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DebianEdu Announced

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the apt-get-install-ucblogo dept.

Debian 63

Bill Kendrick writes "There's been an announcement on debian-devel-announce about a new subproject, DebianEdu, which "aims to make Debian the best distribution available for educational use." As a developer with some stuff in Debian Jr., I'm happy to see some focus on an honest-to-goodness education project!"

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Frost the Snow Piss! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235935)

I am the FP masta!

Nice! (3, Insightful)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235944)

I hope more projects are started with the aim to put Linux in the hands of college students - they're usually BUYING their first computer and they have the time, energy, and friends who understand computers to be adventurous.

Re:Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236224)

> they're usually BUYING their first computer and they have the time, energy, and friends who understand computers to be adventurous.

Being born in a cave like the rest of my college-student peers, I know exactly what you mean! These computers are so complex, I long for the day when my biggest worry was what was for lunch.

Puh-lease. For the geeks, a bundled OS doesn't matter. For the novices and mid-levels, there is no other OS than Windows.

Debian... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235946)

Debian's motto is: If it was made after 1980 we'll not include it in the stable release until 2065.
Btw, fuck jchistopher!

We aren't getting the whle story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235950)

Your article sounded like nothing but Nazi anti-Intel, Microsoft (Wintel) propaganda to me. I can see in a few years time when still nobody listens to you about upgrading their computers you start spouting stuff like 'Intel and Microsoft use mind control on your children' or 'Buying Intel and Microsoft Products will give you cancer'. Why do you hate these companies so much, is it that they posses powers you don't? Is it that they have such awe-inspiring control over our industry, is it that their products are significantly more expensive than their competitors, or is it you wish you were in their position and you had the ability to do what they do?

I am a person who wants freedom of speech, I want to be able to do whatever I like with my machine and my software.. But one thing I don't mind doing (which seems to be your major complaint) is paying for my software. The content should be provided on copy proof media, digitally signed and linked directly to your pc.. And what do you care if you've paid for the software? You shouldn't give a damn that's what. Basically you can't stand the fact they'll stop you from copy media and distributing it amongst your friends, or buying or borrowing from some scabby little shop or from another source. They employed the people that make these products, they pay all the R&D and other related costs, they pay their employees salaries so why shouldn't they charge you for the privilege of using it? And why shouldn't they protect their software from being copied and distributed..

And if you bother with the argument 'Linux is free' then you're worse than I originally thought. Have you ever tried installing any of the versions of Linux? It's complete shit and it looks fuck1ng awful. My brother can setup our family pc with new hardware and drivers, he can install and configure networking and dialup properties and he can do all this without speaking to anyone in technical support. This is all thanks to Microsoft. Put even myself in front of a Linux machine for just five minutes and I want to clobber the crap out of it with the 700 page 'SPAKKERS GUIDE TO LINUX' book. It is very 'normal user' unfriendly, and unless you have sandals, a beard and a degree in Kernel compiling you can't get any of the fucking hardware to work.. Oh and did I mention the GUI's in Linux look like something I crapped out after a curry and 7 beers last weekend.

XP is just great, I have it on my Dell Inspiron 8200 and it hasn't crashed or performed any weird operations ever. I play games, video edit, surf, and more or less anything else you can imagine.. I like the extra features in XP (Office and Windows) and I think it looks better than that 80's throwback Windows 98. Microsoft have got it right with this one and you've got it wrong. Instead of Wintel bashing why don't you get into Seal clubbing? At least the effects of your job would be more noticeable.

How to Good-Bye Depression (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235952)

I think constricting anus 100 times and denting navel 100 times in succession everyday is effective to good-bye depression and take back youth. You can do so at a boring meeting or in subway. I have known a 70-year-old man who has practiced it for 20 years. As a result, he has a good complexion and has grown 20 years younger. His eyes sparkle. He is full of vigor, happiness and joy. He has neither complained nor born a grudge under any circumstance. Furthermore, he can make wind three times in succession without drawing out.

In addition, he also can have burned a strong, beautiful fire within his abdomen. It can burn out the dirty stickiness of his body, release his immaterial fiber or third attention, which has been confined to his stickiness. Then he can shoot out his immaterial fiber or third attention to an object, concentrate on it and attain happy lucky feeling through the success of concentration.

If you don't know concentration, which gives you peculiar pleasure, your life looks like hell.

