OK, it is summer. I took time off to go to a pool party…
Lo, and behold, I chatted with a lady who works in a library. She and many of her staff are ticked at commercial software for libraries. It turns out they were looking at Koha. HeHe… I mentioned that that was a web application that could be accessed from any OS and that they could benefit from lower costs on the client-side by using GNU/Linux… Fun. Only a couple of years ago, no one that I met had even heard of FLOSS. Now all kinds of people are using FLOSS. They have lined up a local firm to help install/configure the system and to provide support. Cool. She and I compared notes on the horrors of dealing with commercial/non-free software, lock-in, vapour-support, inflexibility and the inability to deal with your own data the way you want. If/when they make the change, they will no longer need M$ on the client or server. Sweet.
I have used Koha and Emilda. Emilda seems to lack development. Koha is hot. On a system with a good infrastructure for perl, it takes only a few minutes to install. On some distros, there are a few obscure perl modules that need to be installed. If you are not a perlista, this is a strange process, but it works. Being php/perl most problems are fixable one way or another. Of course, one can always use the distro that Koha uses, Debian. see http://www.kohadocs.org/Installing_Koha_on_Debian_sarge.html#d0e432 A new release of KOHA is in the wings with a better installer.
Koha is yet another example of good things coming from cooperation rather than bullying and competition. The folks who started it needed software that worked for a modest price, so they made their own.