Permutation Jim

Authored Comments

<cite>...OSS software is often written by and for computer professionals.</cite>

As an avid OpenSource user, I still find this to be a problem.

Looking for assistance with the search functions in LibreOffice Writer, I got multiple responses like, "if you can't parse REGEX, you should just give up and install Word."

A less enthusiastic user would likely do just that. Proponents and advocates of OpenSource need go above and beyond to help... or keep their mouths (and fists) shut.

As an aside, I found the answer to this (and many) problems with Tomas Bilek's fantastic "AltSearch" extension (

Based on my experience of introducing Open Source into a UK First School, the reality is that teachers are (rightly) concerned about keeping control of a classroom and jumping the prescribed / documented administrative hurdles set before them.

A teacher needs mastery, rather than familiarity, of a software tool before he/she can demonstrate it to students. This proved unrealistic in our case.

Further, being "allowed" to introduce alternatives to Microsoft products might make for a good headline, until you consider that every teacher is already required to use a central government provided tracking tool that ONLY works with Microsoft Word and Excel, negating the possibility of alternative Office Suites, Operating Systems and the like.

The amount of funding, in real money and discounted software, that the UK education authority receives from Microsoft means that UK students will be trained solely the on the use of Microsoft products for a very long time.