[ILUG-BOM] NEWS: College Linux, what's it all about? (fwd)
Frederick Noronha (FN)
Wed Apr 30 13:48:23 IST 2003
Anyone knows links for Manoj Apte and Lalita Godbole (see below)? FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
URL : http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=3D3305
Read articles with similar Topic Interview with Professor David
Costa of CollegeLinux
By Eugenia Loli-Queru - Posted on 2003-04-17 18:28:52
There is a Linux distro for any possible need and CollegeLinux is
geared towards students and schools! Today, we interview Prof. David
Costa of the Robert Kennedy College in Del=E9mont, Switzerland regarding
their initiative behind CollegeLinux.
1. What was the initial need to create a distribution specifically for
Prof. David Costa: This is actually a great question. I read some
students saying "do we really need this ? We have slackware, debian
redhat and many others which are perfect for students!" Actually this
is a myth. Many of the students I know never heard of linux. I am
talking about students in management, law or any other non computing
subject. Initally we used in our computer lab Mandrake 8.1 and to my
delusion many of the things i would and our student would expect where
Flash and java plugins to name the browsing related ones. Network
sharing with Windows computers to name another major concern. Not
talking about movie player and excellent multimedia support. After all
student life it's not just about assignments!
2. What kind of applications your distro includes that are particular
Prof. David Costa: We added the complete Openoffice suite, browsers
plug-in's all preconfigured, network sharing pre configured, windows
emulator, many financial calculators/math tools, project management
suite and practically everything you need for an easy move from
windows to linux without having to give up on the convenience we are
used to. Every students on CollegeLinux should not regret his choice.
Before the release we tested CollegeLinux with real students. They
where expected not to need windows for the testing period, meaning the
should have managed to do everything they did with windows on
collegelinux. They did and, they are still using collegelinux.
3. Do you have any plans on 'feeding' your students in your College
with laptops that run your distro? Some colleges and schools in USA
have just started this initiative (reference here).
Prof. David Costa: We are mainly a career college, our student
population is diverse but we are mainly dealing with adults. It's
easier to change your habits when you are young, so while I am
convinced that linux is the best enviroment to learn I do respect the
views of students and faculty members who might disagree with me. What
we will do is starting some classed on a dual major diploma programme:
management and linux computing. Then our distribution will be the base
of the computing component.
Another think I don't like is try to push a distribution or OS with
the pre-installed "trick". Afterall the installation is part of the
linux learning process. I learned a lot during failed installs, you
can tell ;)
4. Who is actually doing the work on packaging and putting the distro
together? How big is the dev team?
Prof. David Costa: We are currently 4. The lead developer is Mihai
Secasiu, other developers are Manoj Apte and Lalita Godbole. Todd
Kulesza (from dropline system, the father of dropline gnome) might
soon join us for the integration of dropline gnome and a collegelinux
robot/auto upated in the next release scheduled for May.
I know it's a small team but we do pay (not that well but) our
developers. This a not for profit project fully sponsored by the
Robert Kennedy College. Many linux developers are working free of
charge (e.g. Debian) but with a small paid team we can better control
the development and its timelines.
5. What are your future plans for College Linux?
Prof. David Costa: The next release will bring some interesting
surprises. While dropline gnome is already working fine on
CollegeLinux 2.1. The Jedi, we are trying to go a mile further with a
perfect integration which will allow our users to keep their packages
constantly updated. In this way students will benefit from a stable
and complete OS constantly updated with a click.
We are also fixing some of the problems with the installer (which was
created from scratch) and we take into serious account all the
installation problems reported by collegelinux users.
We will add more plugins (RealMedia) to the browsers and must
important we will constanctly updated our distribution to allow its
installation in a great number of configurations.
6. Why Slackware was picked as the "mother" distribution for College
Linux, instead of say... Debian or Red Hat?
Prof. David Costa: First of all Slackware is a great learning
enviroment.Its base allows the more experienced users to customize the
system as the want. Red Hat and Debian are excellent distributions but
we didn't want to bring another clone to the world. I have seen many
of the over 50 Red Hat based distributions. They all use the same
installer and system..so I ask myself, why should someone get a clone
of the original and not the real Red Hat ? Some of these distribution
are certainly justified (e.g. RedFlag linux with the Chinese language
support) but many others are just personal experiments.
Slackware is one of the oldest distribution well know for its
stability and the simple but great package system.We didn't want to
bring the rpm dependencies nightmare to our users. Slackware It's
probably one the best distributions, the only thing missing (and
attention, not because they didn't care about it..is just the way it
is to leave more feedom to the experienced user) is a better
configured desktop tailored version.
It was a challenge, but there are already desktop distributions based
on Debian (one I like particularly is Knoppix) and they do their job
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