A Look at FOSS4LIB on its Two Week Birthday


Last updated January 31, 2012.

There has been great interest in the FOSS4LIB site since it launched, and I wanted to share that with you as well as pointing out some of the content added, improvements made, and what's coming up.

FOSS4LIB was publicly announced to software developers and service providers on January 17th with the general press release going out on January 18th. Since then, FOSS4LIB has seen 3,500 visits from 2,700 unique visitors and 14,250 page views. The statistic that I find most rewarding is that on average visitors spend a little less than four minutes each visit looking at a little more than four pages; that exceeds my expectations for the "stickiness" of FOSS4LIB.

What's Happened So Far

Even more telling, though, are the number of people that have signed up for an account and added information to the site. There are 75 new users on FOSS4LIB, 17 newly registered packages, seven new providers, and one new event created on the site since the launch, which doesn't count the number of corrections and enhancements that were made to existing information. Some highlights:

Longest Distance (from North America) Package Registration
SENAYAN (Indonesia) and Next-L Enju (Japan) Integrated Library Systems
Most Number of Service Providers
Koha (four)

Since the launch, FOSS4LIB has been enhanced in a number of ways. Based on comments so far, the types of systems listed to include Electronic Reserve and Image Display/Manipulation Systems. Also based on comments, the specific versions of the GNU General Public License have been added (since that can be important in some situations for whether you can mix-and-match packages). Displays of package releases, institutions using a package, and events have also improved. (There was a bit of time over the weekend when there was a bug in the links to releases and institutions; that's been fixed now.)

Looking Forward

Coming soon is a way to see a list of package types (e.g. Integrated Library System, Content Management System) so you can start your browsing of packages in the registry from there. There will be some other minor tweaks along the way.

There has also been a growing list of enhancement requests ranging from small to big. Some of the more interesting suggestions are a way for service providers to list themselves independently from packages (discussion on the U.K. LIS-OSS list) and the addition of case studies on how libraries of various types have adopted open source software. If you have other suggestions or find gaps in your libraries own exploration of open source software using FOSS4LIB, please let me know so we can enhance the site to meet your needs. Also let me know if you would like to register for the free one hour webinar on February 10th. I'll be scheduling additional webinars through the summer, so look for announcements of those on FOSS4LIB if you find your library considering open source software in the months to come.

The Conversation

Browsing software by type would be great. Also browsing providers and institutions too...

Thanks for the great work or this site - it's brilliant!