[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] ANN: Calendula - fundraising for nonprofits and schools

Chris Puttick <chris@centralmanclc.com> writes:

> I have 2 sites now using SLOX, who wouldn't be if they couldn't have held
> onto their Outlook security blanket. I'm confident that after a year, very
> few will be still using Outlook as their method of accessing the services.
> To be sure, if I had director equivalent status, the users would have just
> been sent on a course to learn SLOX, and Outlook would have been phased out
> as SLOX was phased in. Although maybe not in the current UK teacher-employer
> relations atmosphere!

So we agree it can smooth out the transition, it is not literally

By the way, the strategy you point out can be very effective even if
for reasons other than user interface.  You're talking of giving out a
prize (use of the advanced features) to those who can leave their
security blankets (love the phrase) behind, and if the advanced
features become necessary ones or there is enough social pressure to
use them, you end up getting *all* the features from a single source.

> OpenOffice.org have an interface that in functionality, look and feel is
> similar enough to MS Office to not bother most users, once they have had a
> short familiarisation course (half day or less). 

Same can be said for web based groupware.  It is probably easier to
create a web interface that mimics Outlook's appearance (or more
importantly the way of doing things, as you notice below) than chasing
the moving target of proprietary protocols.  For one thing, you'd be
free from client restrictions completely, and the interface would
appear just nice in Mozilla as in IE.

> Even though this is the case, replacing MS Office in most schools is
> made difficult by the lack of a drop-in replacement for
> Access. Never mind that OOo can do all the functions used by the
> pupils in their projects, it doesn't do it in the same way, so the
> school staff resist the change strongly.


> Now if someone can just get around that one for me, I know 4 or 5
> high schools who'd move immediately...

It seems that South African company Sapila (www.sapila.com) is
building an office suite starting from StarOffice, which will feature
a database.  I read that it won't be free of charge (about 77 EUR) but
sources will be made public.  It is not clear to me whether this means
that in the end you'll be able to download the sources and integrate
them in OOo.