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Re: Major interview

Malonowa <malonowa@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
>One thing we overlook here I think is that teachers generally aren't 
>computing experts. They teach their subject and they try to do this as

>best they can. More often than not, they really wouldn't have time to 

>concern themselves deeply in the technologies that we have to offer 
>them. They're looking for an affordable "black box" that helps their 
>teaching - they really are the simple end users that seul exists for.

This may be true for the majority of teachers, but it only takes a small
minority of teachers to provide meaningful assistance and input into a

Even if there weren't such teachers, there are still reasonably sized
institutions behind them that can make a difference.  What if, instead
of purchasing programs schools contracted the programs they wanted?  The
power would be in the schools' hands, the ability to fork developement,
the ability to hire new programmers regardless of the company that first
made the program, and a level of input into how the software works that
doesn't currently exist.

It would take out the marketing aspect of software, which seems to be a
terrible bane on quality software that fits peoples' *real* needs.

School funded software is, for the most part, a ways away.  But there is
a path to that end that can be seen -- grants.  It's not a great system,
but it's almost the system that free software is looking for.

And even before that, there are significant benefits to free software --
programs aren't purposely made obsolete, community input excedes
anything commercial programs have provided, the standard for acceptable
bugs is lower, and glitz is not king.  I'm sure there's others I'm not
thinking of at the moment.

Proprietary programs may be important to getting Linux into the schools.
In this function it may be good to help and encourage them.  But in the
end they don't really belong together and I don't think a happy union
will be found.

  -- Ian