It's about time (5, Insightful)

frascone (466844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235962)

It seems like the educational market has been forgotten lately. I remember when I was in school, Boreland was offering Turbo C, Turbo Pascal, or the newest thing, Turbo C++ for $69-$99. This was when Microsoft C was around $500.

Everyone I knew had a Turbo compiler. Microsoft lost major ground. And, since the students were most comfortable with Boreland, that was, of course, what they recommended to their future employeers.

But, for some reason, companies have recently been neglecting the educational market. Kudos to Debian for re-starting the trend.

Re:It's about time (2, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236058)

Yeah I grew up on borland compliers.

Debian isn't exactly the first.
kde have had a educational thread for ages, with libraries etc.

Re:It's about time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236060)

This is disgusting: it is extremely distressing to see the lack of grief on these forums. We need more grief, more tears, more hysterical wailing and more open declarations that your life has never been the same since last year... even if you aren't USian, don't know any USians and have never been to New York or know anyone who lives there. Bonus points if you can do it in front of a TV camera.

I therefore call for a two hour grief session on slashdot - we will all post "I am so upset! I am in tears as I type this remembering the events of 11/9" repeatedly for a full two hours.

Re:It's about time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236167)

I live in nyc and i will second you sentiments.

I am so sick of the whining and complaining.

If one more rich bond traders wife gets on tv from her home out in the long island suburb whining i am gonna be pissed.

"We need to make the whole site into a big memorial,boohoo!"

"We need to make it into an apartment complex that has rent so fucking high only CEOs can afford it!"

Fuck i am sick of that.

If you want to the city to bounce back strong rebuild it with commercial floor space. It's the FINANCIAL DISTRICT you fucking whiny bitches. It's not for some trendy coffee shops and expensive lofts, it's for businesses. If you want some trendy shit go get an apartment in soho ya fucking panzies.

I'm also sick of whiny out of town people that lived in new york for 2 years crying about how shocking it is. It's like bitch if you can't handle it, go back to wisconsin.

Ya 9/11 sucked in a major way, and ya it was shocking and depressing and all that. But come on this is new york, rebuild the shit and lets get back to work.

Where did all these pussies come from? I remember when people in new york actually had balls. Fucking panzy asses living in the luxury apartment s in battery park city, shut up already or move away. Damn.

Re:It's about time (3, Insightful)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236128)

Kudos to Debian for re-starting the trend.

Dude!

Redhat has been doing ed stuff for a long time. They even have a K-12 [redhat.com] program. Here at our university we went to Redhat several years ago. We get good support and have been happy. Debian is a bit too late. They will have to be extremely aggressive if they would want folks like us to switch over.

Re:It's about time (4, Insightful)

Derwen (219179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236187)


Debian is a bit too late. They will have to be extremely aggressive if they would want folks like us to switch over.
Debian, aggressive?
ROTFL :-)))

Debian GNU/Linux got to be the one true distro (TM), and the most popular with admins, simply by being the best :-)
That's the only strategy Debian has ever had (backed up, of course, by its social contract [debian.org] and the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) [debian.org] ) - and that seems to have worked just fine ;-)

In all seriousness, it's great that Debian are doing this - and great that Red Hat do something similar. When every child has access to a Free *nix at school (or even access to a school - never mind a computer) will be the time to start bickering about which GNU/Linux distro has the biggest dick in the edu world ;-)
- Derwen

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4240609)

most popular with admins,

I have never seen a Debian machine in a production environment. Seriously. Every production Linux machine I see is Red Hat. Netcraft seems to agree too. I rarely see Debian, but I see Red Hat all the time when doing netcraft lookups.

Maybe if by admin you mean, "personal SMTP/DHCP/Firewall server on DSL in my closet" then sure.

Re:It's about time (2)

Derwen (219179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4243126)

I have never seen a Debian machine in a production environment. Seriously. Every production Linux machine I see is Red Hat. Netcraft seems to agree too. I rarely see Debian, but I see Red Hat all the time when doing netcraft lookups.
Maybe if by admin you mean, "personal SMTP/DHCP/Firewall server on DSL in my closet" then sure.
Random example 1:
In the September edition of Linux Pro - the mini-magazine that comes with Linux Format [linuxformat.co.uk] - The Positive Internet Company [positive-internet.co.uk] have a two page advertorial singing the praises of Debian GNU/Linux, and all that it has done for their company, and their customers.
Random example 2:
The 2 tera flop 512 node SDU Supercluster [dcsc.sdu.dk] at Syddansk Universitet, in Denmark.
- Derwen

Re:It's about time (2)

Psiren (6145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236194)

They will have to be extremely aggressive if they would want folks like us to switch over.

