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Re: [Fsfe-uk] ECDL - European Computer Driving Licence & Free software

From: Rob Skedgell
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] ECDL - European Computer Driving Licence & Free software
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 02:36:18 +0100

On Thursday 25 Apr 2002 01:41, Robert Munro wrote:
> Is is possible to complete the sylabus for the European Computer Driving
> Licence using only free software (and I mean free as in freedom, not
> download and hope!) Glancing through the Sylabus, it should be possible
> with Gnome, Netscape and Openoffice, except for possibly the database
> module. Items like the below have a very restricted view of what a database
> is, and that view is MS Access.
> - Save a database onto the hard disk or a diskette
> - Modify toolbar display.are obviously not assesing databases as
> such, but
> - Change background colours in form layout.
> Also the way it just says Design and plan a database as though it's
> as easy as Open a database application is just silly. Designing and
> planning databases is a huge undertaking.

Sadly, in ECDL you do seem to get the first mark in each test for opening the 
application - presumably knowing what it's called is worthy of merit. For the 
DB part of it, I think any graphical frontend e.g. Star/Open Office base 
would do. All you have to do is add a couple of records to a single table, 
apply a couple of filters, let a wizard format it for you and you get 100%.

> The reason I ask this is that I think that if it were possible to do the
> course on free software people would. It would give free software a lot of
> credibility if you could do a beginners course in it, and then be a fully
> fledged linux user. The course could give students a distribution to take
> home.
> Robert Munro

I think the problem with ECDL on Star/Open Office is that the interactive 
teaching materials I have seen simulate the peculiarities of MS Office 
appliactions rather too well. Perhaps if teaching aids that are less product 
specific can be found and promoted, people could do ECDL with Gnome or 
KOffice + (e.g.) MySQLNavigator?

(To my lasting shame, I did an ECDL course at the end of 2000. In my defense, 
I was convalescing from serious illness in Sutton Coldfield and it was 
virtually free. There isn't a lot to do there, except leave.)

Rob Skedgell

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