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Re: [school-discuss] Possible Schoolforge Project

Yes, well-observed, Daniel.  I think LM's idea of documenting what's available and, as you add, what hardware, might just be the way to address the problem which you state so well: "I don't think people realize they have much choice."

On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 9:48 PM, Daniel Villarreal <yclwebmaster@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On 02/16/17 14:44, LM wrote:
> ... schools, teachers and students are using more and more mobile apps
> on phones and tablets.  They're not as concerned with issues of "free"
> versus "Free"[...] The whole mobile ecosystem is very proprietary and
> tries to lock you into a particular brand and especially a particular
> app store.

I don't think people realize they have much choice.  When one sees the
Google Playstore app on their device, it is very convenient to just
use that "repository." Certain Kindle ebook formats may able to be read
on Android devices and generic PC's using open-source, free software,
for example. See http://calibre-ebook.com/about and

Although the venerable PDF format is able to be read on most devices, it
doesn't offer the flexibility of newer formats (see

> Cloud based computing and tablets and notebooks designed to encourage
> cloud applications and discourage use of locally installed programs are also
> cutting down on the number of Open Source applications people might
> use.

Again, it's a matter of convenience. I think that having the capability
to use external memory card, i.e. SD card (https://www.sdcard.org/) and
the option of sideloading apps illustrates that people have choice. It
becomes a question of how much choice there is and what are people
willing to do to exercise their choice.

> Instead of LibreOffice, many are using Google Docs and Microsoft
> Office 365 online.  Google may allow you to change data formats and
> move it to other applications easily, but a lot of their online tools
> are not Open Source.

For a hobbyist, the choice is easier to make, as most people would be
interested in saving money. For people that use software professionally,
there's not much choice. I miss using the old WordPerfect program. It
still exists (it's gone through different owners), but I'm not inclined
to go out and buy it because LibreOffice suits my needs just fine.

> There are some Open Source alternatives to proprietary mobile and
> cloud applications and proprietary app stores.  However, I don't see
> them catching on the way the proprietary options are.  It might be
> helpful if our Schoolforge group helped document Open Source
> alternatives to proprietary mobile and cloud solutions and shared
> reviews and case studies for some of these alternatives.  Some Open
> Source alternative examples are http://www.android-x86.org/ and
> https://marketplace.firefox.com/ and
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emscripten  It would be nice to add more
> mobile and cloud projects to our Schoolforge Education Software list
> and some pages on topics such as how to bypass proprietary app stores
> and get the applications you want on your mobile devices, why it's
> important to use FLOSS as opposed to free software and detailing
> alternatives to proprietary apps and software.

I agree, I think it comes down to documentation and education.
Many people don't bother with orthographic instructions and would rather
watch a video.

It helps, also, if people have a development/testing device. Most people
can't afford fiscally or time-wise to try something on their computing
device(s) that they aren't fairly certain is going to function.

It would be good for people to know how to ascertain what level of
hardware they need for their needs, how to shop online, how to save money!

> If anyone has any ideas, software suggestions, would like to help
> volunteer their knowledge on this subject or volunteer to write some
> articles, reviews and/or case studies or anything else related to this
> topic, please let us know.

Sounds interesting. Hopefully more later.

Daniel Villarreal
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