Debian is a non-profit entity. It wouldn't matter to them if you switched or not, except maybe on a technical level.

And who said Opensource lacked leadership? (1)

TheClarkey (546286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235963)

I think this disproves the myth earlier in the week that OpenSource can not be innovative and groundbreaking. Of course it isn't the norm;)

Re:And who said Opensource lacked leadership? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235984)

Shut the fuck up, moron. It's obvious you just want cheap karma for praising a shitty community for shitty achievements.

Re:And who said Opensource lacked leadership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236225)

If you want to see a company with a -real- commitment to open source, look at ACT at www.gnat.com.

They have been releasing their updates to the Ada compiler they have written, as well as other tools they have developed.

They have continually been increasing the size of their staff over the last several years as well.

Their source code is -really- nice to look at as well. Just shows what real professionals can do.

Was it so hard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235966)

Was it so hard to make it easy? I just wanted to install Debian potato. I went and bought the disks. I couldn't do it.

So I thought, OK, download Progeny and apt my way to Debian.

Some chance. I couldn't even get it to go online from Progeny.

I spent about 40 hours trying to get Debian installed one way or another, until I finally had to give up and use Mandrake. This brings a question to mind, though. Why does the install have to be so hard for one who doesn't know everything about Linux? How, I wonder, will one learn everything if they can't even get it installed in the first place?

P.S. I couldn't convert to Debian from Corel, either. What a sham of a distro that was.

Re:Was it so hard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235994)

Debian likes to "keep it real" and maintain "leet credibility" by keaving their installer in the stone age.

In the Linux world no one will take you seriously if you have easy installer!

Those are for sucky distros like redcrap and manrake.

Real distros don't go for that stuff.

Shit Gentoo is so "l33t" it doens't even have an installer!

They make you copy everything over by hand!

3L33T!!!!

Re:Was it so hard? (3, Insightful)

Chris Canfield (548473) | more than 11 years ago | (#4241521)

With Woody, the Debian people concentrated quite a bit on the install procedure. Except for being exhorbitantly long, (and not mentioning that agpgart is required for X to run... Jerks!), it installed without too much trouble.

The problem is that Debian isn't intended for the person who is replacing windows, but as a tool for the admin who needs to setup a server every few days and who knows exactly what he / she wants and what they are doing. Apt is a powerful way to remotely install software over a shell, without having to be present at the machine to search for FTP sites, etc. And it can keep you *reasonably* up-to-date with security patches.

Yes, that doesn't preclude having an easy installer... and by all accounts they should work on that. But if they have limited funding (which they do), they should use it in the way that is best for the people who use their system every day. They should keep their software updated, they should work on auto-detect routines, and they need less babysitting in the apt and installer procedures. They also could use a simple way of handling kernel modules. Debian is not about being 3133t, it's about doing your job as an admin as well as you can without having to be on site. If you know exactly how to use it, it's great. And if you kind of know what you are doing, Woody is great too.

And if you haven't touched Linux before, there is no reason not to instal Mandrake or Red Hat. I know a lot of sysadmins who put Mandrake on their desktops because it is just bloody easy. Why waste the time if you aren't going to use Apt? And why not with Mandrake's new Apt-clone?

-Chris

P.S. There is only one excuse for Gentoo: it is a very young distro. It is not intended for you, it is not intended for me. It is intended to show that software and computers can be faster if people take advantage of open sources and compile all of their software for their chosen platform. It is a proof-of-concept. At some point, it will probably be easy enough for anyone to use, or the concepts behind it will be integrated into other distros. In the meantime, not all distros are intended for you or me. Some of them don't fit our needs. I'm impressed when someone can install Gentoo, or for that matter linux from scratch, but there is no reason for me to want to.

Re:Was it so hard? (1)

mike_edukonis (471807) | more than 11 years ago | (#4246701)

Yeah Debian is a pain to install but once you get it running, you will take your mandrake disks and flush em down the crapper. Once installed Debian is much easier to maintain (apt-get). Mandrake and Redhat (and a few others) really shield you from the guts of Linux by padding the installation with a lot of fluff. Using Debian you will learn where everything is by doing it yourself, rather than having installers do it for you. Even more important is after this learning process, you will be able to do everything from the "command line" yeah remember that? I know it's a bit stone age but oh so much faster. My router/web/email server is debian 3.0 and doesnt even have X installed.

