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

From: Chris Puttick
Subject: RE: [Fwd: [Fsfe-uk] Hello]
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 15:22:55 +0100

Cost-based arguments are the ones that will be effective in education. You can't offer them increased functionality that they[1] would understand or appreciate, or curriculum content (or can you?)

StarOffice will be free to education, and is becoming costed to persuade companies to use it.Paradoxical but there you go. The alternative deal being offered UK schools costs £150, comes with training materials and worksheets and a master CD you are entitled to copy and distribute to pupils, staff and other associated individuals. Again, bizarrely, it will be the latter deal that schools will take up en masse.

I am very comfortable with the differences between Free Software (s), Open Source and MS shared source, and the differences between the various licences. And it is not something you want to start explaining to educators - most of them are there to teach, not learn (excuse my cynicism).



[1]they in this context is the majority of teachers in the UK. The other they is the people with the decision power.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Hudson
To: Chris Puttick
Cc: 'address@hidden '
Sent: 4/24/02 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Fwd: [Fsfe-uk] Hello]

On Wed, Apr 24, 2002 at 11:09:36AM +0100, Chris Puttick wrote:
> The reason why you should avoid the free word is the misunderstanding
> generates. No software is free. GNU/Emacs was not free; a number of
> skilled, valuable individuals contributed their time to make it work.
It is
> only free to use. Cost effective is much more persuasive.

We prefer to think of 'free' was referring to what you can do with the
software, not how much it costs in various measurements. Free as in
Using cost based arguments confuses people; there is expensive Free
(RedHat Enterprise support?), there is cheap non-Free "open source"
(SuSE Linux).

> StarOffice is useful because of (a) branding, (b) support and (c)
> redistribution agreements.

Unfortunately, again, there's a Free Software / Open Source / cheapware
confusion here. You can't (or won't be able to, as of StarOffice 6)
redistribute it - it's going to be payware, at about 100UKP a time IIRC.

OpenOffice.org (to give it it's correct name now; I'm trying very hard
use it ;) is essentially the same product as StarOffice, but is Free
Software, not proprietary (or, with proprietary components). It's also
in a
very useful state.



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