Koha - OPAC Features

I found an interesting blog post: http://www.techsource.ala.org/blog/2006/04/how-opacs-suck-part-2-the-checklist-of-shame.html

It's a pretty good list of search-related features that an OPAC needs. Here's the list with a few modifications as well as comments on Koha's current and future support of these:

Relevance ranking

Yep, done through Zebra.


stemming is “a method by which Search Engines associate words with prefixes and suffixes to [a] word stem to make the search broader,” such as returning the same results for “applies, applying, and applied.” Koha doesn't do it yet, but I can think of a few ways to do it either in pre-processing of the original term or by adding a stem index to Zebra.

Field weighting

For instance, you enter in 'It' in the keyword search, and it pulls up Stephen King's novel titled 'It' first. Yep, Koha can do it through Zebra.


Yep, Koha can do it either via a google API (yet to be committed to CVS), or via an internal index (in sql) with mysql's soundex.

Refining original queries

TODO: pass the original query through to the search box so it's easier to refine the query (10 minute job)

Support for popular query operators

substitute + for required and - for not

The Boolean bag o' goods

Can the search engine support quoted searching (“declaration of independence”), wildcard searching (appl*), proximity searching (cheese near cheddar), or give preference to case (AIDS versus aids)?

Yep, all of the above

Flexible default query processing

Basically, can you decide that search results will be “anded” (meaning that all terms must be matched) or “orred” (meaning that any term must be matched)?

Yep, we can do that.

In-line query limiters

The ability to search in-line by a field, the way in Google you can limit your searches, for example, with site: edu.

Yep, for instance: title=cryptonomicon

Duplicate detection

Koha's had duplicate detection since 1.0 :-)

Sort flexibility

Yep, got it.

Character sets

Yep, got it.


Yep, got it.

Advanced search

Yep, got it.

Easily customized search-result pages

Yep, got it.

Human suggestions (also called "best bets," etc.)

Not yet, but sounds like a neat idea.

Search logging and reports

Yep, got it.

Well-rounded administrative interface

We could definitely improve here.

The rest of these items were gleaned from the comments on that blog:

offer the users a possibility to report errors everywhere and quickly

tagging, comments, recommendations

cited by

display/hide item status

display record images

wildcard searching: internal and right-truncation

non-roman characters (display)

searching using UTF-8 characters

opacsearchfeatures.txt · Last modified: 2006/07/31 10:50 by kados
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