Grants.gov Limited To Windows

Om points out grants.gov bias against Apple. The portion of the Washingtonpost.com article New Grant System Excludes Mac Users that I was able to read was light on details, so I did some looking around at Grants.gov. It didn’t take much.

I went to their Apply for Grants and the very first step requires you to download the PureEdge viewer. The requirements for this software are:

Windows 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP
500 Mhz processor
128 MB of RAM
40 MB disk space
Web browser: Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher, Netscape Communicator 4.5 – 4.8, Netscape 6.1, 6.2, or 7

So the only way to submit an application to grants.gov for a government grant is purchase software from a government convicted monopoly? Talk about getting it coming and going. A few quick stop by Google shows that PureEdge is now owned by web and called IBM Workplace Forms. But apparently they have a plan for non-Windows users, their PureEdge software will be available for other-than-Windows-platforms (OTWP) “by November 2006″.

I don’t know what these forms look like, I’ve never used them, but if this boils down to having special software to fill out forms I’ll be very, very disappointed. Hey grants.gov, 1989 called, they want their proprietary Windows only software back.

3 Comments

  1. The University of Wisconsin has released a standalone package for using Grants.gov on Mac OS X as a service to the community. The package uses Citrix client software and a special settings file to access the central Citrix server provided by Grants.gov, allowing users to access and use the PureEdge software via the remote Windows machine running Citrix server software:

    http://apple.doit.wisc.edu/grants.gov/

    Regards,

    Dave Schroeder
    das@doit.wisc.edu
    http://das.doit.wisc.edu/

  2. Grants.gov has a non-Windows resource page and also offers a Citrix solution:

    http://www.grants.gov/MacSupport

  3. The Citrix thing is a work around and much appreciated, but the reality is there really needs to be a Mac product. Does anyone know if the .xfd files used by PureEdge are really wholesome xfdl files? If so, might not someone be interested in providing a viewer in freeware? It’s not like there isn’t a lot of expertise in xml out there. Maybe Apple could jump in.

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