• Stockholm vs open source app

    From Auric__@21:1/5 to All on Fri Nov 5 16:14:12 2021
    This one truly shows the classic hacker spirit.


    Stockholm has an official app for parents of schoolchildren, called Skolplattform ("school platform", duh), that's meant to do basically
    everything -- grades, teacher meetings, supply lists, calling kids out sick, etc. It's an overly-complex, mostly-broken, very expensive (1 billion+ kr/US $117 million) disaster. One parent got so sick of it that he requested the app's API, which was not publicly available, then reverse-engineered the app and with a few other parents built his own open source version of the app, appropriately called Öppna Skolplattformen ("open school platform"; that's a leading "O" with heavy metal umlauts in case my US-ASCII newsreader mangles it), which apparently works much, much better than the official app.

    So, of course, the city declared the app illegal. To the point of police involvement. The lead investigator later told a news agency, "We do not
    believe that anything criminal has been committed." But still.

    The city also spent months changing the app's API to deliberately break the open version, in a move that reminds me of Google dicking over Scroogle and other search engines that use(d) Google as a back end but remove the ads and other crap. (Google Minus Google, etc.)

    Stockholm eventually changed their minds and apparently no longer blocks the app, and presumably will allow any other that might come along, but several months of resistance makes me shake my head. This is the government, not a private company. There should be transparency and openness, *especially* with children's education.

    War is full of surprises. Most of them bad.

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