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MIS Systems Thread, An Open Source MIS in Technical; If an Open Source MIS existed that met all of the necessary government standards, who on this list would actively ...
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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    An Open Source MIS

    If an Open Source MIS existed that met all of the necessary government standards, who on this list would actively contribute to such a project and who would support it? Please be honest because your responses could result in the release of a MIS that is indeed open source and free.

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    AntiThesis's Avatar
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    If it helps, I'd contribute simply because it's a good idea - we have a system that we're going to have to use unfortunately but it's still a worthwhile project.

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    I've been wanting to do one for a long time now. I think there are other projects out there doing the same tho.

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    Sarconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    It's not a new idea.
    Indeed, I'm not 100% sure why it hasn't taken off yet though... probably due to the DCSF changing their mind about various issues every 3-6 months and that most regular users seem to be afraid of open source.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    If an Open Source MIS existed that met all of the necessary government standards, who on this list would actively contribute to such a project and who would support it?
    There's nothing to stop me installing an open source MIS system on a spare VM somewhere, but it'd have to do something that people wanted it to do before they would get around to using it, and some problem that needed solving that such a system would be suited to solving would need to turn up before I could jusify spending any development time on (I'm not inclined to work on MIS' in my own time). That said, the "something that people wanted it to do" bit could well be reporting and results analysis - we currently seem to email around a confusing collection of Word / Excel files for editing by assorted people, something centralised and web-based would be useful.

    --
    David Hicks

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    I know it's not a new idea, but no one has ever released anything that can replace SIMS/SERCO et al. and do all the government returns. I am talking about the release of a complete, ready to use MIS, not a pie in the sky project.
    Last edited by garrysaddington; 19th May 2010 at 10:17 AM.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I would contribute if i could, though don't have much time to spend unless it's sorting out the MIS we do have..

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarconia View Post
    Most regular users seem to be afraid of open source.
    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.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Hmm this comes up over and over again, and the problem is always momentum: to get decent feedback about what's working and what's not, you need a school that adopts it in a live environment. You'll find it hard work persuading anybody to take that kind of risk with their school system...

    On another note, I'd only be prepared to contribute if it's under a truly free license, not just publicly-viewable source. However, I can't promise any involvement at the moment.

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    Jamo's Avatar
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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.
    I think from what I have heard, people are 'scared' of being on their own in terms of support. My school didn't want to use Joomla or Moodle because I was the only person who knew about them in depth and could set one up and manage it. A lot of schools totally rely on outside support for their infrastructure. I have found it a little odd at times not spending the money on training instead.

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Hmm this comes up over and over again, and the problem is always momentum: to get decent feedback about what's working and what's not, you need a school that adopts it in a live environment. You'll find it hard work persuading anybody to take that kind of risk with their school system...

    On another note, I'd only be prepared to contribute if it's under a truly free license, not just publicly-viewable source. However, I can't promise any involvement at the moment.
    We already have two schools using it and it was trialled in another for 4 years. It will be released under the Open Software license V3 or the GNU Affero license.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Who is 'we' and 'us' in this context?

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    We already have two schools using it and it was trialled in another for 4 years. It will be released under the Open Software license V3 or the GNU Affero license.
    Are these licences similar to Fronter which is apparently Open Software? The only thing Open about that is the large flaws within its codebase


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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    Are these licences similar to Fronter which is apparently Open Software? The only thing Open about that is the large flaws within its codebase

    No they are both licenses approved by the Free Software foundation and the Open Source Initiative.
    The we in this context is the organisation formed to provide support services around the release of an Open Source MIS. Before someone gets the wrong idea, could I stress that the software will be totally open source, totally free (as in speech and as in beer!) and not some cut down version devised to get schools to upgrade to an 'enterprise' version.

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