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  • 1. Open Source Solutions for Public Libraries Randy Robertshaw Tyngsborough Public Library
  • 2. What is “Open Source”? “Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.” Open Source Initiative “Open Source” Software = Reduced Cost + Higher Flexibility
  • 3. “Open Source” Solutions Pros – Community of Support – Almost no licensing costs – No vendor lock-in – Customizable/Flexible
  • 4. “Open Source” Solutions Cons – Project stagnates or simply folds – Cross-platform capability of “Open Source” solution – Commercial solutions are often offer more features. – Productization (Documentation, White Papers, Manuals) is not incomplete or non-existent.
  • 5. The “Open Source” Design Cycle Idea/Need Experimentation Beta / Prototype Project Community Stagnation / Abandonment Formation Release 1.0 (for higher) Release Cycle Based on a model originally depicted in Evolution / Stability Open Source for the Enterprise by Dan Woods and Gautam Guliani.
  • 6. “Crossing the Chasm” Innovators & Early Adopters have a high tolerance for risk and deficits in the technology. Early & Late Majority have low tolerance for risk and are not interested necessarily in new functionality.
  • 7. Key Questions to Ask About Open Source Software Solutions 1. How MATURE is the solution? 2. Does your organization have the SKILLS? 3. Is the ROI meet your expectations?
  • 8. Open Source Maturity Model How MATURE is the solution? 1. Age Solution should be >2 years in age. 2. Multiple Supported Platforms At least Windows & Linux operating systems. 3. Momentum Regular release schedule, no sporadic in nature. 4. Popularity A leader in open source software for its purpose. 5. Design Quality Well-defined API, compartmentalized architecture, well-written code.
  • 9. Open Source Maturity Model Is it easy to USE? 1. Setup Cost Simplified Install Process, Adequate Documentation, Support Forums, Mailing Lists, and Possible 3rd Party Support. 2. Usage Cost Manuals, 3rd Party Support. 3. End User Support Forums, Mailing Lists, 3rd Party Support USE Criteria – How much productization is there for the solution?
  • 10. Open Source Maturity Model Does it INTEGRATE well? 1. Modularity Modules/Components a plenty, well-defined API's 2. Collaboration with other products Integration with other products 3. Standards Compliance Current with industry standards 4. Developer Support Developer Forums, Mailing Lists, etc.
  • 11. Open Source Skill Set Model COMMON PITFALLS OF OPEN SOURCE ADOPTION IN ORGANIZATIONS 1. Management underestimates the technology skill level of its personnel. 2. Personnel have an unrealistic view of their own technology skill level. 3. Open Source deployment is underestimated. 4. “Key-Person” Dilemma
  • 12. Open Skill Set Model MEASURING SKILL SETS
  • 13. ROI (Return on Investment) Model
  • 14. ROI (Return on Investment) Model Things to consider... Open Source vs. Commercial solutions' differences are not easy to quantify. Some Open Source solutions actually have licensing fees. “Cost of Narrowness” With Open Source solutions, the burden is on the organizations to develop or learn the skills. If accepted, anything is possible. For Commercial solutions, the burdens take less time, but the range of possibilities is narrower and is restricted to the market's whim.
  • 15. Just Beginning? Avoid the use of Linux at the onset. Look for mature open source applications that are Microsoft-Friendly. Focus on applications that have specific functions: wikis, content management systems, or desktop apps. Look for open source applications that replace existing systems or can extend existing services.
  • 16. “Open Source” Solutions for Desktop Applications
  • 17. Need Some FOSS? puTTy
  • 18. Show Me the FOSS! SourceForge FreshMeat O'Reilly CodeZoo MacForge Open Source as Alternative
  • 19. Are You Getting FOSSed? Type of Software Proprietary F/OSS Web Browser Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox; Opera Word processing Microfoft Word Open Office Writer Presentations Microsoft PowerPoint Open Office Impress Spreadsheets Microsoft Excel Open Office Calc Database Oracle; ms sql server MySQL PostgreSQL Graphics editing Adobe Photoshop GIMP Desktop Publishing Quark Xpress Scribus Instant Messaging AIM GAIM Finances Quicken GnuCash; TurboCash PDF Creation Adobe Acrobat PDF Creator; Ghostscript Audio Editing ProTools Audacity Flowcharting Visio Dia Vector Graphics Adobe Illustrator Sodipodi Email client Outlook Thunderbird; kMail Source: Overview of Free/Open Source Software for Librarians Presentation by Eric Goldhagen
  • 20. What Else Can I “Add-On”? Add-On's (Under “Tools”) Themes, Extensions, Plug-In's, Search Engines Firefox Add-On's Catalog Search Engine (Keyword Search) • InfoRSS – RSS Aggregator Bookmarks LinkChecker •LibX Extension Thunderbird Add-On's Open Office Add-On's Themes & Clip Art Dmaths – Mathematical Formula Editor Dxf2calc – CAD Drawings OOoLilyPond – Music Notation
  • 21. What Am I Using? Mozilla Thunderbird Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Filezilla
  • 22. And my staff uses... Mozilla Firefox
  • 23. Public Computing, Linux, and Open Source
  • 24. Factors Influencing Upgrade Decisions Public Libraries & the Internet Study (2006) – Florida State
  • 25. The Status of Upgrade Schedules for PC's Public Libraries & the Internet Study (2006) – Florida State
  • 26. Tyngsborough Public Library (MA) Malden Public Library (MA) Flathead Library System (MT) Massachusetts School of Pharmacy University of Vermont Howard County Library System (MD)
  • 27. Company Founded 1999 2004 Linux OS SUSE, Red Hat's Fedora, Ubuntu Ubuntu 10-1 Solution Yes Yes OpenOffice Yes Yes Adobe PDF Reader Yes Yes Cross-Over Technology Not Yet Yes (Windows Programs in Linux) Remote Administration Yes Yes Privacy Protection Yes Yes Customization Yes Yes Public Storage Folder Yes No Turn-Key Solution Yes Yes
  • 28. Public Computing Before Userful Arrived 6 Public Computer Terminals 3 Public Catalog Terminals Varying Microsoft Operating Systems (Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows 95) Locked-down with “Deep Freeze” and Administrative Restrictions Norton Anti-Virus **Constant Staff Attention
  • 29. Public Computing After Userful Arrived 8 Public Computer Terminals (2 Pods of 4) 3 Public Catalog Terminals Red Hat's Fedora Linux Operating System with Userful Application Userful System: Time Session Management,Privacy Protection, Usage Reports, Click-Through Acceptable Use Policy, Virus Protection, Firewall, CIPA Filter, Supports over 14 Languages, Centralized Control, Print Control
  • 30. The Advantages No more stragglers at the end of a day. Older citizens really like the Large Print profile. Generating statistics for reports of computer use is simple. A major reduction in staff time for computer maintenance. Library's Internet Policy is front and center— and not cluttering the desk space. Time Management, System Administration
  • 31. The Disadvantages 1 computer is actually 4 computers OpenOffice does not equal MS Office. Where do I put my storage device? (i.e. floppy disk, CD, flash drive) “I saved it on the desktop!”