SOOOOO if you want some help just ask I'll be happy to offer a nickels worth of free advice when I can, and I'm sure other will too.

Mandrake all over again? (2, Interesting)

h4mmer5tein (589994) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235969)

Hmmmm, this follows on from the earlier posting [slashdot.org] of the interview with Gael Duval of Mandrake who said
"GD: For one year, we had a so-called "World Class Management" team that left us in a very bad financial situation, and engaged the company in ventures (such as e-learning) that we should never have been involved with. But that's all part of our history now, so I'd prefer to not dwell too much on that. "

I wonder if this is the kind of project he was talking about and if Debian have taken on board the Mandrake experiance.

Re:Mandrake all over again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236090)

maybe .. BUT:

Debian is not a company, it is a group of volenteers .. they have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

Re:Mandrake all over again? (3, Insightful)

Peter Harris (98662) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236117)

Mandrake is a company, Debian is a community.

That's not to disparage the community of Mandrake users and developers, but Mandrake as a company have to do things that make money. A sub-project of Debian will succeed or fail depending only on the level of enthusiasm and interest in it.

Re:Mandrake all over again? (1)

h4mmer5tein (589994) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236548)

Doesnt mean the community cant learn from commercial experiences. Especially if they want to compete with commercial vendors.
If some one in the same business as you gets it wrong, whether they are commercial or open source, its a good idea to make sure you dont do the same thing.
If this project gets off the ground and then stalls because it was badly thought out or under resourced, then it will make Debian generally look bad to those outside the community. Look at Mandrakes experiance, learn from it and avoid their mistakes. They may not cost Debian money, but they could still do harm if they are repeated.

Re:Mandrake all over again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236549)

This is definitely not Mandrake all over again.
If this project fails, Debian will have no damage because of it.
If it fails and anything useful remains, Debian has only gotten better because of it.

Will it include games as well? (0)

abhikhurana (325468) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235981)

Its a knbown fact that the attention span of humans is very small. Infact when I used to go to school, the most I learned about computers was when the teacher was looking away and I was too bored listening to his lecture.Atleast thast when I got really interested about programming anyway, as I wanted to write my own games.

So will this distribution include some nice games as well? I don't think anyone interested in making an educational package can overlook the value of games.

Security (2, Funny)

godot73 (182766) | more than 11 years ago | (#4235986)

My teachers were always worried that we would poke around in the system too much, or later, that we would use too much network bandwidth. Then, the teachers wanted to configure the system themselves... (knowing less about stuff than we did...)

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4237160)

Mod parent up. How frustrating was it for all of us to be told *how* and *what* was possible with the systems given us by people of lesser experience -- and for that matter, curiosity? "Here's a computer. It is capable of typing up and printing documents and nothing else. If we see you mindlessly accessing parts of it that we don't understand, you're in deep shit."

Thank you.

Jokes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4235992)

What does WTC stand for? - "What Trade Center?"
Q: Who are the fastest readers in the world? A: New Yorkers. Some of them go through 110 stories in 5 seconds
Q: Why do tourists flock to New York? A: It's a blast
The FBI has just identified the man who trained the hijackers: Dale Earnhardt.
At the World Trade Center restaurant, they offere three seating areas: smoking, non-smoking and burned beyond recognition.
They dont need any more volunteers to help at the WTC: they have found 5000 extra pairs of hands...
New York, New York, so good they hit it twice
American Airlines is now offering sight seeing tours of Manhattan!

Q: What is world most efficient airline? A: American Airlines, leave Boston 8:15...be in your office in New York 8:48!
What was the last thing going through Mr. Jones head sitting in 90th floor of the WTC ? - The 91st floor.....
What was the last thing going through Mr. Smiths head sitting in 110th floor of the WTC ? - The radio mast...
America's new math: Q: Now how many sides to a Pentagon? A: 4
If one side of the Pentagon has collapsed, will it now be renamed "The Square"?
It should be renamed "The Penta-gone"/It should be renamed "Manflatten"

Famous last words: "Amal, was this tower here yesterday?"

American Airline's pilot announcement:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be landing on New York in about 10 minutes....."

Well, this proves one thing.... New Yorkers really come together in a crunch

Today FBI concluded that New York had been hit by a U.F.M (unidentified flying muslim)

Q: What did one terrorist say to the other terrorist before boarding their respective airplanes? A: I slam, you slam, we all slam for Islam!

