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Educational Software Thread, Network Manager refuses to install OpenOffice - comments please. in Technical; We have OOo configured to save by default as MS Office formats - so in the scenario you cite you'd ...
  1. #76
    mark's Avatar
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    We have OOo configured to save by default as MS Office formats - so in the scenario you cite you'd NEVER have the problem of unidentified icons from a share install of OOo. OOo created files will open in MS Office - perfect for your non technical users not capable of opening files from the applications itself.

    There are plenty 'technical' reasons against installing OOo listed above, you're just defining 'technical' too narrowly. To those of us responsible for maintaining networks, everything said above falls within our remit in it's stable and efficient running. You may not understand that reasoning from a users perspective is all.
    Last edited by mark; 28th February 2008 at 09:30 PM.

  2. #77
    Midget's Avatar
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    i wasn't fanning flame war or supporting MSO over OOo, I use linux and FLOSS myself, but I can see things from both sides.

    we've already answered your question of "is it technically possible" however now we are trying to show ou reasons against it and showing compromises

    1 compromise that myself and others have suggested is to just have the portable version and use that (although i understand you were told to remove it from the network share). Saves the NM having to install OOo on your machines and as we have pointed out several times, you can still open the files by opening the prog first.

    incidently, you can get 3 memorysticks for <10, and just load OOo off them when need be (unless the GPO restricts this)

    Does your NM have images to easily fix/roll out machines? If so, it means that when your machines need reimaging, instead of it just being able to have the base image, additional software and settings will have to be applied to them which if he's a sole NM in a busy large school he may not have time to do straight away.

    Personnally I have nothing against OOo and I had it on my old network, but you have to understand the NM has to think of and setup the school as a whole.

    If you constantly push and push and backed them into a wall I'm not supprised that they've dug in their heels, you have to pick your battles.

    Althought there is still a chance your NM is just old fashioned and doesn't like FLOSS because he's used MS all his life and is set in his ways, but questioning his professionalism is one VERY easy way to get someone's back up and stop them from giving you any more help than they are contracted to do.

  3. #78

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markcuk View Post
    not very nice give me the name of the school you go and i will email him this thread and see what he thinks!!

    cant stand back stabbing teachers sorry!!
    Let's face it ... we all flannel at times when we want something to go our way ... and we all have tactics to get people to agree with us.

    Personally, I think the excuses of security and other technical reasons are pretty poor and the NM should have at least thought up some better excuses.

    The OP wants students that use OOo at home, as well as himself and at least one other member of staff, to be able to open files created in OOo in school. I create files in Visio and Project that I want others to be able to open, so we have that software, and they have files in AutoCad for me, so I have it too.

    There are lots of ways to make this all work with very little effort and if a member of staff has identified a need for software then just throwing FUD at it is not what we should be doing.

    Back stabbing teachers? And people wonder why we get a name for being blockers with no interest in what is good for students.

    Yep, I do think that opening the app and then using file > open is a suitable solution, but come on ... if the excuse of security is used and then you allowed to run the program rather than it being deployed out properly ... that is downright pants. Pants that would make Paxman right scathing letters about gussets! Pants that even Gene Hunt wouldn't wear after a night out with the boys left him with nothing else to wear but those old, grey Y-fronts with distorted elastic and a drooping crotch. This bloke needs to get a glimpse of Mattx's excuse server.

  4. #79
    mark's Avatar
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    Speaking of re-imaging....

    What about Virtual machines? As Ric_ does on here - the NM could give you a virtual machine with OOo installed for you to play on/ erm, use . It would be easy to maintain/ keep a fresh copy, maybe be a proof of concept.

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    Not read all the posts so if I'm repeating one sorry. Why not just save your stuff as the office equivalent? eg an impress as a .ppt, writer as a .doc etc

    We have both M$ office and OOo and have never had a prob unfortunately we had to installed M$ 2007 in the summer as kids were coming in with stuff in 2007 format and the SLT insisted on it but we are slowly getting them to change the way things are by advertising the OOo disks are available for the use of all pupils in the library if they want to borrow them for home. This kinda works well as many pupils just have M$ works at home and it makes their life easier.

  6. #81

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    If you have kids with MS Office 2007 at home the put out the Office Compatibility Pack. Then you don't have to worry about Office 2007.

  7. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    If you have kids with MS Office 2007 at home the put out the Office Compatibility Pack. Then you don't have to worry about Office 2007.
    Likewise, there is the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office. I have not tried this personally so cannot vouch for its suitability.

    Of course, it has been developed collaboratively as an open source project so is 'insecure'.

  8. #83

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    Technical reasons not to install software requested from staff - none unless it comprmises network security. As Open office does not do this, there is no technical reason not to install it onto computers as requested.

