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MIS Systems Thread, An Open Source MIS in Technical; Why can't SchoolTool or any of other already started projects be used?...
  1. #31

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Why can't SchoolTool or any of other already started projects be used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    Do I detect a note of disbelief here?
    I was wondering where they have both free speech and free beer? Either would be a start...I'll move tomorrow..

  3. #33


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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    What, we are talking UK MIS. Schooltool can not be used as a replacement for the proprietary MIS's in use in UK schools.
    It's opensource, you can modify it how you want.

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Why can't SchoolTool or any of other already started projects be used?
    Because this is a finished project. I am only guaging interest level from the people with the most likely ability to get involved.

  5. #35
    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    It's opensource, you can modify it how you want.
    I don't think you have read the thread completely. I know that, but why would you start from something that is far from useable when I am starting from something that can be used now.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    Do you have a source for this assertion, as it may help in our decisions.
    As an aside, why are UK educational institutions which are in fact multi million pound businesses and supposedly run by intelligent people so far behind in their IT use. Real businesses are embracing open source technology with open arms and are profiting by it.
    There are many reasons as to why people are scared of open source, the most common one has already been stated earlier in the thread, that most users are on their own and if anything goes wrong, they don't know how to fix it.

    Also, it's a new system to the users, people in general are mostly inherently afraid of change and anything unknown, I have many users who call me and often it's a very simple query because they are scared to click and find out what the icon does for fear of messing anything up.

    A lack of training is apparent as well, users don't spend the time to at least have a quick glance at the hardware/software manuals - they just plough straight in and if whatever it is they are trying to use doesn't work how they think it should in their (sometimes illogical) brains then that also causes problems.

    A lot of teachers (not all of them) try to fight against new technology being implemented, usually with an excuse something along the lines of "it'll disrupt my lesson" as they are apprehensive at first, if you can get them over that hurdle though, they'll then turn around and say "how did I ever manage without this?".

    On a side note: Gah, DCSF rebranded already!

  7. Thanks to Sarconia from:

    painejake (19th May 2010)

  8. #37


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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    I don't think you have read the thread completely. I know that, but why would you start from something that is far from useable when I am starting from something that can be used now.
    All projects are 'far from usable' at some point. I wouldn't want to have reinvented the wheel unless there was a fundamental flaw in something. My philosophy would be to add to existing projects and make them usable. Schooltool has't been updated for sometime, but OSS projects don't usually get 'finished' until they run out of funding.

  9. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    The developers.
    I'm sorry, but if you're going to be opaque you can count me out.

    edit - wait, if this is already finished, why are you seeking contributions?
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 19th May 2010 at 02:45 PM.

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    I think more tangible information is needed before saying we will/will not help? What can the system do? What can't it do more importantly? How does it stack up against our pretty solid implementation of SIMS? At the moment this sounds like a political manifesto- lots of words but no substance!

    Also, having a look at a website would be good and possibly getting our hands on a demo of some kind without playing with live data (a Bad Thing (TM)).

  11. Thanks to kingswood from:

    NickBryson (19th May 2010)

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    I would like to understand better what Garry wants from us - what sort of contribution - financial, technical, product development - its very unclear.

  13. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    the "something that people wanted it to do" bit could well be reporting and results analysis
    More specifically, we could do with somewhere for teaching staff to type internal test scores in to for storage and analysis and we could do with something to analyse our GCSE / A-Level results and produce some pretty graphics. I already have some code written for both of these, making that code part of a wider, more supportable system sounds like a sensible idea.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    I'm sorry, but if you're going to be opaque you can count me out.
    Ditto. If more information is given I would help where I can (I bring little to the table when it comes to programming, but I would happily test it and promote it as far as possible), however keeping the identity of "the developers" hidden and not providing a website or trial version seems a little contrary to the concept of Open Source IMO.

  15. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood View Post
    Also, having a look at a website would be good and possibly getting our hands on a demo of some kind without playing with live data (a Bad Thing (TM)).
    In his profile garrysaddington is listed as the Lead Developer for ScholarPack LTD. ScholarPack | School MIS | School Management Information System which has been discussed on here before: -

    As most people thought impossible

    OPEN SOURCE

    - but does not seem to have made all that much headway. The idea of an opensource system is a nice one but it is kind of like trying to introduce sustainable fusion based power to cavemen. With most schools moving to, setting up and training for their MIS systems are the hardest technological things they do (from a general staff prospective). It is at the core of the school and people want assurances, support and training which they are happy to pay for. There is also a massive amount of vendor lockin as the data is locked away in one brands MIS with not only a technological workload but also a huge training workload to unlock it.

    From a vendor lockin prospective this kind of barrier to entry for compeditors would even make Apple jealous. I think for a project like this to truely move foward in the majority of schools an organsiation would need to be formed to provide these crutches/training wheels. Without a solid foundation to build on most schools would be very unlikely at this point at least to move over. That and the retraining costs and effort involved is not something that most schools are used to or willing to accept in the technology field unlike in a business environment where retraining is expected and accepted.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 19th May 2010 at 03:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    Because this is a finished project. I am only guaging interest level from the people with the most likely ability to get involved.
    In which case can I ask why you chose to develop a different (new) project (ie the project you have finished now) and not use one of the other projects ... this would be one thing I would look at for how you and the other developers would react if another major group of developers also decided to work on this or if they chose to work on other projects, including creating yet another new one.

  17. #45
    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyiell View Post
    Ditto. If more information is given I would help where I can (I bring little to the table when it comes to programming, but I would happily test it and promote it as far as possible), however keeping the identity of "the developers" hidden and not providing a website or trial version seems a little contrary to the concept of Open Source IMO.
    I can understand all the suspicion that may exist around such a project. So why don't we suspend the discussion until ScholarPack is released as open source in the next few weeks. So you can have a full open source MIS for free if you want. If you don't want then nobody is going to force you.

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