Specifically, has anyone attempted to develop a school management information system using open source?
Generally, can anyone flag up what they think the positives and negatives are with regard to open source development?
I am working on building an Opensource ZIS at the moment.
Then I'll start looking at some clients for some of the software people use out there.
FreeMis doesn't look like its been updated in a while
There is no code available, there is some java stuff for the client, I also looked at the tinyzis by tom from the schooltool project but that looks like it has been abandoned.
I am finding my self writing all sorts of custom scripts to connect various applications in the school, which is what SIF/ZIS was supposed to do.
So I figured I'd write my own, it won't be a full implementation of SIF straight off but should get that way over time.
I'm developing it in PHP, prolly with a mysql back end for storage.
I use and am planning on writing agents for :
Eclipse.Net - Library
EasyTrace - Cashless Catering
Paxton NET2 - Door access.
So let me know what applications you want agents written for.
Code will be GPL'd looking at hosting it on Launchpad, or something similar.
sound like so many other but good luck to you.
Good to hear you are developing in php and mysql, i would recommend using Cakephp as a framework. Cake can handle all the boring but necessary bits like security and email just to name a few things.
if you did go down the cakephp route i would be willing to contribute.
Coding Horror: Procrastination and the Bikeshed Effect
I would also add that someone, somewhere, has to pay for any open source application's development, either in time and effort or simply in money, in hiring other people to work on a project. Some open source business models rely on selling consultancy, but in my experience consultancy sucks as a way of developing software, either open source or otherwise. The best open source projects (think the Linux kernel, Mozilla, MySQL, Apache, OpenOffice) have salaried employees who's job it is to write that software, relying purely on volunteers gets you a rather assorted collection of expertise.
Dhicks is absolutely spot on !!
However there is an awful lot of small scale MIS development going on out there that fills the huge yawning gaps that exist in the products that can be bought from companies like Capita and Serco.
This work often withers on the branch once the key proffessional who has developed these add ons moves on and I do believe that there is a great deal of scope for sharing these projects on an open source basis, maybe a site like MIS WORK or MIS ADD ONS.
Thankfully because I work in the private sector I dont have to cope with information needs of central or local government so I certianly intend to share the small scale MIS system that I am developing for my school using Access, Eeeek Microsoft !!! lol well I'll be sharing all of the code and I'm deliberately keeping the server side technology to a minimum so that it can be made kosher by using MySQL. that's open source enough for me.
BTW there are some excellent consultants out there and the cost of consultantancy is going down but I strongly suspect that once the money stops then so do they. I doubt that they will work on a project just for the love of it.
I've been in the IT / Teaching game for over 30 years. I have never worked with or met a good consultant.BTW there are some excellent consultants out there and the cost of consultantancy is going down
A consultant is a man who knows 101 ways to make love but doesn’t know any women.
Mmmm I worked with an excellent one this Monday, he was worth every penny that we paid him.
I have friends and family who do IT Consultancy work so I find such ignorant sweeping statements quite offensive.
These are people who are only as good as their last job and they depend on word of mouth recommendation and repeat business from clients who are under no obligation to re-employ them.
I too have friends who are consultants, and they will agree with me.
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