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Re: Large Scale Integration

On Sun, Nov 15, 1998 at 10:42:26AM -0600, David Kirtley wrote:

> > Again, I think we should take a long hard look at http://www.imsproject.org
> > which looks like a serious global attempt at a standard for such
> > databases... 

Here is a quote from the IMSproject:


The IMS project is non-profit and is freely disseminating the IMS
specifications and software prototypes. The fees for the Developers' Network
are intended to cover our costs of providing these additional services.

In my book, that puts it in the same category as non-open-source freeware.
... like netscape communicator for education before spring 98, or staroffice
for education, or mysql or kde (and maybe even pine and kermit).

In the Debian distribution, IMSproject could find a home in the non-free
subdirectory tree.  David: when I read your first assessment, I felt very
much at home with your sentiments and smiled a lot.  In spite of it all, I
still think that like the other programs cited above, IMSproject should be a
part of our discussions. 

> >From what I get from reading their docs (The ones that are not in Word 7 
> format, when will people get a clue?) is that appears to be just another big 

people do get a clue (netscape, intel, corel ...)   While we wait for them
to get the clue, let's use 'catdoc' or something similar to convert from word.doc
to universal.text file. 

> <opinionated mode on> 
> the problem with what they are doing is just absolutely contrary to what linux 
> is about. 

More specifically, what they are doing is contrary to what GNU is all about.
What I propose is that we "emulate" them in the same sense that GNUMERIC (a
GNU project) emulates excell.  Our software will have to interoperate with
the big commercial learning systems if we want to be taken seriously by the
general K-12 community. Since the big players are either staying proprietary
or switching to IMSproject, I can't see how we can afford to ignore them.

> I honestly do not take them seriously. This is the kind of thing that keeps 
> computers out of the classroom and sucks technology resources away from 
> schools. This is not a model to emulate, this is what we are working AGAINST.

I think that by this point, as much fun as you are to read, we are no
longer talking about the same thing. <grin>  

> We could have a working model available before they finish planning the year's 
> conference schedule.

right on ... this is why we are here and have not paid the $1000 to be there.