[Edu-sig] Now I went and did it!

Kirby Urner pdx4d@teleport.com
Wed, 04 Oct 2000 18:20:09 -0700

>I suggest you explain what open source is, give some very cool examples of 
>open source software (hmm, we saw some killer astronomy apps demonstrated 
>recently that would do quite nicely).  Of course show  Python and ALice
and a 
>few others. And mention the open source office suites. 

Again, I think it confuses the issue to make Python be some flag ship
of the open source movement.  The question is:  does Python have a role
in K-12?  If so, what is that role?

Apple has been aggressive in schools as well, and its OS is likewise
proprietary.  Python runs on both Microsoft and Apple OSs.

There's nothing wrong with explaining what open source means, what's
good about it.  It makes sense to praise Python for being open source
and distributed royalty free.  But people will use Python in various
proprietary ways -- so it just gets to be this involved discussion.

Open source is not synonymous with useful in the classroom.  Lots 
of open source stuff is too rough-edged and difficult to use given
all the demands on time.  Sometimes it makes sense to pay money for
some of those more polished products -- maybe just a few bucks.
And of course some of the open source stuff is very slick, totally
cool, and absolutely ready for classroom use.

At least in my own "propaganda", I'm not planning to try pushing
too many messages/agendas all at the same time.  Even if I push open 
source in some contexts (I appreciate Linux, have Python 2.0b2 installed 
on it etc.), I don't see the need to conflate this with my pro-Python 

Perhaps some of you ideologues want to educate me on why this isn't
the right attitude.  I'm open minded and willing to change my tune 
if I'm able tune in other ways of looking.