Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (146 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference
  • From: Alan Harris <alanh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 09:36:15 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <39699912.C3E1D33D@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I'm with Frank on this one.

It's not only software manufacturers who would be applying pressure on
this one, I'd bet good money that RM would hate to see schools deploying
Linux as well.... Especially as the savings made would mean that they
could then afford to employ ICT techies who know, and understand Open
Source and what it can do.

After all, it would mean that we could buy whatever computer systems we
like from whatever manufacturer that we like, put whatever software is
necessary on those systems and completely develop and run our own
networks. No licences and if we want good support go direct to SuSE,
RedHat, IBM etc. Management software for the network courtesy of

Where it all falls down is with the School's Inspectors who can't
appreciate the benefits of the Internet over the use of CD ROM's
(usually written in a proprietary format - what's wrong with good old
HTML for this purpose!) and have little experience of the problems of
network management.

Alan Harris
Network Manager
Bryngwyn School

Note: The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the author
and do not reflect the general opinion of the school or it's personnel.

Frank Shute wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 09, 2000 at 08:49:53PM +0100, Malcolm wrote:
> >
> > i am interested in the comments to the list about Becta's stance re Open
> > Source. While not defending it entirely i do sympathise with Senior
> > (non-techie) Management opinions on Linux and Open Source.
> I'm afraid Malcolm I'm not sympathetic at all. Becta's bowed down to
> pressure from commercial interests to protect the status quo ie to
> carry on giving those very same commercial interests large amounts
> of taxpayers money.
> It doesn't matter how you dress it up it's *wrong* that the debate
> should be stifled in such a fashion by people who have got a
> commercial interest in preserving the status quo.
> > This debate is not untypical in many public and private sector
> > organisations.
> There seems to have been little debate about it, the only debate I
> can discern is that there was a short 'phone call from some PHB of a
> well known software company to the head of Becta telling him not to
> `promote' open source software. I think you're right when you say
> that this sort of `debate' isn't uncommon though.
> > Some other facts about the Open Source debate in UK education:
> > - that the main tier one suppliers are aware of Open Source / Linux, and
> > some even might see a commercial model, the existing commercial model is
> > extremely lucrative, the schools IT market is booming.
> I'd guess these tier one suppliers have done their sums though:
> Margin on linux with licenses = 0
> Margin on NT with licenses = lots
> Money for old rope, no wonder they're so keen to stifle the debate
> and they're yet to supply a single linux box.
> > - that the DfEE would like to commision 'public-source software' where any
> > commisioned provider has to allow 'free' re-use and re-development of online
> > content material. This of course is not populat amoungst the development
> > community who again like the existing model very much.
> There is nothing stopping the DfEE commisioning an open source
> project tomorrow. There would be plenty of people within the open
> source community who would be happy to be paid a sum towards
> developing open source software for the public good, say through the
> auspices of Suse for example.
> This wouldn't be popular amongst the commercial development
> community but it would be amongst those who are a bit more publicly
> spirited as indeed the open source community generally are and it
> certainly would be popular amongst taxpayers who are currently
> footing the bill for the very poor products supplied by very few
> companies.
> But I guess that such a thing is unlikely to happen since these
> companies already have a commercial relationship with the department
> and they now seem to be in a position to dictate department policy.
> Isn't it about time that the dog should wag the tail though,
> rather than vice versa?
> > - lobbying has already been done to Tony Blair, Patricia Hewitt, David
> > Blunkett and Alex Allan, with some success. Open Source is on the DfEE/DTI
> > agenda, but maybe not very high up it
> Thats Tony `blind trust/Bernie Ecclestone' Blair we're talking
> about; maybe if we could offer him a million pound bung he might
> just push it onto the agenda ;-)
> > - One the UK Tucows mirrors is hosted by RM :-`, as is the UK mirror for
> > Postgresql
> For downloading software I generally use hosted
> at Imperial courtesy of Sun Microsystems; doesn't mean that Sun
> should be given free reign to stitch up the market for IT in
> secondary schools either.
> --
> Frank Shute
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