One of the first questions for a software designer is "What will be required for someone to use my software?"
The answer could be anywhere from:
Since we are aiming Markus at high schools and junior colleges, we are assuming there is a computer capable of running Apache or another web server, and a capable web browser such as Firefox.
Any workstation capable of running a recent version of Firefox or other current
browser should be adequate for the client side of Markus.
We have chosen to support a server with Apache as the web server, with PHP5 as the programming language and MySQL for the database backend. While these could run on a Windows or Mac server, we do not have enough recent experience to support those operating systems, so we would strongly recommend a Linux-based server at this point.
Almost any current browser has better security than MS Internet Explorer, so if you want to use a Windows workstation, we would recommend installing a browser like Firefox.
One advantage to web-based applications is that you usually do not need to do anything special on the workstations. Installing Firefox is very easy on most versions of Windows and Linux.
The cooperation of the school administration is critical. Usually, most questions relate to costs. Almost all schools, especially in developing nations, are funded poorly, so administrators must be convinced that your open source project will solve an important problem, save them money, or (unfortunately) provide an easy way to pass the cost on to students. There are other issues, but we have found these to be the most important.
Another important question is who will install and support the application, and train the users. This presents a problem if the school's IT personnel do not have the skills or time to do these tasks.
Printed from linux.bz (Markus Requirements - Linux.bz, Linux in Belize)