NEWSFLASH.... The WTC has been destroyed.... thousands of New York executives feared dead.... Hookers all across the city are in mourning.....

"25,000 sq. ft. Office space for rent. Recently renovated. New Air Conditioning unit. Needs TLC. Contact me at One World Trade Centre. 85th Floor, Room 18."

"It's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "It's.... Oh fuck, it IS a plane!"

Q: Why didn't Superman stop the planes from hitting the Trade Towers? A: Because he's a quadriplegic!

Q: What's the area code of the World Trade Center? A: 220 (two to zero).

Q: What should have tipped off the ticket sellers? A: When the terrorists asked if there was anything cheaper than one-way.

Q: What was the quickest escape time from the World Trade Center? A: Ten seconds flat.

Q: How long does it take to reach the ground from 107 stories up? A: The rest of your life

Q: Why are police and firemen New York's finest?
A: Because now you can run them through a sieve.

Optimism, as you fall past the 20th floor you shout "I'm not hurt yet"

How many New Yorkers does it take to change a light bulb? God knows, they keep jumping out the window when it gets too hot

What's the number one drink served on United Airlines? Flaming Manhattan

What music do they play in the elevator in the WTC? Jump and It's Raining Men

Floor 106...... you ARE the weakest link.... goodbye....

What color were the pilots eyes? Blue. One blew this way the other blew that way

What team does Bin Laden support? The New York Jets

Where do Americans go on vacation? All over Manhattan

How many Americans died in the WTC 1 year ago? who gives a fuck

What's the difference between Wembley and New York? Wembley's still got their twin towers.

What's the difference between the attack on New York and the Oklahoma City Bombing? - Again foreigners prove they can do it better and more efficiently......

Then there's the retarded terrorist who tried to crash the A-Train into the World Trade Center..........

Yassar Arraffat and many other PLO members together with people from other Muslim nations are *Volunteering* to give blood for the victims of the tragedy... I guess they'll have some *Volunteers* to Fly the blood in too!

Last words from Airline pilot "Right a bit, hey the trade centre, my brother works there...lets look just a bit closer...."

The FBI have arrested the head of advertising at the Empire State Building for involvement in the WTC disaster. A spokesman said he was caught with 'Empire State: We're Back!!!' T-shirts in his office...

Top 10 Good Things About The WTC Attack
10. There are now 18 fewer Arab taxi drivers terrorizing the streets. 9. Flight training schools proved that they are expensive but worth it. 8. People are learning how to spell "Afghanistan" correctly. 7. Plenty of parking available at airports now. 6. Jerry Springer Show was off the air for a whole week. 5. Sales for U.S. flags are way up. 4. Several new job openings now at NYPD and NYFD. 3. Much lower electric bills for Manhattan. 2. Home videos of the WTC attack more spectacular than Arnold Schwarzenegger's last 5 movies.
And the number one ... 1. Some great new unobstructed views of Manhattan now.

yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236009)

I guess open source people can hang with the marketdroids.

I mean come on what difference is this going to have from regular debian?

All the educational software is still in regular debian plus a lot more.

I mean come on they can barely update their crusty old installer, i mean what difference is it really going to be?

It's going to install a bunch of math apps by defualt or something? Put some links to mathworld on my desktop? I mean really what's the point...

You could just make this an option in the installer, why make a whole new distro.

This is pretty pointless.

good stuff (2, Informative)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236011)

I work with a local school (Long Beach School for Adults) recycling machines and one of the biggest pains in the butt is having to buy an OS license (redmond tax). This is going to be a big thing for me and I am glad to see an educational directed distro.

open source marketroids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236025)

This is just a half assed attempt to loook innovative or progressive instead of just another crusty old distro.

What *kind* of education use? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236047)

Desktop? School server? Programming tutition? Educational settop box? Internet box? University level or under 10year olds?
'Education' can mean so many different things... I don't mean this as a troll, but I hope they realise that mere mortals can not use Debian as it is. It'll have to be made alot easier before it can be used in non-techy educational environments. Maybe something like http://www.bluelinux.org [bluelinux.org] .

Need to outperform closed source options (5, Informative)

jukal (523582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236050)

I would think that not all of the benefits of open source are true in education, as in business use for example. Which means that the open source option needs to outperform the commercial option by other criterias (functionality, performance, feature set, reliability) - not price.