    However, there could be training issues with how staff need to use the software. You have said that some staff are technicaly weaker than others, this is a training need and should be picked up by the member of staff who is responsible for training(even if it is as simple as showing someone to open the program first before opening the file) If the person doing the training in your school is the NM, maybe this is what he is referring to.

    You can see from the fact that so many of us who have replied that we are using Open Office in our school shows it can be done. But we dont know your network and dont know the full technical issues(unless i missed them) that your NM has given.

  9. #84
    Butuz's Avatar
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    Very dissapointed with how this thread has come along - Edugeek is our window to the outside world and we should be presenting an approachable and professional image as "education ICT professionals". Outside users (teachers etc) do not expect to see some of us bitching like a bunch of 13 year old girls, calling others professionality into question, resorting to personal abuse...

    Mods - this thread should in my oppinion be pruned of any derogitory / nonsensical posts so we can get back to the issue at hand.

    As for Open Office:

    1) I think it is a great free piece of software.
    2) There are no security threats to the network as long as it is installed correctly. Some could argue that it is infact more secure than Microsoft Office, less prone to bugs and hacking.
    3) I find it to be on the slow / clunky side compared to MS Office - it is no where near as polished. But it can only get better.
    4) The DT department wanted to try it - I gave them the benefit of the doubt and installed it on 20 PC's - but after a few months they got a bit fed up of it and wanted to go back to MS Office - it is what I expected to be honest.
    5) Here we are licenced up to use MS Office at considerable previous cost - why use Open Office which is slower and more clunky - and presents some training issues.
    6) As for choice - yes choice is good. But as has ben said before - we teach them the skills not the package - so it shouldnt really mater if we use Open Office or MS Office - but I will say this - I firmly believe the pupils should get used to using Industry Standard software so that they are ready for the working world. It may be a sad fact and some may not like it - but it is a fact none the less that MS Windows and MS Office is industry standard software used in probably 95% of industry's in the world....
    7) I would install OpenOffice along side MS Office on the whole network, as long as file associations defaulted to MS Office, and as long as Open Office was configured to always save documents in MS Office format, rather than Open Offices own formats. I would like to find the time to package an MSI including what I want - but it is not high on my priority list at the moment.

    Hope the teacher who started this thread has not given up totally on us.

    Butuz
    Last edited by Butuz; 29th February 2008 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #85
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Do remember I *have* deployed OO for all users.

    There were however 7 security vulnerabilities in the windows version in 2007, 2 appear to allow code execution. There don't seem to have been any patches for these except having to wait for the next release with the fixes in.

    How does everyone else manage their OO updates or do you wait for a re-image? (as I do atm).

    As I mention before the wsus side could be considered a bonus when using office when you are considering a *similar* application for use.

    I use OO because many of our students won't have office so they get the choice. After Easter my mac suites will even have Office 2008, iwork *and* OO

    If your NM doesn't feel OO is worth the time then really the idea needs to be propagated from the top down to make sure it is properly considered.

    As for your current situation (rather than the more technical issues). 3 computers shouldn't really be a problem, however it will all be personal now. The issue being the power plays that are going on because you and the NM disagree more than any technical issue.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    Very dissapointed with how this thread has come along - Edugeek is our window to the outside world and we should be presenting an approachable and professional image as "education ICT professionals".
    I think the main issue was the way the original poster phrased the thread and subsequent replies. It's tone came across as very confrontational and closed-minded. They would have been better simply posting 'technical reasons not to deploy open office alongside MS Office and associated security risks' rather than complaining about the internal politics in their school.
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 29th February 2008 at 12:12 PM.

  12. #87


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    Firstly id like to aplaud you t20racerman for wanting to use FOSS. We had abit of an unwritten policy of no FOSS, or rather it was ignorance rather than policy. Happily i can say i have changed that by a combination of no money and getting teachers and pupils "hooked" on the likes of GIMP, Paint.net, Dia etc. Its been a long hard task but now the majority of staff use atleast one peice of FOSS wether they know it or not.


    Secondly on the issue at hand; i wont go over all the technical aspects as all the points have alreaady been raised. Instead ill suggest why the NM has taken his stance. Theres 2 reasons i can think of;

    1. Hes over worked - in which case i can see his POV.
    2. He CBAed to learn or isnt capible of it. Im sure theres no need for me to explain my opinion if that is the case.

    On the policy of no FOSS; im sure someone is going to tell me "who am i to question another schools policy", but IMO who are "they" to denie people the choice they deserve, not to mention the obvious massive savings to be made. Blind ignorance is never an excuse in my book.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 29th February 2008 at 02:15 PM.

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