More thoughts following the BECTA report

The full BECTA report into open source software has been out for a few days now, long enough to digest. As I (and others) predicted, its tone is pro-open source, but by no means evangelical.

What I failed to predict was that the report would come out more in favour of open-source operating systems than open-source desktop software. I’m impressed. When you build a house, start with the foundations. The BECTA report carries a strong bias for network servers first, client OSs second and desktop software third. It’s a sound principle.

Chalkface has followed pretty much that path. Our servers run Linux (Gentoo distro, if you’re interested) and our services are built variously on Java, PHP, Python, Zope and Plone (purists would point out that Java isn’t open-source as it’s controlled by Sun, but it is free to use). We’ve built stable, scalable, secure applications on these foundations.

Equally importantly, we’ve kept our prices to schools low because we don’t pay license fees to Microsoft or anyone else.

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