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Educational Software Thread, Network Manager refuses to install OpenOffice - comments please. in Technical; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook You are serious? There is definitely a need for two versions of most software ... it ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    You are serious? There is definitely a need for two versions of most software ... it is not only about personal choice but about students (and staff actually) learning to be able to move from one system to another, or one application to another with little or no problems.

    Transferrable skills (buzzword alert!) are actually about people being able to take skills and concepts from one task and use them in other situations. This makes learners (students *and* staff) more independent. The more independent they are, the more they can think for themselves ... the more competent and confident in ICT they become.

    The upside of this is that you are less likely to get stupid calls about why powerpoint won't open that funny file called newbie.pages. (yeah .. I know, the .pages files is actually a containing folder and that is how it appears on a Windows box, but you get the idea!)

    I would say that it is extremely important that skills and concepts are taught rather than specific applications.

    cheers for putting me straight what would we do with out you ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    cheers for putting me straight what would we do with out you ;-)
    Probably give up pizza and coke ... oh, and decide that Mattx is right about Apple ;-)

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    This is all about user preference and not "needs" of the department and on that grounds I personally I would refuse too. Surely if the point is transferable skills then where are the skills he learned from openoffice being transferred to ms office. If it was fully transferable then why should he care what he uses. You dont need both to gain transferable skills either. I personally only had used ms office up till recently and even though I was taught this app alone I could very easily apply the same principles to OO. Things were just really in a different place with certain different terminology. I did not need to use both applications to gain this skill, it was just inherit due to being trained in standard office princiles although they were applied to MS Office. Transferable skill are not application dependant and teaching any application that has a fairly standard approach will do and it does not need to be OS to be "standard". Just because its free it does not make it the one to teach. Each place has different requirements but these things should be standard across the school and not what the user prefers. Imagine writing all the documentation for both for staff to use. We have to spoon feed a lot of staff here as it is but it would be doubled if we had 2 office applications.

    We dont care what students use at home, its their choice. All they need to know is that it must be office compatible output they make. Some use apple software, some use OS, and some even use works! either way both parties can work/handle MS office.

    Having differences in departments is not a good thing to do when it comes to "standard" software used across the school. For this general software the approach imho should be for the whole school and not per department. If its standard anyone can use it as they have been trained, if somewhere else was different we would have to prep staff to the possibility of covering a class in there and finding differences.

    All this is before you get to the political stuff of "I have it and you dont - haha". Standards are good and for some things should be applied across the board and not by user preference.

    Just my $0.02 on what I would feel if I was NM there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    In my opinion the NM has every right to refuse to install Openoffice. I think that if a teacher asked for it here we'd probably refuse it on the grounds that we have an equivalent product (MS Office) that has all of the functionality of openoffice.
    And does MS Office open .odt, .ods and .odp files? If it did perfectly, without format loss, I'd have absolutely no complaint. :-)
    If not, then it is no help.

    Is MS Office also free to all those students who need an Office suite?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    At the end of the day it makes much more sense for the school to standardize on a single Office application to ensure compatibility and simplify technical support/training. I'm not going say one's better than the other but if the NM/Headmaster have decided on an Office Suite for the whole school to use I don't feel you are really in a position to demand an alternative just because you don't like what the rest of the school's using.
    Please re-read my original posting - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the rest of the school, just 3 PCs in my department. All the staff in my department are fluent with both MSOffice and OOo. We wish to retain M$ Office as the default for Office programs

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    I would agree with you in saying that there aren't any security issues associated with open office (or open source software in general). We use plenty of opensource applications but I feel that where there are 2 products offering similar functionality a business/school needs to make a call and pick one or the other.
    Thank you - I joined this forum to ask technically literate IT professionals, working in Education to give an opinion on the TECHNICAL problems associated with OOo on a network. All the reasons I have been given against OOo at my school are supposed technical issues and I came her to be enlightened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t20racerman View Post
    Please re-read my original posting - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the rest of the school, just 3 PCs in my department.
    Doesn't work like that though I'm afraid. You make an exception for one department and all the others want something else then. I'm afraid you've got to have consistancy across the network.

    And as for MS office not opening OOo format docs, then just save those docs to be word compatible.

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    I can't see any problem with install Open Office for your department to use, as has been already said it like any other piece of software. From what you have said your NM seems to be saying he would not install any Open Source software at all! There is a lot of OS software out there, which the LEAs will tell the schools to install, for example Audacity is used by most music departments with the blessing of the LEAs advisors..

    I have installed both MS Office & Open Office together on a number of schools network will out any problem. Open Office is easier then most education software to install on a network anyway.

    I had one special school I had the same request from 2 members of staff who want to use open office this is going back about 4 /5 years ago and the school was still running NT Server, so I downloaded the portable open office installed it onto a network share and put the icon on the staff desktop, about 5 min work. All the files are installed into that one directory & the program runs from there without install any files on the clients.

    Ok not that fasted to open but for only 2 users fine!! Also easy to upgrade as only one set of files to do!! Now will Windows 2003 I would just use an msi to install it over the whole network.

    I would asked your NM to do the portable open office to a network share, or a portable open office install to a directory on each PC in your department, that way no files are install into the reg or windows system folders on any of the PCs and any problem you just delete the directory and its gone.

    Hope this help..

