Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Portugal Chooses Open Standards for IT.

technology

Portugal Chooses Open Standards for IT.

“The Portuguese Government has published the National Digital Interoperability Regulation [2], which defines the list of open standards to be adopted in the Portuguese public administration. This framework brings to life the existing Law of Open Standards [1]. It is part of the larger ICT reform program that aims to save 500M EUR/year while providing stimulus to the local economy.”

see ESOP » Portugal publishes open standards catalog. ODF, PDF and several other standards are mandatory..

Good for them. This should help them get their government’s books back in balance and set a good example for their people and organizations. Clearly, IT using open standards is much easier using FLOSS as the OS. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for most IT. FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

7 Comments

  1. George Hostler

    Robert Pogson wrote, “I was talking with a small businessman a couple of years ago and, naturally, the topic turned to IT. That guy had $4K of software on his PC just to do the ordinary software things, and report to government. Sure, he was making ~$100K per annum for all his hard work, but what were M$ and “partners” doing, printing licences? It’s not a free market in IT as it is in groceries, oil-changes or anything else. When people discover FLOSS, they are freed. It’s real, not some imagination.”

    Robert, proprietary software does have a place is support of Linux. There are certain needs that FLOSS hasn’t filled, even Ernie Ball found this out, in the area of an accounting package for his company.

    Proprietary writer’s incentive is profit and the hours of investment (with the appropriate overhead) are taken into account. I would consider these as specialty needs. Yet Ernie was able to work a cocktail of software with majority open source and a few proprietary sources running under Red Hat Linux, which overall saved him considerable money.

    FLOSS does have its place and there are excellently written packages out there, such as LibreOffice, a fork of the Sun Microsystem’s OpenOffice. Having worked in a professional engineering environment, I can confidently say that this software package including LibreOffice’s spreadsheet has sufficient functionality to meet the majority of user needs.

    I’ve used it to work on letters, specifications, detailed multi-sheet cost estimates, project planning estimates, operational estimates and etc.

    For most IT users, it would more than well meet their needs.

  2. Lutz D. Meier

    Here’s a gem for you, Robert. Perhaps worth its own article. As you have undoubtedly read elsewhere the City of Freiburg has decided to return to MS Office. And some juicy bits can be read in the Pirate Party Freiburg’s press release (German, translation by me):

    The assessor’s report points out severe shortcomings and a lack of seriousness with regards to the migration towards OpenOffice in Freiburg. But Mayor Neideck, responsible for the migration, concluded that the software alone was the problem.

    The assessor is director and founder of Excientes Management Consulting GmbH. He’s also chairman of the board at Tricept AG, a certified Microsoft partner, a fact which lets one doubt that the report is unbiased.

    In any case, the most harrowing fact in this whole development seems to be that the members of the council who voted against OpenOffice seem to have no clue whatsoever. The SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) tried to explain their voting against OpenOffice by citing opinions from the Heise-Forum! (Heise.de is a popular German tech site with a large forum and lots of trolling and stupidity.)

    It’s just amazing how some politicians can justify spending more money on Microsoft at a time when the majority of German cities is deep in debt.

  3. Robert Pogson

    George Hostler wrote, “budgets are tight these days”

    Some of the trolls write that “the tax” is just a cost of doing business and insignificant. That argument does not scale well. When you look at potentially thousands of millions of PCs within a few years on the planet, even $50 per unit for licences is way too much. The world does not owe M$ a living and should spread around its IT $.

    I was talking with a small businessman a couple of years ago and, naturally, the topic turned to IT. That guy had $4K of software on his PC just to do the ordinary software things, and report to government. Sure, he was making ~$100K per annum for all his hard work, but what were M$ and “partners” doing, printing licences? It’s not a free market in IT as it is in groceries, oil-changes or anything else. When people discover FLOSS, they are freed. It’s real, not some imagination.

  4. George Hostler

    Robert, I’m thinking there is more to it than simply freedom of sharing. The Open Document standards create an even playing field that even proprietary software developers can participate in. There is no lock in. May the best software developer “win”. Also, budgets are tight these days, Linux and its derivatives such as Android provide cost effective solutions that are easier to administer to in a corporate LAN setting. Use of blade processing units with standard inexpensive PC standard LCD monitors, keyboards and mice provide a low cost terminal easily served by and administered through Linux. If one “breaks”, does not require “ghosting” an operating system onto hard disk as required by “FAT” systems (pun intended). The blade terminal is basically a plug-n-play system.

  5. Robert Pogson

    George Hostler wrote, ” I’m wondering if Brazil, a former Portuguese colony had any influence.”

    There’s probably some connection but the movement to FLOSS and open standards in government is very strong in Europe generally. The world enjoys the freedom of sharing.

  6. George Hostler

    I’m glad you pointed this out, Robert. I’m wondering if Brazil, a former Portuguese colony had any influence. Their education system went big for Open Standards software, including the Linux operating system.

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