[Linux-aus] [Lias] Recent comments made to Education and Health Committee

Shaun Nykvist ninja at kangawallafox.com
Wed May 9 12:49:29 EST 2012

...such a typical discussion that I hear over and over in the education sector!

On 24/04/2012, at 5:27 PM, Luke John wrote:

> Hi PLUG, Linux-aus and lias,
> Below are a number of extracts from the written transcript of evidence
> given to the Western Australian Education and Health Committee inquiry
> into improving educational outcomes for Western Australians of all
> ages.
> -------------------------------------
> The CHAIRMAN: But are the platforms Mac, DOSS, Linux? What are the platforms?
> Mr Doyle: We have Windows and the Apple operating systems and Linux is
> a server platform that we use at central office. They generally
> inter-operate okay, if you can use a word like that. Apple devices
> will have a bit of difficulty with our legacy school administration
> system because we are looking to upgrade that sometime in the future,
> but it is predominantly a PC access base for Windows.
> -------------------------------------
> The CHAIRMAN: It has been put to me that for a lot of schools—I have
> to get my language right—their platform is Windows, and they may have
> been given Windows for the school because they know that the students
> will then buy Windows to use at home as their package. But it could be
> far more cost effective for schools if rather than using Windows they
> used other platforms so that they could access open-source software
> and packages. Could you explain that to me?
> Mr Doyle: There are two primary operating systems for  computing that
> sits in your hands—the desktop—and that is the Apple operating system,
> and Windows, which is Microsoft. They are the two major computer
> operating systems in the world. Then there are a number of other what
> they call open source. So the first two big ones are big, proprietary
> owned and cost a lot of money to spread across our system. The open
> source is an alternative code produced by the IT industry and techno
> people who do not like Microsoft and do not like Apple and they are
> looking for cheaper alternatives that they can develop. So you have a
> range of operating systems that would be called open source. The major
> one of those will be Linux as an operating system for computers. We do
> use Linux in our system, but it is not on the computer. It is actually
> more a back-end data centre environment, where we have Linux operating
> systems running large enterprise-class servers as they are called. So
> it is just an alternative platform. Again, too much variety makes it
> very difficult for communication. So it is about accepting that the
> standard in the world is around Microsoft and Apple. They are going to
> be the major players at this point in time. They will be the majority
> of systems that our students will face when they go into the
> workforce. They will be the vast majority of systems in offices and
> factories. Anything else would be built on those environments. So it
> makes a lot of good sense for SOE and it makes a lot of good sense for
> future planning that we stick to the accepted major operating systems.
> The CHAIRMAN: So your customer service centres would focus on Apple
> and Windows rather than on Linux and other programs?
> Mr Doyle: We have a range of software that we do support, and that
> comes in three layers, if you like—two layers that we support, and one
> that we do not. What we call our tier 1 applications are spread right
> across the system. Everyone is using them. They are quite
> straightforward office productivity things like Word and Excel and
> those types of things.
> The CHAIRMAN: So they are Windows packages?
> Mr Doyle: They are Windows, or Apple; it depends on what device they
> are using. They are a tier 1 application. Tier 2 applications  are if
> a school wants to use them, and they are  generally fairly widespread
> around schools, we will help schools with that particular range of
> applications
> -------------------------------------
> The representatives from the DET present for this hearing were;
>  Ms Deborah Bevan (Manager, E-Schooling, Department of Education),
>  Mr Lindsay Hale (Acting Executive Director, Statewide Planning and
> Delivery, Department of Education)
>  Mr Bevan Doyle (Chief Information Officer, Department of Education)
> The document is available at
> <http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/commit.nsf/(Evidence+Lookup+by+Com+ID)/CCAB737284282A33482579DC001A6C1C>.
> The committees email address is <laehsc at parliament.wa.gov.au>. and a
> document explaining submissions to committees is available at
> <http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/webcms/webcms.nsf/resources/file-laco-making-a-submission/$file/LACO+Making+A+Submission.pdf>.
> Also the inquiries webpage is at
> <http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/commit.nsf/(InqByName)/An+inquiry+into+improving+educational+outcomes+for+Western+Australians+of+all+ages>.
> Kind Regards
> Luke John
> _______________________________________________
> lias mailing list
> lias at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/lias

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