KohaCon10 & our API

I’ve just returned from a trip to Wellington where I presented about Open Library to the people assembled at KohaCon10. I had a lovely time meeting everyone involved, and was thoroughly impressed by the community that surrounds this 10 year old, successful open source project. A hearty congratulations to everyone involved! At the end of the conference, we were shown a fabulous Gource source code visualization of “10 years in 10 minutes,” which visualizes 10 years of Koha development. Seriously cool.

I thought people might be interested to see the slides from the “Open Library and Koha Sitting in a Tree” presentation I delivered there, so, here they are:

It was great to meet Chris Cormack (lead developer on Koha since its creation 10 years ago) too. He’s already set about hacking into the Open Library API to begin showing Open Library data within Koha. For example, he’s hooked Open Library covers to display for Koha records using our Covers API, and it was great to see our brand new Subjects API in the wild today too. We’re looking forward to working together more with Chris and the bazillions of other developers that build Koha.

The Subjects API will get you related subjects (as well as Works, Authors and Publisher info) for any subject you throw at it, and you can see this live in Koha under the new “Open Library” tab on a book page like The magical worlds of Harry Potter : a treasury of myths, legends and fascinating facts by Colbert, David, where it tells you that Wizards are related to such things as Magic, Fantasy, Schools, Dragons, Witches, and Princesses.

If you’re interested to read more reports on the Koha meeting, thanks to Nicole Engard for tweeting this handy page that links to various blog posts: http://bywatersolutions.com/?s=kohacon10

John Miedema has also released an updated version of his awesome OpenBook WordPress plugin in line with the new improved API.

Users download the plugin then place an OpenBook ‘shortcode’ in a WordPress post, page or text widget, along with a book identifier such as an ISBN. OpenBook replaces the shortcode with a book cover image, title, author, publisher, and other book data, like the example in this page, or the one in the sidebar.

We’ve been working hard on improving the Open Library API over the last few months. It’s wonderful to see it bearing fruit! Shazzam!