Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ral

Migrating to OpenSource

Recommended Posts

Here is a memo I am sending to try to establish a better software policy for a Free Legal Aid Office (names of the Unversity and Office have been removed). Giving it on Monday. Any comments?

 

It has been more than a year since the University made a decision to move towards Open Source/Free License software. Pursuant to this Linux operating systems with OpenOffice productivity suits have been installed on the Office's personal computers. The reason for this was mainly to cut down on licensing fees. At the same time migration to the Linux operating system would increase security.

 

Up to the present time, the students in the University have not been able to adopt to the use of the Linux operating system. While the efforts were laudable, implementation was too drastic and did not take into account the needs of the individual units of the College. The newer personal computers purchased by the Office have Microsoft Windows and OpenOffice installed.

 

At the present time I do not believe it is feasible for the Office to move to a Linux/OpenOffice environment, or even th Microsoft Windows/OpenOffice environment. OpenOffice, while a very powerful office suit, has a complicated interface. OpenOffice is also a resource intensive application and would run slowly on some of the Office older personal computers.

 

On the other hand, the Office does not need a full office suit with a word processor, spreadsheet, HTML application and presentation creator. A simple word processor would suffice for 99% of the Office's needs.

 

I recommend instead that the Office continue to use Microsoft Windows with a combination of OpenSource/Free License software.

 

Another matter that needs to be addressed is security. Should the Office continue to use MS Windows. Several Microsoft applications and the use of the Microsoft word should  document prone to exploitation by malware should be stopped. From a cost standpoint, Microsoft Windows cost about Five thousand to Nine Thousand pesos (Php5,000-Php9,000) per installation. Microsoft Office costs between Ten Thousand to Sixteen Thousand pesos (Php10,000-Php16,000) per installation. Hence, a significant amount of saving can be acheived by simply not using Microsoft Office, even if we continue to use Microsoft Windows.

 

I recommend that the following measures be implemented for the schoolyear 2004-2005:

 

1. Continue to use Windows 98.

 

2. Uninstall Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. These programs are not used by the Office, but are often exploited by trojans and worms.

 

3. Install Mozilla Firebird as a replacement web browser for Microsoft's Internet Explorer. While Microsoft's Internet Explorer cannot be removed from from Windows 98, all shortcuts leading to it should be deleted and Mozilla Firebird can be set as the default web browser. Firebird's interface is almost identical to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, hence migration to this browser should not be difficult.

 

4. Install AbiWord in place of MS Office and OpenOffice on all personal computers. AbiWord is free license, has a user friendly Microsoft Office like interface, can run even on the slowest personal computers and can read and edit Microsoft Word documents.

 

5. On machines for users who need a spreadsheet application, install OpenOffice together with Abiword.

 

6. Adopt Rich Text Format (*.rtf) as the official format to be used for Office's documents.

 

Notably, Abiword, Mozilla Firebird and OpenOffice are compatible with Linux operating systems. Hence we can continue to use these applications should we This would make a migration to Linux operating systems easier in the future.

 

Students can also be provided with copies of these programs on compact disc so that they can install it on their own personal computers at a minimal (Php10-Php15) cost.

 

This document was prepared on a Linux platform with AbiWord and printed on a Windows machine with Microsoft Office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my comments:

 

your right, better go slowly, step by step:

 

1: I agree, the OS is the last to change,

2 & 3: I agree, the browser, e-mail client and address book are the first to change.

 

Personally I think it would be enough for a first step.

 

IMO, the next step is: ask the users to use .PDF file format for attached document.

They can use Open Office for that.

If they prefer, let them work with M$ Office as usual, but ask them to use Open Office to convert M$ Office document to .PDF

Open Office is still slow to launch but if the PCs are powerful enough it can stay on the background. And I tell you, Open Office version 1.1.1 is very good to import M$ Office files. It's ready. Easily match M$ Office 97.

Then the users are going to get used with Open Office and perhaps are going to switch by themselves.

Then the big jump ? switch to Linux ? (probably depend on the other apps they are running on Windows)

 

 

Giving it on Monday. Any comments? 

 

Ok I'm late. :oops: but well that's the occasion to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback. Showed them AbiWord and Mozilla.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You shoudl check this.. 5(I can look upi the link again), but if they want (if tejhy ask for official company support or so) ... for educational pourpose you can get a free site license for star-office. I ebelieve also teh students, professors can get a free copy of staroffice.

 

Ofcourse Openeoffice is more current I suppose, but I mentionned it if ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we have a fair number of free licenses for StarOffice already and use OpenOffice too. The problem with StarOffice and OpenOffice is that the interface seems to confuse a fair number of users. We also run a couple of PIII 450's and Star/OpenOffice launches slow on these older boxes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4. Install AbiWord in place of MS Office and OpenOffice on all personal computers. AbiWord is free license, has a user friendly Microsoft Office like interface, can run even on the slowest personal computers and can read and edit Microsoft Word documents

 

can abiword now save in ms-word format? if it still cannot then sorry but that sentence might mislead someone.

 

ciao!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ral...

One incremetal way is for the P450's to remote login to a more powerful box. i.e. run Win98 but then use putty etc to open a window on a more powerful machine. All you need is a very lightweight WM with icons for abiword/OO running on linux....

 

Leave them the choice of also running locally and they will soon work out the linux one is faster :D ... opening OO will be much quicker since its left in memory all the time.

 

Of course you need a decent server....

(I just bought an AMD64 with 1GB RAM for GBP £400 )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ramfee. As already answered by QChem. Abiword can save in MS document format.

 

@gowator. Actually Abiword runs fine on the PIII 450's... server for OO might work, but the other reason for using Abiwrod is the more user friendly interface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm

I thought SO/OO was pretty friendly::::right down to bloatware...I keep waiting for an annoying clippy !!!

 

If you let people just hqve qn icon though they might start usig the other apps without really realising they are using linux :D and thus happy

 

You would be surprised the number of people at my workplace dont realise when they are running linux/sun apps because its an icon on the desktop :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
can abiword now save in ms-word format?

 

Yes! :D

cool! what ms-document format can it save to? anyway, abiword is going to my pc on my next reinstall (still waiting for somebody to give me the 10 OE discs).

 

ciao!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...