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So far no one has reported big issues aside from formatting being funny
if someone used the advanced formatting features of MS Office and then
opened them with OpenOffice. The Powerpoint issue hasn't come up.
Impress (OpenOffice's presentation program) seems to deal well with
Powerpoint but I haven't had a power user of PowerPoint try it either so
I am not sure if it has been strenuously put through its paces.
As far as curricular materials go, there aren't any yet specifically
for OpenOffice so, one would have to adapt something written for another
program. Depending on the materials you use and your style of teaching,
this could be a huge issue or nonissue.
Dave

>>> [log in to unmask] 11/04/02 02:18PM >>>
If it can be defaulted to 'save as' MS office products it would be a
lot
easier.  Professional Development wouldn't become so much of a
problem.

Another thing; what about text books?  I know that you can download
the
documentation, but does anyone make class room text books for this
program?

Can filemaker pro be set up on a web server with custom wrote .asp,
.aspx or .pl to access data?  Can you access record sets through ADO
or
OLE?

Dave, from the pilot program have you had any negative responses and
what are they?  Have you had any problems with .ppt file when opened
in
OpenOffice?

-Paul
RNESU

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dave Tisdell
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 1:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: OpenSource Software

As for the file format issue, OpenOffice can be set up to save in MS
office file format as the default.
I don't think the training issue is a compelling enough impediment to
adoption. If you know how to run Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you can
quickly adapt to OpenOffice. It is not that different. I have a few
folks piloting it because I would like to deploy it on a wide scale at
a
later date.
They are reporting that it is easy to work in.
For users who can't or won't switch, don't force them. Just don'y buy
new MS Office licenses. Any transisition away from MS office will have
to be gradual in many cases.
Database is the biggest obstalce if you have been heavily invested in
Access. I don't know if there is an equivalent of addabas
(StarOffice's
database) coming (OpenOffice shares a large portion of StarOffice's
code
base). One might have to look at filemaker. My knowledge of opensource
databases is limited. Most of them are higher end than access like
MySQL; well beyond the needs and sophistication of most users.
In any event, reconstructing the relationships from Access would be a
daunting task.

Dave
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/04/02 01:32PM >>>
Greg,

I should have said that RNESU needs to come a lot further, before I
attempt to deploy a solution like this one.  Some of my users are
dedicated to using MS Works; which has to be the worst office product
in
the world.  No matter what I say they will not switch.  I happen to
like
OpenOffice, it's better than Star Office.  It has lots of nice
features
like a Math problem writer; this is probably one of its best features.
For mail merging you can use it to connect to an LDAP server.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but the strikes that I have against
it are: 1.  Professional Development 2.  RNESU relays heavily on MS
Access and MS Works databases, OpenOffice doesn't support access or ms
works databases. 3.  Most companies use MS Office; if students already
are familiar with this MS product than they should be very productive.
4.  Most of the world has MS Office or MS Works at home, if deployed
it
would cause a large amount of confusion at first.  Everyone would have
to be well informed on how to SAVE AS.  I think in the end it will
make
the students understand technology a little better. 6.  Lacking Speech
Recognition 7.  Lacking manageability; I need those .adm files 8.
Time

I'm more concerned about the staff; they are the users that are not
able
to spend the time to learn new tricks.

If you are not currently stuck using a product, I would consider
OpenOffice in some ways its superior to Office XP or Apple Works.
They
also built a Mac ported version, the one for 10.2 works better.

My response probably won't help any, because we might be in different
situations.  I understand that you use FileMake Pro and are not as
dependent on MS Access.

GIMP on the other hand; RNESU has not adopted any graphic editing
software.  Free is better or buy a few licenses for the labs so that
they can create .gif files.

-Paul
RNESU

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gregg Martin
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 6:44 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: OpenSource Software

[log in to unmask] writes:
>GIMP is a great program.  It's awesome that it's being ported to
>windows!  OpenOffice however still has a way to go.

Paul,

I am interested in knowing more about your opinion regarding
OpenOffice.
One of the network admins here recently suggested migrating his entire
school from Microsoft to OpenOffice.  You say it still has a way to
go.
I've never used it.  Can you summarize the problems, as you see them,
with
adopting it?

Thanks very much...

....Gregg



-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Gregg Martin
Technology Director
Chittenden South Supervisory Union
5420 Shelburne Rd.  Suite 300
Shelburne, Vermont  05482
802.383.1234 x229 (v)
802.383.1242 (f)
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