[K12OSN] OT: Required use of IE by State DOE (what MAINE did)

David Trask dtrask at vcsvikings.org
Thu Mar 15 23:39:23 UTC 2007

Maine actually went through this a few years back with the MEDMS project
(Maine Education Data Management System....which is a statewide database
of students and teachers....it's a decent system, but didn't start out
that way)  The initial project was contracted out to a company called
XWave who started developing the app so it would really only work with IE.
 The tech folks in Maine put up a huge stink....myself included.  There
are many of us running Linux in Maine....and many running Mac OS X....it
was absolutely ludicrous that we should have to buy Windows just to use
software funded by the taxpayers....not to mention probably illegal. 
C'mon Delaware!  Ya'll get together and challenge this!  Don't sit back
and let it happen....act like a Mainer!  ;-)  Anyway...long story
short...Maine scrapped the initial project....fired XWave and did it
right.  Now it works with just about any browser and it's pretty cool. 
Nice to have too...it's worked nicely with our one-to-one statewide laptop
project and makes it easy to set things up.  I can simply download the
MEDMS data for my school and easily use it to create usernames...etc. 
It's all hosted at the state.  Anyway....fight the good fight!

"Support list for open source software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com>
>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.
>Dave Hopkins
>K12OSN mailing list
>K12OSN at redhat.com
>For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Director
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask at vcsvikings.org

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