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RE: [Fwd: [Fsfe-uk] Hello]

From: Chris Puttick
Subject: RE: [Fwd: [Fsfe-uk] Hello]
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 11:09:36 +0100

In my defence...it was Richard :-)

JANet are not connecting schools, although they offered the possibility of undertaking the NGfL connectivity, given suitable amounts of cash, but the negotiations got nowhere. DfES targets are not going to be met, mainly because of lack of relevant understanding on both the part of the target setters and those given the responsibility of finding a solution. As an example Manchester has physically connected all its high schools to the council MAN, but failed to understand the requirements/needs of the education users, so had to go back to the drawing (logical networking) board after the physical connectivity was mostly finished.

The reason why you should avoid the free word is the misunderstanding it generates. No software is free. GNU/Emacs was not free; a number of highly skilled, valuable individuals contributed their time to make it work. It is only free to use. Cost effective is much more persuasive.

Open Source is very important to schools and othe public services. Knowing that there is somebody out there (no SETI comments please...:-) ) who can support whatever package is relevant. Free is too associated with freeware of the download this binary and hope variety. Explaining what true open source is and how that can ensure continuity of support is again very persuasive. We have been given the green light to start introducing a school management system that is open source to schools in Manchester because there are companies, existing, known to education companies, that have undertaken to provide support to the solution when the project team have disbanded. It was explanation of how open source provided for this that persuaded the senior people to go with the project.

StarOffice is useful because of (a) branding, (b) support and (c) redistribution agreements. Unless someone can provide similar resources (and a neat database install) for the schools for OpenOffice, StarOffice is a better bet. The majority of its development is courtesy of the open source development model, and hence provides a stepping stone onto other open source solutions.



----Original Message-----
From: MJ Ray
To: address@hidden
Sent: 23/04/2002 23:03
Subject: Re: [Fwd: [Fsfe-uk] Hello]

Chris Puttick <address@hidden> wrote:
> Ah, that reply-to nonsense :-)

What, having to use "reply to all" to, uh, reply to all?  ;-)

> Schools in the UK are a few steps behind industry, hence the common
lack of
> connectivity, or dire connnectivity. And hence their addiction to big
> names.

When will the JANet commitment to wire in all schools have an effect?

> And that leads me to a solution... Make Open Source and Linux a big
> name. I understand strictly we're talking about Free Software and
> but at risk of flames, keeping it simple and understandable will get
> cause a lot further.

Keeping it simple is fine.  Keeping it wrong is not.  Surely educators
appreciate that.  "Open Source" is both the wrong emphasis for
who should care more about a free services market than being able to see
code, and a term being diluted by proprietarists.

> And try to avoid the free word without explaining who it has cost.

Parse error, sorry.

> StarOffice implementation makes moving to Linux easier. [...]

Huh?  StarOffice is restricted software, too.
MJR ,----------------------------------------------------
    | Q. Do you need a net-based application developing,
    |    or advice and training about web technology?
    | A. I suggest you try http://www.luminas.co.uk/

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