As commercial vendors tend to provide schools and universities with cheap or free licenses for educational uses - to make the students familiar with their products so that they would buy them when they finally graduate and enter work-life. So, am I terribly wrong if I assume that there is not the cost benefit or atleast it is not very significant?

Re:Need to outperform closed source options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236131)

The zealots always say "It's about Freedom not Price!"

But when actually trying to convince someone to use open source they always start with:

"but it's so much cheaper than M$!"

Get your story straight you bungs.

Re:Need to outperform closed source options (2)

Derwen (219179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236228)


So, am I terribly wrong if I assume that there is not the cost benefit or atleast it is not very significant?
You are right to assume that cost is not significant, as the 'market' is skewed by all sorts of factors (special site licences, donations tying hardware to software, support deals, education authority incompetence, overworked and poorly-trained teachers , etc).

The real strength of Free Software in education is - Freedom to share, study, understand, modify and improve the code matters everywhere, but it counts double in education, which is based on foundations of openness, experiment and passing on of knowledge.
- Derwen

Re:Need to outperform closed source options (2)

omnirealm (244599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236724)

As commercial vendors tend to provide schools and universities with cheap or free licenses for educational uses - to make the students familiar with their products so that they would buy them when they finally graduate and enter work-life. So, am I terribly wrong if I assume that there is not the cost benefit or atleast it is not very significant?

When pitting Free Software against commercial counterparts, it only makes sense to go for the commercial counterpart if the difference in functionality between the Free Software and the commercial software is worth at least the cost of the commercial software.

At my school, Microsoft Office is available to students for $65. Thus, for it to make sense for students to buy Microsoft Office rather than use OpenOffice, there must be some aspects of Microsoft Office that OpenOffice lacks which are worth at least $65 to the students. It turns out that frequently, the polished spelling and grammer checking, the 100% compatibility with MS Office files, or simply brand name recognition alone is worth $65 to most students.

However, buying something like Microsot Office under an educational license is somewhat short-sighted. For example, if a student is married, then that student's spouse (who isn't a student) is not supposed to use the software, according to the terms of the EULA. In addition, when you leave school, you can no longer use the software. If you want access to all your data, you must purchase the full retail version of MS Office, since educational versions are not elligible for upgrade prices.

Plus, you lock yourself into the ``Perpetual Upgrade Cycle.'' Your lifelong costs for using that software will long exceed the up-front cost while you're in school. When you look at it in these terms, it just doesn't make sense to purchase commercial software in most cases while you are in school.

Re:Need to outperform closed source options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4237072)

We sell Linux solutions to schools in the UK and with recent 120 station thin client and a couple of other large installations of 200+ stations, I can assure you that price is a significant factor. Not just the cost of Windows and office but also all those utilities to help manage the network like Ghost, Net Op etc, then all the lock down security stuff, etc etc. Price matters in schools.

teach linux (1)

manon (112081) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236059)

Very happy to read this news. Maybe something is going to change after all in .be! Years ago, one of our ministers signed a contract with M$ to get Windows and the other Mico$oft products for a bit less money. In schools, every PC needs to run on Windows. Maybe now the government will see how it can free some money.

The big problem Debian is going to have to cope with is convincing the educational system to start making a switch to Linux.

Good luck guys!

A Little Late (4, Informative)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236084)

As a developer with some stuff in Debian Jr., I'm happy to see some focus on an honest-to-goodness education project!
There's at least 2 other Education oriented distributions already. Blue Linux [bluelinux.org] and Seul [seul.org] .

Re:A Little Late (1)

ccoder (468480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236498)

Other installations like Seul have problems, however... certain things like integrated dependancies and smooth upgrading (on line imho!) from one release version to another set Debian ahead of all other software packages.

RPM at current doesn't even come close... you ever tried to install over 5-10 packages? RPM doesn't upgrade easily at all... Redhat has made some nice tools, but it is slower a 12th grader waking up for school....

And to mention the whole ./configure thing... Autoconf/Automake/GNU make can kiss my @$$ even though when the origional packages are built for Debian these are essential, but for the common user, (and respectively for admins with not much time on their hands) custom compiling is hardly ever an option!

Re:A Little Late (2)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4237244)

Why is it that whenever you have a conversation about Debian someone always has to jump in with the the APT vs RPM stuff? APT might be a floor wax and a dessert topping, I don't care and it has nothing to do with what I posted.