  • 32. Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) phpWebSite
  • 33. Pitfalls of HTML/Traditional Web Publishing Static/Outdated Content Table-based Layout Incoherent Navigation Inconsistent Style and Structure Graphically Unappealing Lack of Interactivity
  • 34. Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) Joomla Drupal WordPress Plone Joomla Sites: United Nations, South Carolina State Library, Atlantic City Public Library Drupal Sites: CERN, NASA, The Onion, Ann Arbor Public Library, Wordpress Sites: Northern Lights Insights (MN Libraires), Cook Memorial Library (NH) Plone Sites: City of Lowell, Brazil, CIA, Rosetta Project, Keio University Library (Japan)
  • 35. A Simpler Comparison of CMS Source: IBM Internet Technology Group
  • 36. Drupal vs. Joomla: The Basics Drupal Joomla! Community Features Very impressive. Community Builder component required. SEO Native SEO. Very Poor. OpenSEF works, but SEO slows sites. Forums Joomlaboard VbDrupal Multimedia Features Video & Podcasting Video & Podcasting Photo Galleries Native Module & Gallery2 Integration Gallery2, Flickr Integration, Expose Flash Gallery Event Calendars Not Great. Far behind Joomla. Many options for Calendars. Template/ Themes One commercial vendor. Poor Selection. Wide Selection of Commercial & Free Templates. Blogs Decent blogging capability. Good blogging capability. Document Management Nothing worth considering. DOCMan project. User Permissions Community management. Drupal's Strength. Joomla!'s architecture limits it. 1.0 designed for admininstrators. Content Management Categories & Subcategories. Strong. No cross-categorization. Documentation OK 1.0 is poor. Beta 1.5 will have improved Productization. SSL Compatible Yes With Hacks. Commercial Community Weak. Very Strong. Commercial solutions available. General Community Decent. Non-profit driven. 100's of components. Forums are very strong. Easy-of-Use Templates or modules installation not straight forward. Administrator back-end allows for uploads of components. Learning Curve OK. Easy. 1.0.11 16.4MB 5.0 2.89MB 1.5 16.7MB Size Lightweight and well-optimized. Lots of code.
  • 37. Content Management Systems CMS Matrix Plone Joomla! Mambo Drupal phpNuke
  • 38. The Advantages The ability to publish and unpublish. The true integration of Library 2.0 (i.e. Flickr, YouTube, Translation, Social Bookmarking) Professional Templates at minimal cost. A great support community. Multiple users with varying control.
  • 39. The Disadvantages SEO (Search Engine Optimization) The need for caching The failures of CSS Beware of the SPAM Component/Module Removal The Peril of Backups
  • 40. Lessons Learned Never use the Root directory for your website; “forward” requests to a secondary directory. Giving credit is nice; hackers will love you! “Everything isn't always BETA.” STABLE works. CMS do not equate to no web-editing or scripting—just less of it! Commercial Hosting Services offer the Fantastico program for installing OS Applications. Why not?
  • 41. e-Government Podcasting Purpose: To create an audio archive of local government meetings, while offering the public an alternative to cable-broadcasts. MP3 File 64 kps Bit Rate 44.100 Sample Rate
  • 42. e-Government Podcasting
  • 43. e-Government Podcasting
  • 44. Do you know him? Casey Bisson, Plymouth State University Creator of the WoPac (now, Scriblio)
  • 45. Or how about him? John Blyberg, Darien Public Library, CT Creator of the SOPAC (Social OPAC)
  • 46. Open Source for Libraries OSS Watch Code4Lib Library Open Source Developer Portal Linux Librarian Linux in Libraries Linux in Libraries Mailing List
  • 47. Open Source Applications for Libraries Greenstone Digital Library LuMix Linux Designed for Howard County Libraries (MD) SOPAC (Social OPAC)
  • 48. Open Source Solutions in Public Libraries Recommended Reading “Wikinomics” “Moving to Free Software” “Open Source for the Enterprise” Randy Robertshaw Tyngsborough Public Library (978) 649-7361