More Free/Non-Free Angst in Germany

The German government announced it was moving back to that other OS from GNU/Linux. When asked detailed questions about the reasons/causes of the migration, some shocking responses reveal a certain level of incompetence:

  • the high cost of GNU/Linux claimed by the government turns out to be due to having to maintain both GNU/Linux and that other OS on every client,
  • they did not update software on the GNU/Linux systems for years,
  • that explains why they are going back to XP, because it never left,
  • so they had constant problems with interoperability…

see H-online – German Foreign Office explains open source elimination

If you can read German, the reply is here.

Google Translate did not work very well for me…
“21. Is it true, to the knowledge of the Federal Government that has been criticized in the internal organizational review, 11.12.2009, the Foreign Office uses outdated software, for example, in 2009, still the e-mail software was using Thunderbird with the 1.5 version of 2007? If so, why was this not regularly updated to a newer version more user-friendly?
To 21.
The regular updating of open source application software requires a high internal resource requirements. For example, a new version in addition to functional Additions undesirable disadvantages are its effects to anticipate, as a manufacturer’s liability for defects can not claim to be like eight. The risk serious functional or SicherheitsrnƃĀ¤ngelliegt after the introduction of a Update is only available from the IT organization of the Foreign Arnt. Updates of existing software are therefore made only when the recoverable The cost and benefits outweigh the risks. In the case of Mozilla Firefox in question was not in the said period the case.”

Sigh. Apt-get update;apt-get upgrade is too much for them? They could not use a local repository, check things out and do the updates from time to time when convenient? That’s an awful lot less work than keeping one machine running that other OS and can be extended to hundreds/thousands with no extra effort.

If they had interoperability problems, I would bet they didn’t bother to update their XP systems either… That would do it.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to More Free/Non-Free Angst in Germany

  1. It could also be that their IT are too polite and patiently “wait, please wait”.

  2. railway says:

    Bender@. It hasn’t to do with incompetence, they probably have, “Windows Only” IT; why would they switch to an OS that requires them to do something diferent than Next,Next,Next,End?

  3. Bender says:

    Funny thing, they say they had problems with ODF compatibility but they didn’t mention that they failed to keep one version of OpenOffice on all PC’s, they had different versions of OpenOffice and probably really old ones too so why blame someone for their own incompetence??!!

  4. twitter says:

    Someone needs to go to jail for this one.

    Windows 7 and MS Office 2010 are to be introduced on desktops from 2012; the migration is scheduled to be completed by early 2014.

    That’s a reaming for users. It is laughable to say this will take less training and be less expensive than KDE 4 or any other gnu/linux desktop.

    Let this be a lesson for gnu/linux advocates. Line everything up and push when you have control. Doing things in half measures only gives Microsoft time to make trouble and blame you for it. Shove them out of the building and never look back or they will happily do the same to you at taxpayer expense.

    The only semi-legitimate point was that some programs do not exchange ODF perfectly. The answer is simple – mandate and advertise your favorite free software. It’s not like Open Office costs more than Kword or Abiword. Things are considerably worse in the Windows world with OOXML. There are no independent implementations of OOXML and moving files from one computer using Microsoft Office to another has never been close to perfect. Abandoning a real ISO standard for one that’s the result of corruption and has never been implemented is pure stupidity.

  5. Bender says:

    Jesus christ, imcompetent like hell. So what, having an IT people they can’t test the software? They can’t install it on some workstations to test the functionality? I understand they prefer stability over features but upgrades also carry stability fixes. And why is GNU/Linux responsible that they keep maintaining other OS too? So what, i buy a Ford and a Honda and i blame Ford for being so expensive because i have to maintain a Honda too??

  6. testudo graeca says:

    Want do you want?, Gnu/Linux doesn’t does Lobby (and pays “incentives”)

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