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Blog Chronicling Indiana School’s Move to Linux

October 3rd, 2006 Benjamin Horst

Linux @ BHSN is a new blog covering the move to Linux at one of Indiana’s high schools.

Introducing his blog, Simón Ruiz writes:

Bloomington High School North was approached by the State last year and offered an Indiana ACCESS grant in order to outfit 4 English classrooms with computers to be powered by Linux. They paid for the computers and the desks, and we paid to wire the classrooms with electricity and data. For the last half of last year, then, we had 4 classrooms equipped with computers.

The teachers were impressed enough with it that they banded together and submitted a grant proposal to the same program and we’re in the middle, right now, of being outfitted with another 5 classrooms, bringing the total to 9 classrooms and 279 Linux workstations (30 students and 1 teacher per room).”

OpenOffice Extensions Coming

October 2nd, 2006 Benjamin Horst

ZDNet reports OpenOffice plug-in plan set for debut:

“Following in Firefox’s footsteps, the next version of will support plug-in extensions to attract developers to the open-source productivity suite.

Firefox users can download and install extensions that add new features, and something of a cottage industry developing these has grown up around the open-source Web browser. OpenOffice is hoping for a similar blossoming of a development ecosystem, spurred by an update that people will be able to try in coming days.”

An easy-to-use extensions system is becoming a standard feature for large open source programs. It lowers the barrier to entry for developers, and allows power users to build the features they want right away, without waiting for the project’s core developers. It also helps the project track the marketplace very quickly, by simply adding the most popular extensions’ functionality into the core software when demand reaches a high enough point.

Further, developing an ecosystem of individual developers and companies that make their living from a project, provides a legion of strong advocates for the program. A lot of momentum builds up, cementing the core program’s position in the marketplace.

“Open-source extensions will be housed at a central site,, Suarez-Potts said. People will be able to download the software there.”

The infrastructure is in place; let’s see how quickly it catches on!