On Wed, 2008-07-30 at 22:48 +0100, jpd wrote:
Ian Lynch wrote:
On Wed, 2008-07-30 at 22:08 +0100, jpd wrote:
Got a bad feeling about this study.
Its got all the hallmarks of a scheme to kick FOSS in UK schools into
the long grass.
Don't worry. The information is for building a web site and it can
always be added to at any time.
What you can add information to the report after
its been handed to Becta?
Its not a report to BECTA, its a contribution to the BECTA funded
Schools Open Source Project. This project is building a web site which
will include stuff about Open Source (I'm drafting that bit, see
The site will be subject to continued updates and since the content will
be CCSA licensed stuff produced for it can e used by other sites like
SF-UK to promote FOSS.
I doubt many
people will even log on to
the site before it is publicised in September.
Which is the main problem....
Its no more of a problem as having no start on a site at all :-)
required is just
a limited number of high quality case studies, not a massive list.
You need to get a few - 4 you can ignore, 10 starts getting a bit
Well SF-UK has had 40 odd but they are out of date. What is required is
detailed info that is credible for others to follow. There is not
enoough money to fund a detailed list of hundreds of case studies and
keep them all up to date.
In fact, the
Schoolforge UK web site will carry much of the same
information and is entirely in the control of FOSS activists so if the
government backed site doesn't deliver, we will.
But Becta + central gov don't read or care about the community sites -
BECTA is paying for the SOSP site. While it is true that BECTA still
have no clue about FOSS it is an opportunity for us to exploit.
there will be a nice easy to read white hall report
telling them what
they need to know about the future of UK schools IT needs.
Once Becta mind is set most schools will follow,
When were you last in a school? BECTA has some influence but schools are
free to ignore them and many do - in fact most of the innovators. It's
useful to have BECTA working in the right direction and it's getting to
the point where they have more to lose by ignoring FOSS because FOSS is
growing globally and becoming mainstream. They try and avoid real
innovation and risk and always will. Moodle is a good example they
ignored it and it bit them hard. Now it is getting real traction the
more go-ahead schools are simply ignoring BECTA and their LAs and using
it and BECTA looks stupid. BECTA will be entirely discredited if it does
not get up to speed with FOSS, but don't expect leadership, the concept
of leadership and accountability is alien to them. BECTA is slowly
coming to terms with the fact that ignoring FOSS is riskier than jumping
on the band waggon and taking the associated credit. Hence the toe in
the water with SOSP. Like a baby learning to walk they are likely to
fall flat on their faces at any time but we can prop them up if it is in
our interest to do so.
I have MS come in an
win too many times.
The world is changing. MS will still make wins but they will also make
bigger and bigger losses as the internet drives open standards, a move
from dependency on the desktop and FOSS continues its inexorable
expansion. Think back 5 years. The changes are really pretty obvious and
Anybody know the new deal that MS has just signed with
The MOU between MS and BECTA is about pricing to schools. BECTA is using
FOSS as a lever to force prices down -that is a sensible strategy - but
not as sensible as investing in FOSS development. These are all just
steps in a general trend that will reduce dependency on MS but it is
going to take time. BECTA has taken MS to the OFT on Schools Agreement
and interoperability. Again motivation is more about pressure to lower
costs on existing licensing to schools but it all helps.
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