A Report from the 2013 Evergreen Hack-A-Way

Bill Erickson and I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan last month to the 2013 Evergreen Hack-A-Way, an event drawing together many of our developer colleagues from across the Evergreen project.

We were hospitably received by our hosts at Calvin College, and we quickly set ourselves to work for three days of cooperative development at a pace that can rarely be achieved in our usual online collaboration.  Dan Wells outlined a schedule that provided the right blend of structured group discussion of our development priorities with plenty of unstructured time for hacking.

Working groups formed quickly.  The two largest were for responsive, mobile OPAC development and for prototypes of new, web-based staff client interfaces.  These large groups even had remote participants via Google Hangout.  Both groups were extremely productive, and the mobile OPAC group wrote code that is being released with Evergreen 2.5 in the very near future.

As for myself, I mostly divided my time between testing features and fixes for Serials with Dan and Remington Steed and working with Jason Boyer and Niles Ingalls from Indiana on Jason’s idea to support a new kind of payment processor, Stripe, for fine payments in the Evergreen OPAC.  We brought the feature a long way, and while it won’t be part of the Evergreen 2.5 release officially, we hope to complete it very soon.

Some attendees also worked on more focused tasks, and I’m personally aware of at least one contributor who got his first code commit into the master branch of Evergreen at the Hack-A-Way.  Congratulations to Yamil Suarez.

To my knowledge each group’s output from the Hack-A-Way is published in the Evergreen “working” Git repository and on Launchpad in the usual manner, whether the groups’ members considered any piece of work complete in itself or just the beginning of something bigger.  Have a look!  This gathering was a great success in bringing together technically-minded contributors to the Evergreen project and giving them an environment conducive to producing.  I do hope this event will continue year-to-year and give us all the same opportunity to turn our attention to worthy projects.