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RE: [seul-edu] Comprehensive Student Management System

At 03:19 PM 8/31/00 -0500, Raybould, Kevin wrote:
>I agree that web browsers can be a limiting UI, but my main concern was
>acceptability.  I would think that some school systems would balk at having
>to install new desktops on teachers machines.

I think you are correct. An application like the gradebook one we have been
discussing is not the best wedge for the sort of installation I was thinking
about. The cafeteria-collections program we've also been discussing is more
suited to that approach. It would be using dedicated systems, not be
expected to run on multipurpose, desktop computers where loss of Windows
compatibility would be a serious concern to users and sysadmins.

If we want to find ways to get Linux out of the backroom and into visible
places, trying to get it to the stage where it can replace a general-purpose
system probably is not a good starting point. Specialized, terminal-like
situations offer a better wedge -- the cafeteria example, possibly library
catalog and checkout stations, and lab settings where running a small number
of applications on low-cost terminals is an attractive option.

Build some visibility, some better X-oriented UI expertise in the programmer
community, and something of a user base in this way, and it might be an
avenue to greater acceptance of general-putpose uses.

Or maybe not; it's only an idea. Office has been such a tough barrier to
general desktop use for so long (and the relatively poor performance of
Netscape on Linux compared to Netscape on Windows or Macs hasn't helped)
that it's tempting at least to think about ways to do an end-run and deliver
real value to schools (and other places) in special-purpose settings.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com