FLOSS Works – Flexibility, Performance and Price in IT

You just can’t beat FLOSS for flexibility, performance and price. FLOSS licences allow users to run, examine, modify and distribute the code. What else could you do with it? Nothing. It just works for users. Because their are no secrets about FLOSS the performance is as good as anyone wants. Otherwise they would improve it further. The price? $0, usually, plus a little installation and maintenance. It’s all gravy.
“Oslo Library’s Digital Services team explains on its website that it selected KOHA after having considered purchasing proprietary alternatives and developing one of their own. Decision criteria included the possibility to adapt the system to future needs, the potential for integrating it with other systems and the costs involved in procurement and operations.”

See More libraries switch to KOHA catalogue system.

The same choices could be made for any FLOSS, from the GNU/Linux OS to desktop and server applications. The world can and does make its own software and it’s hard to beat.

Check out Debian GNU/Linux and Koha, two of my favourite packages of FLOSS. You don’t have to be a large organization to use either. Even a single user on a single PC can benefit from using either.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in Linux in Education, technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to FLOSS Works – Flexibility, Performance and Price in IT

  1. Paul Poulain says:

    Having a business mostly built on Koha, that support 100+ libraries, including 8 french universities, and some large public libraries (500 000+ items) I won’t contradict 😉

  2. Paul Poulain wrote, “frenchism highly suspected here”.

    We say “roll up sleeves” here. It’s all good.

    Koha has stood the test of time. It’s been going strongly for more than a decade now and always growing.

  3. Paul Poulain says:

    Well, we agree then.
    For a “small” library, with no major requirement, that can adapt itself to the default setup, it’s easy & can be quick (even if the mailing list is full of installation problem questions. Most of them having an answer in the doc, but RTFM…)

    For libraries that want the tool to fit their needs, you must return your sleeves [*] , and it can be done with patience and no technical skills.

    ([*] frenchism highly suspected here 😉 )

  4. Paul Pulain wrote, “I think the “little” term for installation and maintenance is underestimated. Installing Koha requires technical skills (not so much, I agree).”

    The first time I saw a company supplying non-Free ILS to a school and jerking them around (charging much, providing no support for years to the extent that their system would not even install…), I picked up Koha and installed it in 15 minutes having never touched it before and not knowing anything about perl and only having a couple of years of experience with GNU/Linux desktop installations. That gave my school a working system that would allow them to catalogue and monitor their system. I showed it to my boss and he got on the phone to the non-Free supplier which promptly gave them the support for which they had paid… There was a similar result at another school from the same company. So, I stand by my claim that it takes little effort to set up. It’s a script mostly. Copy it into place and something good happens. Of course, multi-site, high traffic and budgeting makes it more complex but the default installation did everything essential for individuals and small organizations.

  5. Paul Poulain says:


    1st of all, introduction: I’m a “retired” Koha Release Manager, involved in Koha since 2002 (yes, one of the oldest developer)

    I wanted to comment
    “The price? $0, usually, plus a little installation and maintenance”
    => yes, Koha IS free, which mean that it cost $0
    BUT I think the “little” term for installation and maintenance is underestimated. Installing Koha requires technical skills (not so much, I agree).
    But once it’s installed and the default install is made, you must adapt it to your need. And that’s not a trivial & quick task. There are thousands of possible parameters (well documented on http://koha-community.org/documentation/)
    Koha is released with a default setup, that works, and you can be happy with it if you’ re a small library. But if you’re a medium or large one, you’ll want to adapt the default setup. And that’s where Koha is great (adaptability). But it requires times.

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