Re:A Little Late (1)

Doug Loss (3517) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236741)

Actually, there are a number of education-oriented distros. Most of them are targetted at the schools in non-US countries and you folks probably haven't heard of them. However, SEUL doesn't have an education-oriented distro. SEUL/edu is working on a distro-neutral ISO of educational software that will be downloadable for individual use and modifiable for inclusion by distro suppliers in their own packages. We plan to collaborate with DebianEdu on this so that all the applications in our ISO are available as DEBs and RPMs. There's a lot more work being done on Open Source/Free software in education (particularly education below university level) than most of you realize. Take a look at Schoolforge [schoolforge.net] for a glimpse of what's happening.

Re:A Little Late (2)

Bill Kendrick (19287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4238319)


> I'm happy to see some focus on an honest-to-goodness education project!

There's at least 2 other Education oriented distributions already.


To clarify - good to see some focus in Debian ;)
Thanks for the links, though (BTW, I learned about DebianEDU from Seul)

yeah that's just what they need. (1)

BenLutgens (56508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236118)

As is debian can't seem to release in a timely manner why add more fuel to the fire. Wouldn't it be simpler to accomplish the same thing with task packages? Why a whole seperate distro? I mean the base system would be the same, only difference should be the additional packages installed. Seems pretty silly to me.

Perhaps some good will come of it, maybe some .edu(s) will donate cash to debian (not just bandwidth and such as the UofM [umn.edu] does.

Re:yeah that's just what they need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236184)


Wouldn't it be simpler to accomplish the same
thing with task packages? Why a whole seperate distro? I mean the base system would be the same, only difference should be the additional packages installed. Seems pretty silly to me.

Re:yeah that's just what they need. (2)

Derwen (219179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236270)

As is debian can't seem to release in a timely manner why add more fuel to the fire. Wouldn't it be simpler to accomplish the same thing with task packages? Why a whole seperate distro? I mean the base system would be the same, only difference should be the additional packages installed. Seems pretty silly to me.
Ahem, it /is/ such a task package. From the announcement [debian.org] :
HOW TO HELP

Many things can be done and needs to be done :
- integrate in Debian some external Debian packages for education
(we created some of these for the french Debian Education)

And as for releasing in a timely manner - not only do Debian release 'when it's ready', and stick to that, but there were some reasonable excuses [debian.org] last time :-/
- Derwen

Re:yeah that's just what they need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236314)



Wouldn't it be simpler to accomplish the same
thing with task packages? Why a whole seperate distro? I mean the base system would be the same, only difference should be the additional packages installed. Seems pretty silly to me.



From a package managing perspective, the sub-projects [debian.net] of Debian [debian.org] are just that - tasks or meta-packages selection a subset of the packages already in the distrobution.



However, from an application point of view, a sub-project tends to involve some commitment to package various software appropiate for the sub-project.



Hence, DebianEdu isn't really a new distribution - as a project it's a commitment to provide applications useful for education, as well as provide educational institutions with easy installation of those applications. So the users that install Debian GNU/{Linux,Hurd,{Net,Free}BSD} will often also install a lot of packages from DebianEdu without really realising it.



Also note, that there's a great deal of intrest from all the developers in Debian to make the release cycle a lot shorter. The problem is, that Debian believes that stable means just that: rock-solid-will-not-crash-in-a-million-years, while other distros seems to think that stable means: oh-chrashes-from-time-to-time-but-it's-still-bette r-than-the -OS-that-shall-remain-nameless. In that respect, Pogeny Debian GNU/Linux was a Good Thing(tm) and to bad it didn't last. However, you can always run testing or even unstable if you really need to and have a proper internet connection (for all those cutting-edge updates).



Stability is a good thing for industry (just consider how many have actually switch from Windoze2K to WindozeXP, and similar MacOS9 to MacOSX), and I'm glad to see at least one GNU/Linux distro understanding that.



The problem is, as I see it, that most GNU/Linux users are still hackers/nerds/geeks/<fill-in-your-favorite-nicknam e> and those boys and girls want the cutting-edge stuff: 'What! Only GCC 3.1.4? But GCC 3.1.4epsilon is already out as of one haour ago! I want it now!'; However, most users do not care if they have the latest (and greatest?) Abiword or KOffice installation. They want something that Just Works(tm).



Please note that I'm a Debian GNU/{Linux,Hurd} user - not a Debian Developer (though I intent to become one soon). Hence the above is not necessarily how the Debian people see it - it's my understanding of the situation. I.e., entirely my own opinion.


