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Battle For Open Standards In Dutch Public Education 89

In his first accepted submission, pjstevns writes "The heat is on! With the rising use of online systems for school administration the battle for open and accessible solutions is here, now. Parents are forced to buy 'proper' operating systems from your favorite Redmond based supplier — just to be able to access their children's grades, or participate in classes. A petition addressed at parliament for proper implementation of the open-standards guidelines put forward by the Dutch government itself is buzzing around the Netherlands. Comply or Explain!" It seems like a major supplier of education software in the Netherlands has written essential software in Silverlight that all students must use, claiming "...Magister is truly multiplatform because Silverlight is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux," despite it more or less being non-functional with Moonlight.
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Battle For Open Standards In Dutch Public Education

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  • by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @05:39AM (#37575730)

    So much about .Net cross-platform.
    At least with Java you have to go out of your way to create platform dependency (like hard-coding path separator as "\", and not querying it from the System object), or use 3rd party non-portable libraries with JNI bindings.
    Hell, they would have faired better even if they just used some Adobe Air based solution.
    Or just use ASP.Net and no Silverlight. They just choose the worst possible solution for a public facing portal.

    • I'm so glad someone points the finger at .Net, .Net is cross-platform, to all version of Windows, It can cross from 7 to 98 ( i think ). If a developer uses .Net it just shows there taking an easy road instead of making a solution. .Net is for developers who don't want to develop, just use. If developers really think .Net is a selling point for them it would be like arguing that you put training wheeling back on your bike to make is safer, only you can't take the bike everywhere and it only to 4 scre
      • Yawn. Dot Net sux0rs zzzzzz. What the fuck would you know about it?

        • We know that it isn't meaningfully cross platform for starters.

        • You're right it does suck at the very least as a way to create cross platform software.
          • It's NOT cross platform, cross platform is Windows, Mac and LINUX. I'm sick of people stating they have cross platform software thats Mac and Windows compatible. Sorry you missed the mark if think Mac and Windows = cross platform. Anyone who thinks different is wrong, not semi right, not opinionated right, just wrong.
      • ". .Net is for developers who don't want to develop, just use. "
        I think .Net is fine as a technology, the problem is it's tied to MS operating systems. You get RAD tools with most commercial IDEs, even if it's for a native language.

        • Good code is able to be lifted from one system and with very light changes run on another. .Net takes that concept and throws it out the window.
    • Who underwrote the development?

  • by reiisi ( 1211052 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @05:39AM (#37575732) Homepage

    Money circulates under the table, as always.

    But it never hurts to let the people over "there" (wherever there is) know that people over here (wherever here is) are aware of their dependence on things that are fundamentally not dependable.

    (Are you under the power of gold^H^H^H^H power?)

  • by OrangeSun ( 845294 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @05:42AM (#37575738)
    I find it wonderful that people are striving for what must seem like 'little' freedoms. I've recently come around to the idea that these small cracks become the gaping, festering ulcers of our society when left unchecked. OS
  • by Ice Tiger ( 10883 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @05:55AM (#37575766)

    For making such a stupid decision to move away from Open Standards. If you want stuff to work on the Internet use open standards, simple as that.

    Why should users have to go to a desktop computer with a specific OS in order to utilise the system? Maybe it should be made fit for purpose for the modern age.

    • by KoolyM ( 602345 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @07:04AM (#37575900)
      It's more subtle than that. The Dutch schoolmaster CIO only has two pieces of software to choose from, one of which is a bunch of outdated Windows desktop apps that are terrible to work with and the one TFA is about, which is a fairly decent set of web apps that unfortunately have never worked on anything but windows (first they used all sorts of ActiveX components, now it's a bunch of Silverlight crap, apparently). So there really is very little the schoolmaster CIO can do, and given the lack of options, he probably made the best possible choice.
      • He could demand the source, release it to the community, and end up with an open source project with community support.

      • Really? I remember reading Magister has a respectable-but-far-from-monopolistic market share of 10%, and there seem to be various options available, including the web-based SOM (formerly Vocus, http://product.simaconderwijs.nl/Onze_producten/SOM [simaconderwijs.nl] ). Of course they'll differ in scope, but there certainly seems to be competition.

