *sniffs* It was our intention to push out an official 1.0 release prior to go-live, but that goal fell down the priority list as the migration approached. Now that the migration rush has passed, expect an official Evergreen 1.0 release soon. Of course, the full software is available from the code repository any time.
In related news, weâ€™re starting the initial planning for Evergreen 2, and acquisitions and serials control are the big features planned for the next release. Just quickly looking around, acquisitions is an area where many of our problems may already be solved in the larger software world. All kinds of folks need to do stuff like order widgets and track accounts. If anyone out there has a suggestion for an open-source software package that may fit in this slot, drop us a line.
This is something Iâ€™ve seen repeatedly in library blog-land and on email lists: â€œEvergreen [or insert your favorite open source software here] is not really free. Resources have to be devoted to installing, supporting, and maintaining the software.â€
Well, duh, of course youâ€™re going to have to devote resources to run an ILS. Sure, Evergreen is cool and all, but it doesnâ€™t pop itself out of the box and start intelligently going to work and maintaining itself. There is no such thing.
Evergreen is a tool… a complex tool, sure, but itâ€™s just a tool. Pretend for a moment weâ€™re all in the earth-moving business instead of librarianship. Evergreen is a big bulldozer, and anyone can go and pick up a copy of the Evergreen Bulldozer for free. Now, you still have to hire someone to drive the bulldozer, you need an engineer to figure out how you want to use the bulldozer, you need a mechanic to maintain the bulldozer, and you need fuel to keep it going.
But, more important than the [no] cost of acquiring the bulldozer, you have the power to take it apart, see how it works, and even improve on it. We have no trade secrets; how this thing works is not locked up and closed-source.
Evergreen is both free as in speech and free as in beer. What you do with it after you acquire it is up to you.
We believe an important aspect of the success of an open source project is the growth and development of a community of users and developers around the software. Weâ€™ve largely taken a â€œbuild it and they will comeâ€ approach and a fledgling community has, as expected, popped up. We want to continue this growth, and eventually foster a large, thriving Evergreen community. If youâ€™re reading this, then there is a good chance you have some interest in the project and software, so, I ask you: do you have any community-building ideas?
Representatives from the PINES/Evergreen team will be at the following upcoming events/conferences: