Roger Whittaker <roger(a)suse-linux.co.uk> writes:
> I've just subscribed various people to the list - please post a
> message to say hello and introduce yourselves.
If you were at the meeting, I was wearing a Debian t-shirt (with a red
swirl logo on it) --- there's a photo at the top of this article,
where I'm wearing similar stuff (except for the penguin ;-)
I'm a Debian GNU/Linux developer, and run the UK Debian mirror, and am
responsible for producing the Debian official CD images:
I have only a peripheral interest in educational matters, in that I've
been frustrated in the past in my efforts to provide free computers
(which were otherwise destined for a skip), but I can certainly
contribute on a technical side, and having been involved in Debian
(which is completely voluntary, like OSIE is expected to be) since
1996 I may be able to make some suggestions about how to ``organise''
such a thing.
For those of you who've not come across Debian before, we're a
world-wide voluntary organisation (read, chaotic jumble of mailing
lists) that puts together a Linux distribution (and soon a HURD
distribution) and gives it away.
Debian doesn't pay people to do this, and doesn't sell what it
produces, and in most legal senses doesn't really exist (i.e. the
machines in the mirror network mostly belong to people like me, rather
than to Debian, and the bandwidth is donated rather than paid for).
This probably gives a pretty good feel for what Debian is all about:
which you will notice leads into the The Debian Free Software
Guidelines (DFSG), which is where the Open Source Definition came from.
My internet machine, that hosts the Debian UK mirror, may be of use to
OSIE, since it has about 30GB of spare disk, and a 20Mbit/s connection
at a well connected ISP. This machine could act as either a primary
host or mirror site for the web site, and could do DNS secondarying
etc. as well.
Something I'd be interested in working on (although perhaps a SuSE
list is not the right place to spend too much time discussing this ;-)
would be producing Debian CD images, tuned to the needs of educational
Debian has accumulated some funds in the UK, and have been looking for
a worthwhile cause to spend them on (we never really need to pay for
anything that actually makes Debian work, so don't have much use for
money), so we could probably afford to have a few thousand CDs
pressed, and send them out to schools that are interested.
Say no to software patents! http://petition.eurolinux.org/
Philip Hands. +44 (0)20 7744 6244 philip.hands(a)uk.alcove.com
Alcove UK --- Liberating Software --- http://www.alcove.com/http://www.hands.com/ phil(a)hands.com http://www.uk.debian.org/
>However, I wouldn't exclude the
>possibility of writing special clients if functionality required
>it (and I'd write them in Tcl/Tk, for portability).
I would argue strongly that special clients should not be required or
provided. Once you provide them, then there is a temptation to implement
functionality in them that is not available in the web clients, and I
believe that in this day and age there is very little that cannot be done
with cleverly designed web pages and server side software.
That said, I think this implementing such a system is an excellent idea.
Does anyone on the list have a handle on the value for the average cost per
school x total number of UK schools for current systems?
+44 (0)113 294 5112
I appreciate this - that's why I would insist on all functionality being
available even on something as primitive (or leading edge :)) as a WAP
interface, but you cannot deny that drag and drop will speed up a number of
operations, and the richer user interface should not be denied to the
overwhelming majority of users who will have access to a modern browser.
+44 (0)113 294 5112
Sorry Robert - I still can't agree with you on the client front.
The fact is that everything can be done in plain old html - and *ALL*
functionality should be available to an agreed baseline browser (something
pretty feeble). Many things can be done more 'slickly' with drag and drop,
long before we need to start implementing clients on all and sundry
platforms. I would personally then go to Java before leaving the browser
domain, although I can't envisage anything in this project that would
require going so far.
+44 (0)113 294 5112
>plenty of other people in the education market (Viglen, RM (?) and others)
>would like an alternative. Perhaps one of them can back the development.
Clearly, even with an open source solution, there is plenty of scope for
companies to make money on installation and support, but I can't imagine any
of the big education ICT players funding developments that their rivals
would be able to take advantage of. Perhaps there is more scope for an LEA
or a consortium of LEAs to do so?
The fact that the project would be an open source 'good cause' might reduce
the overall amount of funding required. Certainly from my background in the
php community, there seem to be plenty of 'good guys' in the UK who might be
persuaded to help out.
+44 (0)113 294 5112
Linuxformat magazine is offering on its CD this month a firewall package
Looking at the blurb, and reading the documentation, the software seems to
good to be true from my persepctive (NQT learning to be sysadmin in between
marking, previous experience as a casual desktop user). Does anyone have
any experience of using smoothwall and can share pros and cons?
I agree with Christopher's comments on the choice of technologies for an
open source project.
I would have though that the ideal choice of technologies for the job would
be to use MySQL or PostgresSQL (or other good open source database) as a
back end, PHP for the programming and all user interaction through a browser
(it seems silly writing native clients in this day and age - particularly
for this type of job). I can't foresee any performance issues with this
setup and such a solution could be hosted on almost any modern computer
platform, with client access via absolutely anything with a web (or even
WAP) browser. HTTPS could be used between browser and server to ensure that
all net traffic is encrypted and that secure access is available if required
from inside and outside the school.
Probably the hardest component of the overall job would be the database
design so Richard may well have already done the tricky bit.
+44 (0)113 294 5112
Thanks, but this no longer compiles under the SuSE v7.1 kernel (2.2.18)
Any body managed to get it to work? Or has any other ideas?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paul Munro" <paul.munro1(a)btinternet.com>
> To: <suse-linux-uk-schools(a)suse.com>
> Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001 8:32 AM
> Subject: [suse-linux-uk-schools] Re: Macs and Linux 
> Hello again!
> i remembered the name of the application you need: "afpfs". This, I
> lets you mount shares from a Linux box that exist on an Apple machine,
> whereas tthe Netatalk platform I think only goes the other way. I'm not
> too sure if afpfs comes with the appletalk applications software on
> but it would be worth searching your disks. Anyway, the link for the
> application is:
> If I got it right :-O
> Hope that helps some more!
i remembered the name of the application you need: "afpfs". This, I believe,
lets you mount shares from a Linux box that exist on an Apple machine,
whereas tthe Netatalk platform I think only goes the other way. I'm not even
too sure if afpfs comes with the appletalk applications software on Linux,
but it would be worth searching your disks. Anyway, the link for the
If I got it right :-O
Hope that helps some more!
I have made a start on this sort of thing.
Take a look at my page:
I've only just started putting it together, so theres not much to see