Site use for OpenOffice 3

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Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby rphil58 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:29 am

I am employed by a medium sized High School in Australia which has routinely installed OpenOffice across our campus. In a few days our total system of 5 servers and some 450 desktops will be "blown away" to be reloaded with a Windows system which has become standard across our entire state. The technicians who will come and do this task WILL NOT install any software package where they cannot site a letter, certificate or email giving permission for the use of the product. GPL is not good enough - they must cite some form of written permission. I don't know where else to turn from the OOo web site but I am seeking an email from a maintainer or head maintainer to say that the OpenOffice Suite can be installed site wide. This is proving to be a tough exercise in general as we use a lot of Open Source and we are struggling to get written permissions. We do know that most projects are community based and therein lies the problem. We use proprietary software but we also prefer to offer the open source alternatives to students and teachers alike. I am hoping someone can respond fairly quickly to me. Thanks in advance, Rick
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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby TheGurkha » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:57 pm

All I can suggest is you contact Sun directly. I don't know of another 'central' point.

Seems a strange attitude of the technicians though - they must know what open source is and means. As long as you can show that something is genuinely open source that should be enough for them. (It is for everyone else!)
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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:28 pm

See here perhaps: Why OpenOffice.org, can be accessed from the main OOo web site then first section (I want to learn about OOo).

Indeed those technicians are quite strange. Do they need a signed letter for every action they do???

Thanks to add '[Solved]' at beginning of your first post title (edit button) if your issue has been fixed.
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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby keme » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:08 am

+1 Those techies sound weird. Then again, they may have their orders from someone in high places, who have some interest (financial or otherwise) in proprietary software.

As far as the rest of the world is concerned, GPL is the permission, and it is written.
Anyone failing to grasp that should probably not be in a position to make decisions about ICT.
Most likely there is some other reason for that basic attitude of non-approval, and that reason ought to be made known to you.

It might be that you'll be allowed to deploy the OSS software yourself later, but the technicians will only contribute to such work if there's evidence of resources spent to acquire and implement specific software.

I've been in a similar situation (though not as adamantly dismissed), even with the norwegian government being much clearer in favour of using OSS/Open standards than what I gather from http://www.australia.gov.au/. It's not too easy to get a grasp on things.
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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby rphil58 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:35 am

Thanks to all those that have replied. The people who have made this decision are desk bound and as the entire system (Statewide) is MS, have probably been prompted by the "enemy". Be that as it may, we have managed to obtain written consent from a number of OS communities but OpenOffice is the biggest stumbling block of all. One responder pointed me to Sun Microsystems who, after a couple of days of beating myself over the head trying to find someone to talk to, have finally responded today saying that they don't own OO but simply "tipped" some code into the project. As such, they are not qualified to give the OK BUT are happy to sell a service contract and THEN they will give us a letter.

This is really sad, we have deployed OpenOffice for about 3 years now giving students and teachers a choice but without the "yea it is OK to do this" from one of the community members/project leaders, OpenOffice will be left off the deployment and because of time constraints, may never make it back to our system again. I have finally realised why large organisations don't deploy more Open Source. They don't (at a management level) understand the true meaning of GPL, LGPL and other derivatives. "Things can't be free can they? If no-one gets paid it can't be any good could it? What about when we need support, who do we turn to if no-one is there on a payroll and there is nowhere to ring?"

Sigh - onto the next problem - I have had enough of this one.

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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby keme » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Been there, sort of...

The ones in charge may well have been stuck in the intricacies of the Guide.... That publication lists quite a few concerns that might arise. What's not obvious is that some of those concerns arise even more with proprietary software. Furthermore, it's easy to just read the list of possible concerns, then decide that "this is too dangerous", without ever evaluating the actual risk involved, or compare to the risks involved when selecting the alternatives.

Oh, well. 'Nuff said, I guess. It's hard to get a proper grasp on those things with multiple levels of decision making, so I'd probably do the same as Rick. Sad it is, though.
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Re: Site use for OpenOffice 3

Postby ccornell » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:19 am

While Sun is a large contributor to OpenOffice.org, that may not have been the right route to go in your particular case. My suggestion.. contact the OpenOffice.org community council. http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Community_Council
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