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Re: info about skolelinux

Søndag 03 desember 2006 22:25, skrev Lior Kaplan:
> I do have personal knowledge about Skolelinux, but I'll appreciate
> official info about the project, and especially regarding the ties
> with the governments / ministries of education.

We reported on how the project started to the EU organisation IDABC[1] 
Jun 23 2004: 


A summary of what I said back then about (page 12-13): 


There are some more issues to explain regarding the ties with The 
Ministry of Education and Science. 

The ministry did not pay for product development, making the Debian 
based CD. I "sold" our solution based on a architecture, reusing 8-9 
years of experiences with the national science Internet to 100 
Universities, Colleges and science stations.

Our plan was to introduce that kind of platform independent architecture 
to the schools. Translate software, and cherry pic the educational 
software already made by free software developers. Make everything 
aveivable to all. Then RedHat, SuSE and even Microsoft could reuse what 
we had done. 

Today The national science network is built on top of Debian / 
Skolelinux components. 

The general issue was the fear ministry had, for employing one extra 
person at every school, just maintaining computers. In Norway we talk 
about at least 3500 additional persons. By reusing experiences with the 
science network, centrally operated, and making it easy accessible from 
a CD, would reduce the need of manpower maintaining computers. 

We also had a good competitive argument, that the kids should learn to 
drive on the information higway, finding their way not being dependent 
on one single vendor. BMW is a popular brand amongst driver instructor 
in Norway. But when you drive a car, you don't learn to drive a 
product. You learn to drive any car, and can manoeuvre safely on the 
information highway. 

What we finally was able to get some money for doing, when it comes to 
The Ministry, was to write a experience report, and a ITIL maintenance 
documentation for centrally operated installation. This money we used 
almost +1200 hour to apply for. The work it paid for was around 4000 
hours. We talk about ~230 000 Euro. 

Rest of the Skolelinux effort was paid for by voluntatry contributions, 
and we talk about then thousands of hours. And some private founding 
from NUUG Foundation, helping out with paperwork, marketing and 
organising things, where the free software development modell don't 
realy work. We talk about 500 000 Euro.

Today the schools can by maintenence services and support from 
Skolelinux Drift, a service oriented enterprise that is spesialiced in 
maintaining Skolelinux servers centraly for a lot of schools. The 
schools pay for that service. Some of the surpluss of that enterprise, 
will be used to pay the cost of the voluntary work, paying for 
developer gatherings etc. 

The Ministry was clear on their expectation, that Skolelinux should be 
self sustainable. Myselv has been a proponent of that too. We need to 
sell our solution in the markedplace, or else we can't prove our real 
value in competition with proprietary software. This has lead to a lot 
of interesting effects you can't see other places where the regional 
state has been focusing on GNU/Linux. In my experience Skolelinux still 
has most experience on making GNU/Linux work as a commercial activety, 
selling our services to the schools and municipalities. 

1. IDABC stands for: Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment 
Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens. 

Best regards

Knut Yrvin

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