Thanks for your comments. Replies in-line below.
On Jan 25, 2012, at 5:28 AM, Mr Gerhard Bissels wrote:
> 1. In addition to the existing tabs, there should be one for 'Support' or 'Consultancy'. At the moment, support providers can only be found under individual software packages. That's an approach from the old days of proprietary software where support providers were tied to a single package. Today, consultancy firms like Library Co-op take a very different approach - we don't start with particular software and impose that on libraries; instead, we analyse a library's needs, then find the right FOSS application(s) for them. The current interface may be suitable for libraries that have already made a decision for a particular package; but most libraries need professional help already for the decision making process (at least in the UK even large academic libraries often have no systems team any more).
True -- the design model does put software packages at the center and assumes that libraries have made it at least that far in their decision-making process. We don't have a way for providers to list themselves independent of Packages. Perhaps a good way to do this would be for a provider to associate itself with a package type (e.g. integrated library system, digital asset management system, etc.) and then list them out by package type. Thoughts?
Definitely a good suggestion -- I'll add this to the enhancement list.
> 2. Contributors should be allowed to add packages to the directory. On the one hand, new FOSS packages evolve all the time; on the other, libraries often expand their role (think of VLEs, e-pubishing).
Anyone that has registered for an account (which just requires a valid e-mail address) can add a package:
...as well as any of the other content types (Event, Release, Provider, and Institution). If you're seeing something that is preventing you from doing that, please let me know.
> FOSS is not just a one-on-one replacement for proprietary software - it's a different approach from start to finish. Its main strength is its versatility and adaptability. A portal necessarily needs to organise and categorise, but in our field, it also needs to showcase how we are fundamentally different from the rest!
Agreed! And in particular one of the things that I've been highlighting in presentations I've given for FOSS4LIB is that several packages already have more than one support provider listed. Being able to call out other examples of the strength of FOSS would be useful and welcome as well.
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