[K12OSN] OT: Required use of IE by State DOE

David Hopkins dahopkins429 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 15 15:55:25 UTC 2007


Thanks, I was afraid that it would end up on this route.  I contacted my
state Senator and (old) Representative last year (they live 7 and 4 houses
away, respectively), but even when told that adopting a different approach
to IT could save 50% plus in IT costs (with data to back it up), and also
provide a better (more rounded?) IT education to students, they still said
that they needed to defer to the experts (State DOE, CIO) on these
decisions.  I now have a new Rep (about 1 mile away) after last fall's
election, so I will contact him and see if he is more willing to question
the status quo.  Of course, this is the same House and Senate that passed
sunshine laws which apply to everyone except themselves (specifically
exempted themselves in the law).

Dave Hopkins

On 3/15/07, Peter Scheie <peter at scheie.homedns.org> wrote:
> This is a long route, but I don't know that there's an alternative.  Get
> to know your
> local state reps.  Explain how IE-only plans of the DOE will shut out ALL
> the Macs in
> schools, since IE isn't being maintained for Mac any more, how the modern
> approach is to
> code to open standards so people are not locked into specific vendor's
> products.  Remind
> those reps that 20 years ago, all the various mail services--Sprint,
> CompuServe, AOL,
> etc.--were proprietary and didn't talk to each other.  The Internet
> changed all that,
> and that's why it stomped those proprietary services.  The DOE's approach
> is a reversion
> back to proprietary approaches that don't do the job.  Get the reps to
> understand that
> the DOE's strategy will end up costing the schools MORE money because
> they'll have to
> buy expensive equipment (Windows boxes) just to accomodate the DOE's
> shortsightedness.
> Then ask the reps to help the DOE adopt a more open approach, e.g.,
> something that
> complies with W3C standards rather than just accomodating one vendor.
> (There's an idea brewing here: Having government officials say they have
> great
> connections with a private business, such as your CIO has done, reminds me
> of the line
> from Styx's "Too much time on my hands": "I've got dozens of friends and
> the fun never
> ends, that is, as long as I'm buying".  Government shouldn't really have
> close ties to
> any vendors.  Private businesses, sure, they can have ties with whoever
> they want, they
> have no obligation to be neutral.  But government is
> different.  Unfortunately, it
> sounds like your CIO doesn't quite grasp that.  Who *doesn't* have good
> ties to their
> vendors?  The vendors are supposed to be your 'servants', although there's
> a price.)
> Petre
> David Hopkins wrote:
> > All,
> >
> > This is off-topic, but apparently the DOE for Delaware is developing
> > software (paying for the development) which will require the use of IE
> > in order to be used.  When asked why, the response is typically of the
> > form 'because that is what we want'.  Now, this is going to impact the
> > use of K12LTSP (or the adoption of anything that is not MS-centric).
> > So, has anyone come up with a legal requirement that would make
> > requiring the use of a specific browser by a specific vendor on the
> > vendor's hardware illegal?  I don't see how Section 508 can be used to
> > get around this, but perhaps someone on the list knows something.
> > Delaware is a very very very MS-centric approach to IT.  In fact, the
> > Delaware CIO boasts about the close ties of Delaware and MS.  He was
> > formally the Verizon lobbyist to the state.
> >
> > We are a small enough state (2 degrees of separation for most people)
> > that if there is something questionable about the proposed approach, it
> > can be changed but only with really good reasons.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Dave Hopkins
> >
> >
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