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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:25 am
Posts: 11
I found the Talking with Talis feature with LibLime's open-source evangelist Nicole Engard very interesting. I'm intrigued by what this foreshadows for the future. How about openAlto running on Linux?

I hadn't come across LibLime before, but they do seem to be an interesting company.

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Technical Advisor
Leeds Libraries and Information


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:47 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:14 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Talis
Glad you found it interesting - part of the raison d'ĂȘtre behind the blogs and podcasts we do is to provide a broad view of the technological, economic, and structural landscape we all operate in.

As you say its intriguing how the rise of Open Source is starting to influence the world of libraries. In the latest Library 2.0 Gang podcast, stimulated by OCLC's Roy Tennant's Library Software Manifesto, there was a fair amount of discussion about Open Source and its influence.

Of course Open Source software facilitates a very different economic model. Although potentially free, at the point of download, the investment in that software has been made by the enthusiastic, committed, developers and their employing organisations committing time and resource to the project. For successful OS software, this needs to be an ongoing commitment from the community that is driving it. Some organisations delegate some or all of that technical involvement with a community to a commercial organisation such as LibLime.

You pose the question of an openAlto - why not. if a community of motivated technically capable of building enhancing, managing, and supporting a complex tool like Alto could be put together, anything is possible. It would be a fundamental change in approaching the way an Open Source alternative would be supported. The community being responsible for ensuring consistency and reliability as enhancements and fixes are rollout across versions which will have diverged from the commercially supported code line.

Open Source software is often characterised as being free but is it free as in being offered a free beer or free as in being offered free kittens to look after.

However it is viewed the entry of LibLime supporting Koha, Equinox supporting Evergreen, and other Open Source organisations and projects in to this marketplace will have some effect.

Richard Wallis

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