        (full disclosure: i work for a sister-company of the company that develops SOM)

    • by knarf ( 34928 )

      No no no, that is not what you do when confronted with someone in a position of authority who is found incapable of making rational decisions. The right course of action is to first reward the person handsomely, treating him like a valued and honoured member of the community. Offer him (or her) a parachute so golden that it generates its own gravity. Don't ever reprimand the person, don't ever mention their incompetence. Either promote the person to a position of even more authority - put him somewhere high

  • by mrjb ( 547783 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @07:36AM (#37575964)
    Please hit them with a clue-bat at info@schoolmaster.nl. This page on their website requires silverlight as well: http://www.schoolmaster.nl/Foldermateriaal/Magisterboek/tabid/615/language/nl-NL/Default.aspx [schoolmaster.nl] If you try installing the plug ins, you'll be redirected to the moonlight plugin. Which won't install because it is "not compatible with firefox 6". So in other words, it won't work on Linux. I wonder why am I not in the least bit surprised?
    • Indeed. Even worse: Moonlight has never reached that maturity to keep up with the latest-of-the latest that's being used by Schoolmaster's Magister Silverlight app. I still keep a virtual WindowsXP available to boot, whenever I need to fill in marks for the kids.

      Indeed, here's an IT teacher from NL with linux at home.

  • Why not just use C++/Qt and recompile for each platform? Seriously, unless you are being naughty and using platform specific code, Qt is platform agnostic. All that would be required is a simple recompile and you could have a Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (OSX seems to be overlooked here). An additional bonus that you get a binary out which seems to be there preference as bytecode is easier to reverse engineer.

    However, if they go with something else, I insist they go with .Net compiled as MSIL or Java as th

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      It is a website. They changed it so that the website depends on a not-widely deployed plugin.

      That really should not be needed, people can just use open standards HTML/JS/CSS.

      • by kenh ( 9056 )

        It is a website. They changed it so that the website depends on a not-widely deployed plugin.

        Please define "not-widely deployed plugin" - as I read TFA, Silverlight is supported on 90% of desktops (those running MS operating systems)... That seems pretty widely deployed to me.

  • iPad is the best-selling PC in the world for over a year now, and there is no Silverlight there.

    If you are making something that everybody needs to see, you use HTML5 or you fail. It is that simple. The whole fucking point of the Web is to be the one platform that is universal.

    Tell the bozo developer to go to w3.org not microsoft.com. And tell him computing is centered in Silicon Valley, motherfucker, not Washington.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wvmarle ( 1070040 )

      A quick google gives me the following numbers:

      iPad: about 10 million units sold first half 2011. So make that 20-25 million for the year. The total tablet market may reach something like 30 million this year.

      PC's: about 350 million units sold in 2010.

      iPad and other tablets may get all the press, but generic PC units outsell tablets by more than 10 to 1, and those generic PCs again come >90% with Windows pre-installed. No idea what you've been smoking but your statement is clearly nonsensical. You can

    • by Cwix ( 1671282 )

      An ipad is alot of things, a PC it is not.

    • by kenh ( 9056 )

      If you are making something that everybody needs to see, you use HTML5 or you fail.

      Wow, I didn't realize that HTML5 was so universal it is supported by all browsers, on all platforms.

    • iPad is the best-selling PC in the world for over a year now, and there is no Silverlight there.

      I'm a PC, and I object to being compared to an iPad.

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Saturday October 01, 2011 @12:36PM (#37577622) Homepage Journal

    If the school system provided a terminal server for the 10% of desktop users that opt for Operating Systems which do not natively support "Silverlight" to access the school web sites this would be a non-issue. RDP clients are plentiful and work fine on nearly all platforms. Even iPads.

  • It's pretty much dead in Microsoft's eyes. Maybe they'll get it right when they have to redo it in a few years because silverlight doesn't exist anywhere.
  • Was to give Microsoft an excuse so they could proclaim that their systems followed standards and were cross-platform. Of course in reality, the standards are always only possible if you're using Windows, otherwise you get only partial functionality, which means it's not really a standard.

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