Avanti MicroLCS version 1.0 beta 1 is released.  It can be downloaded at http://www.avantilibrarysystems.com .

Although I was aiming for a fully completed version 1.0 release today, I have decided that this release definitely be a beta version.  As often happens in software, things sometimes take a little longer than expected.  The documentation, though ample, is still a work in progress.  I have not had enough time to do the thorough testing that a version 1.0 demands.  A few planned features are also absent in this release.  The fully tested, complete and polished version 1.0 will be made available in a few weeks.

However, despite the roughness here and there, this beta release comes close, in form and substance, to what Avanti MicroLCS 1.0 is expected to be.  This release is a serviceable product, providing a basic networked OPAC.  It embodies the design philosophy of simplicity, implementation neutrality, flexibility, and innovation that has been the cornerstone of this project from the beginning.  With its unique vertically monolithic, abstract design, Avanti MicroLCS is a departure from the norm.  This release should be a tangible representative of what has been in the works over the past year, and what is to come.

The documentation and user manual is still in a rough form and some parts are clearly missing.  But what is present is thorough and very useful to understanding Avanti MicroLCS.  So, I have decided to include it in this release it as is stands with no editing.  It includes a practical introduction, a technical and theoretical overview, and a complete API reference. The documentation on the website will be kept updated between software releases as it progresses.

I therefore invite the library community to download it and give it a try.  The online demo is also running this beta release.  Comments, suggestions, and criticism from everyone is always welcome.  I will listen and incorporate good ideas in future versions.  As you are looking at it, please keep in mind that although functional and useful, this is a beta version.  It is still unfinished and should be treated accordingly.  Hard work continues at polishing and thoroughly testing version 1.0 proper, which should be ready in a month or two.  Stay tuned.

Peter Schlumpf
Avanti Project Manager