>What is the general feeling about non-gpl software for Linux?
It vary's greatly, there are GPL purists such as Stallman who want
everything to be free and pragmatists who belive a person should be able to
use any license they want and rate the program in accordance with what it
provides rather than the licence it is under, the perfect example would be
the bitkeeper cvs system used for kernel development.
>Our software is written in C++ and as I understand it, not being a
>could be re-compiled (with some effort) but we're never going to be giving
Depends very much on the compiler that was used and whether or not it
supports cross compilation. Unsurprisingly visual C++ is rather poor in this
regard whereas gcc excells. And then you have the issues of the licences of
any libraries that were used. If the code followed the C99 standards pretty
closely and the coders wrote for flexibility, then there shouldnt be too
much of a problem in porting it.
>Our business model is we sell software (and CNC machines) then
>provide free tech support, sometimes for decades. Changing to free
>software and expensive support would seriously upset our established
>School budgets being the strange things they are you could almost
>guarantee that when something goes wrong, or new, in-experienced staff
>need help, there is nothing in the 'support' budget. Our way means that
>the budget has been approved and the software and kit bought, that's it.
>may be old-fashioned but it works for us, and seems to suit our customers.
The GPL is essentially a defensive license designed to make people play
fair, but there are many other open or at least free licenses such as
alladin that restrict the use of the software in certain enviroments. What
you should be asking is what benefits would you gain from opening up the
software, do you make money from CNC machines and the Software or CNC
machines as well as software; does the software have any use outside of
driving your machines; do you think that its release will develop into an
active community that will add value to your primary product of CNC machines
and so on.
As for takeup in education, universities have been using unicies from the
year dot, for example the Bill Gates building at cambridge dual boots with
red hat and every computer science department will be using it to teach
operating systems, most CS freshers dual boot their machines and by second
year will ahve likely migrated. Polytechnics are likely to be a different
story, as are the non technical university departments.
>I think that is overly pessimistic.
I have to be, new software - especially an office suite can only be rolled
out at schools over the summer so that the teachers have time to learn it
and it has to work near flawlessly, as if anything goes wrong with it there
will be hell to pay.
>If you have E-learning credits to burn, I have ways of doing it without
>having to buy a lot of software you don't particularly need.
I'm sure Mike will be interested in any suggestions you have :)
>No. We had a meeting as a result of the conference but it didn't involve
>Mike, I assume because he didn't put his name forward?
you'd have to ask him, I think he's on the list.
>You don't need to tell me about the demerits of Access
>- I have been convinced of that a long time ago. What
>alternative could I use (if any)? I need something
>that can even be tailored to year 7's.
There are quite a few DB frontends such as mergeant, knoda and
rekall/totalrekall, however none are really simple although they will do the
job at A level. As for the really simple stuff, its in development but as of
this moment the only alternative I've found is Flexidata running under wine.
>As far as the macromedia suite is concerned, I just
>cant get it installed with wine -- even though I have
>read reports posted from people who say they can. Have
>any of you tried this and won?
http://www.frankscorner.org/ has information regarding getting it running
under wine and macromedia are porting their apps over to linux. Infact I
think they have recently released a version optimised to run under wine in
>Do you know of any decent GPL school Administration
>system replacement I can get my hands on?
Schooltool, but thats not really ready yet, weve decided to go with CMIS for
the next 3 years at the cost of £20,000 a year due to their webbased eportal
system rahter than windows based client software. Unfortunately the company
feature (navigation tabs) and a quick fix, they refuse to change the code.
>What about Rekall which runs on windows and Linux and is GPL. We are
>dicovering the wonders of the OpenOffice database for our KS3 ICT.
Rekall I think is quite good, but the head of IT here didnt think it was as
userfriendly as it needed to be and as a result the 4th years end up using
win98 for the next two years. He thinks it'll be good enough by next year
but thats too late for us.
OOo's Db frontend is in a similar situation, fine if your comfortable with
SQL, but not for teaching a pack of 12yr olds.
Hi Guy's & Guyesess
Thanks to everyone that replied on and off list - some very good ideas
So as not to miss-lead, this is for a company not a school - they'll just
have to pay more! :-)
At the recent open source in education conference in london there was
apparently a lot of discussion in regards to a simple database frontend (at
the time I was stuck in a samba course I should have been teaching) anyway,
as some of you might know Trinity High School in Manchester is moving to a
dual boot enviroment as of september, and with Chris leaving for an even
better paid job everything has ended up being dumped on me to do.
One of these 'little jobs' was to see if I could get an access clone called
flexidata runing under wine, and well it doesnt just run under wine, it
practically gallops. Just about every feature works exactly as well as it
does in its native enviroment and its approved by the NC as an access
alternative for teaching upto 3rd years.
The only problems it has are the help files are in the mshelp format (but
talking to the developers they are moving towards a HTML format) and that
the demo you can request for free from the flexible software website is
required to be in the machine whilst you run it, and for some reason its
incapable of identifying the CD in the drive, thankfully the developers gave
me a license key for a CDless installation.
A schools site license costs about £300 and you can learn more here:
>With regard to the database, its also worth looking at the proposals for
>the dba development of OpenOffice.org 2.0 due out towards the end of
>next term. You can download a very early build of OO.o 2.0 from
Thanks Ian, I am aware of the roadmap but even if they start grafting in
code directly from TotalRekall (not a simple process given the way its been
written) they are probably going to sail past they release date and it'll
probably be a year after that before it'll be really usable for students,
especially the lower years.
Flexidata is something that can be used today, and it can burn up the
e-learning credits and will do the job until theres a GPL alternative, plus
the open attitude of the developers towards Linux suggests any migration
would be far less painful than a move from access and mdb's.
>If any schools were interested in making a donation to this project
>contact me. Maybe we could start a petition to tap into the DfES
You did talk to Mike Chapman at the conference didnt you, he has a 'small'
budget towards such a project as well as the attention of the people at the
DfES for what were doing at Trinity.
>Does anyone know of an alternative to crocodile clips,
>have looked everywhere even on the old posts on the SuSe
>mailing list to no avail.
gEDA, Ksim, Klogic spice and Kfilter all run natively on Linux and are free
in one way or another. Eagle runs well under wine but is really a layout
package with some simulation plugins. None however are what you might call
suitable for pupils, but the following sites might be of use:
As Chris has already said, CrocClips runs well under wine, and please dont
mind Thomas, he just needs to be LARTed on occasion :)
19 year female, Technician at a school that hates open
source but basically runs projects at my partners school,
which soon should be moving to dual boot (has basically
linux everything else, from CCTV to Firewall, Proxy to
Have been using Linux for 5 years, was introduced in sixth
form when we used Corel!! Now use only Linux at home with
no other OS in sight.
Started www.linuxschools.org.uk which isn't up right
now....problem with hosting company, but I hope it to be a
good reference to people wanting to run Linux/open source
urmmm, I think that is it....just me, an insane geekess.
>Can anyone recommend a LINUX mail server with a nice GUI front end.
SLOX, we've just moved over to it as a step towards a dual boot enviroment
by september. Everything but online update is done from a web frontend, all
the standard mail clients can access it and there are many other useful
features, such as a calendar, forums, project manager and soon. Educational
pricing is around £250 and includes 50 client licences. Compared to exchange
its an absolute steal.
There's also squirrelmail, which is completely free, however isnt at all
easy to administer when compared with slox. Theres an online demo on Suse's
site if your interested.