Woo-hoo! Vaporware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4236245)

That's just what educational technology needs!

logo, oregon trail (2)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4236958)

Those are why I liked "computer days" (not frequent) when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, or whatever hazy grades it was.

Logo? Squeak! :) (Or, just for fun, is there a Logo variant apt-gettable now?)

Oregon Trail? I dunno. Are there any reasonably complete, complex-scenario text simulation / adventures with a learning slant (not just nethack) like this ready for kids / teachers to apt-get?

There are a lot of other things I'd like to see of course, but those two came to mind first.

timothy

Re:logo, oregon trail (2)

kigrwik (462930) | more than 11 years ago | (#4237840)

> Logo? Squeak! :) (Or, just for fun, is there a Logo variant apt-gettable now?)

apt-get install ucblogo

ucblogo looks just as awful as what I remember using :)

But LOGO is a great way for children to learn a different kind of abstraction: command/effect.
(and I say 'command', not 'click' ! :)

I remember programming a turtle on acid, with the 'random' function !

Re:logo, oregon trail (2)

invenustus (56481) | more than 11 years ago | (#4238006)

Oregon Trail? I dunno. Are there any reasonably complete, complex-scenario text simulation / adventures with a learning slant (not just nethack) like this ready for kids / teachers to apt-get?
I don't know about you, but at my school, Oregon Trail consisted of seeing how fast we could kill our parties. Let's see - 0 pounds of food ought to do it. Clothing? Nah, we'll be free of those societal constraints in Oregon. Let's use a grueling pace.

I also liked to name my people after diseases:
Measles has typhoid.
Typhoid has typhoid.
Snakebite has dysentery.

Re:logo, oregon trail (0, Offtopic)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4238192)


"I don't know about you, but at my school, Oregon Trail consisted of seeing how fast we could kill our parties. Let's see - 0 pounds of food ought to do it. Clothing? Nah, we'll be free of those societal constraints in Oregon. Let's use a grueling pace."

Oh, I'm not saying that kids have to play such "edutainment" games deadly seriously, be whipped if their characters die or something. On the other hand, having that as a possibility (that is, playing for real, trying to get into the Conestoga wagon mindset and get West) I think is still a good idea. Horse to water, can't make dance.

timothy

K12 (2, Informative)

BeowulfSchaeffer (588150) | more than 11 years ago | (#4238241)

Ummm, what about K12? http://k12ltsp.org/

to bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4238714)

debian sucks dick

Great! FDL the Course Material! (1)

retostamm (91978) | more than 11 years ago | (#4240219)

This is good, but why not just have more packages?

Free Software for Schools is the way of the future. It is a good business model for that purpose. Payback in 20 years, like all good or bad things in Education.

I also think it would be useful for teachers to FDL their Materials. No need for all the teachers to reinvent all the materials.

How are the installations (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#4241514)

I admit I have never tried debian due to bandwith issues. I heard the installs are one of the hardest out there and is designed for hackers. Does the user actually have to edit all the files by hand to get the system working? I do not know if this is true but I hope debianjr and debianEDU will have to have an easy to use installer. Students do not have the time to tinker with there computers since they have projects and assignments due on a daily basis and need their machines to do like uh work. Kids do not have any interest in learning crpytic commands and get frustated alot more easily then adults as they have shorter attention spans.

I for one would develop a graphical installer for these projects and leave the text based one for the regular distro of debian.

Awesome! (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 11 years ago | (#4241612)

Earlier today in my Computer Science AP class, my teacher was saying that he wanted to install Lunix on the school computers, and would try to convince the school administrators (not to be confused with network administrators) to let him do so.

It's great that they have these educational distributions. The only condition that we'd need, really: being able to get a good compiler for java, c++ and a good graphics library. Any suggestions as to which distro to get, or compiler/lib? Thanks

Thailand also have SchoolNet Internet Server (1)

pkarin (458810) | more than 11 years ago | (#4243700)

Linux SIS [school.net.th] objective is for primary & secondary school to have internet access for education, SchoolNet Project [school.net.th] . NECTEC [nectec.or.th] provide internet account for them. All they need is old PC with modem & telephone line for dialup. Everything can control via Webmin. Anyway this distro objective is only for Thai people. All interfaces are translate to Thai. Linux SIS 4.2 based on Red Hat 7.2
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