    Ste

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    ... oh, and decide that Mattx is right about Apple ;-)
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive View Post
    Doesn't work like that though I'm afraid. You make an exception for one department and all the others want something else then. I'm afraid you've got to have consistancy across the network.


    What do you mean by 'an exception'?? Do you vet the software used by the languages, maths and Art departments for example to decide whether it is 'consistent' with something used by say the music department??
    Do you remove 'Paint' from all PCs if one department uses Photoshop?

    What do you mean by consistency here? Please explain



    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive View Post
    And as for MS office not opening OOo format docs, then just save those docs to be word compatible.
    MS Office does not follow published 'Open' standards and refuses to open up its formats and software for competitors to study. The EU fined it millions for this earlier this week as I'm sure you know. OOo uses .odt which is an internationally recognised open format for documents (in the same way every browser recognises .gif or .jpg files), but FULL compatibility with Microsoft Office is not possible in OOo or indeed any other competitor program.
    If you read this forum you will see that even Microsoft Office versions don't always work correctly with each other. Many pupils in our school with an different version of Office on their home computers can't print documents out or use the files on the School network as our present version of MS Office doesn't recognise them!!

    If MS Office opened all my OOo documents and files perfectly, neither I, or any pupil would have any complaint.
    Last edited by t20racerman; 28th February 2008 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfoord View Post
    I would asked your NM to do the portable open office to a network share, or a portable open office install to a directory on each PC in your department, that way no files are install into the reg or windows system folders on any of the PCs and any problem you just delete the directory and its gone.

    Hope this help..

    Ste
    When the NM agreed on the 'separate disc' solution I pointed out that without Network privileges, I couldn't install it so that when a user clicked on an icon, OOo would open up the file. As OOo wasn't installed through Windows, just installed by itself to its own folder, Windows had no idea what programs to use when I clicked on a .odt, .ods or .odp file. Up would come the 'Windows does not recognise this type of file - Open with... ' dialogue and then you had to go through a long route to find the folder and pick the program. This is NOT ideal in the heat of a lesson when trying to open an Impress presentation!

    The NM tried to change the Windows settings, on my networked PC, so that Windows associated OOo with the required programs... This was successful.... until I rebooted it and then it went back to the 'Windows does not recognise this type of file - Open with... ' dialogue.

    There it was left. I have to go through this rigaromole every time I want an OOo file opened.

    I asked here about technical problems with OOo. This solution seemed the worse of all worlds - connected to the Network, but not working properly, and only the most technical competent staff able to open up OOo files!

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    Meh. We have an open office msi that can be deployed at any time, but it's not. Nobody has asked and nobody seems to know it exists.

    Our school has a license that allows members of staff to have a copy of Office on their machines at home... you should ask about that. School might be able to provide for you and the foriegn peoples, could help in the short term?

    Dunno why your NM has such a beef about the open office though. Freeware rules. I might create a package for GIMPshop tomorrow! hmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive View Post
    Doesn't work like that though I'm afraid. You make an exception for one department and all the others want something else then. I'm afraid you've got to have consistancy across the network.

    And as for MS office not opening OOo format docs, then just save those docs to be word compatible.
    As has been said multiple times now, saving them as word compatible (or powerpoint compatible etc...) is not a perfect solution. There are a number of problems which occur when transferring between the 2 suites.

    Also, consistency is nonsense. Our machines in the Maths dept don't have all the history and geography programs on, just the basic office software and maths software that they use there. Same in our DT dept, they have the basic DT software etc...

    Networks in schools are meant to be flexible, to allow good T&L. There is absolutely no technical or realistic reason why OO.o could not be installed on the 3 machines that the OP wants it installed on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t20racerman View Post
    when a user clicked on an icon, OOo would open up the file. As OOo wasn't installed through Windows, just installed by itself to its own folder, Windows had no idea what programs to use when I clicked on a .odt, .ods or .odp file.

    This solution seemed the worse of all worlds - connected to the Network, but not working properly, and only the most technical competent staff able to open up OOo files!
    rubbish. Open OOo with shortcut. file--> open--> choose document.

    Alot of people i know use this method for opening MSOffice docs despite the fact they could just double click on the .doc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midget View Post
    rubbish. Open OOo with shortcut. file--> open--> choose document.

    Alot of people i know use this method for opening MSOffice docs despite the fact they could just double click on the .doc

    My Staff are not all technical like we are. They want to click on a file in the 'Physics' folder and for it to then open up - they don't care what program opens it as long as it opens correctly!

    Also, I'd have to put separate shortcuts on their desktops to OOo writer, Impress, Math, calc etc and then my staff would have to know which one opened which file!
    Last edited by t20racerman; 28th February 2008 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Added last sentence

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    then use the same method I use for getting people to use firefox. rename the shortcut


    writer shortcut name = OpenWord
    math shortcut name = OpenExcel

    etc that way they know which one is equiv.

    and the people i know who open the prog first then the files are all people who don't have a full grasp of computers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midget View Post
    rubbish. Open OOo with shortcut. file--> open--> choose document.

    Alot of people i know use this method for opening MSOffice docs despite the fact they could just double click on the .doc
    Agreed Midget - a lame excuse indeed. This is only one department on 3 PCs after all - why are we talking about all staff all of a sudden?

    Why not export from impress if you just want to make a show - html, swf??

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