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Library Staff, Koha and Firefox

Kohalogo-g It's been said before but bears repeating: Firefox will be the preferred Web browser for library staff access to Koha.

Firefox If you are not already using Firefox, SCLS would like to encourage you to start trying it now so that its learning curve isn't hitting you at the same time as Koha's learning curve.

Why is Firefox the preferred browser for Koha?

Koha simply works better with Firefox today, and likely always will. Mostly this is because developers of open source software (like Koha) prefer to use open source tools (like Firefox). A lot of Koha development work occurs on the Linux platform, which doesn't even have Internet Explorer. For these and other reasons, Firefox is much better tested and supported in the Koha community.

So what does that really mean, "preferred browser"?

In short, it means that SCLS staff will assume that library staff are using Firefox when accessing Koha. All of our Koha procedures, testing, documentation and training will build on that assumption. If you call the help desk with a Koha problem and are not using Firefox, our first question may be does it work better if you do that procedure in Firefox? To the degree that it minimizes problems and streamlines support, Firefox will be preferred and you will be asked to use it.

What about patron access, will they need to use Firefox?

No. For Koha's public catalog interface, all mainstream browsers should work all the time. The problems are in Koha's staff modules, where some of the JavaScript code and CSS structure is considerably more complex than it is for the public catalog. Koha staff module bugs that affect other browsers will likely be fixed over time, but we will all just be happier sooner if using Firefox.

I can't switch browsers, [insert perfectly good reason]!

On the one hand, you don't have to totally switch if you don't want to; you'll only have to use Firefox for accessing Koha staff functions. On the other hand, switching isn't all that difficult and could make your life a lot easier in the long run. For instance, Firefox can import your IE bookmarks collection, and the IE View add-on can automatically switch you from Firefox to IE for those few applications that require IE (such as Library Online reports).

Can SCLS help me make this transition?

Sure we can! Please feel free to contact SCLS with questions or concerns about switching Web browsers. Most of us have been there and done that, and we promise: the hurdles are few and low.


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I need to switch Koha from firefox to IE 7 due to policy restrictions within the ICT department in the Trust. What are the downsides to this and how do I go about doing it?

Kind regards

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