Visualizing the global distribution of Koha installations from Debian packages

A picture is worth a thousand words: This represents the approximate geographic distribution of downloads of the Koha Debian packages over the past year. Data was taken from the Apache logs from debian.koha-community.org, which MPOW hosts. I counted only completed downloads of the koha-common package, of which there were over 25,000. Making the map turned out […]

What makes the annual Code4Lib conference special?

There’s now a group of people taking a look at whether and how to set up some sort of ongoing fiscal entity for the annual Code4Lib conference.  Of course, one question that comes to mind is why go to the effort? What makes the annual Code4Lib conference so special? There are lot of narratives out there about […]

Naming and responding to hate — YAPC::NA and ALA Annual in Orlando

Tomorrow we will drive to Orlando, as next week I’m attending two conferences: the Perl Conference (YAPC::NA) and the American Library Association’s Annual 2016 conference. A professional concern shared by my colleagues in software development and libraries is the difficult problem of naming. Naming things, naming concepts, naming people (or better yet, using the names they tell us to […]

Cataloging and coding as applied empathy: a Mashcat discussion prompt

Consider the phrase “Cataloging and coding as applied empathy”.  Here are some implications of those six words: Catalogers and coders share something: what we build is mainly for use by other people, not ourselves. (Yes, programmers often try to eat our own dogfood, and catalogers tend to be library users, but that’s mostly not what we’re paid […]

Natural and unnatural problems in the domain of library software

I offer up two tendentious lists. First, some problems in the domain of library software that are natural to work on, and in the hopeful future, solve: Helping people find stuff. On the one hand, this surely comes off as simplistic; on the other hand, it is the core problem we face, and has been the core […]

Wherein I complain about Pearson’s storage of passwords in plaintext and footnote my snark

From a security alert 1 from Langara College: Langara was recently notified of a cyber security risk with Pearson online learning which you may be using in your classes. Pearson does not encrypt user names or passwords for the services we use, which puts you at risk. Please note that they are an external vendor; […]