UK Looking at GNU/Linux for Web Portal

Glyn Moody has more details on the new web portal being tested by gov.uk. It runs on GNU/Linux on Amazon EC2. They should save a ton of money by running that way combined with centralizing web services.

Like many organizations, UK has grown sites/servers like dust bunnies and rationalizing them should provide a lot of economy in hardware and software. The neat feature of the new site is that searching will replace menus largely. Done right, that can be very helpful. A search of the old site for “Linux” finds two hits, one is a document including a suggestion to use more FLOSS:
“Government IT
One public sector worker said that government IT contracts should be a renegotiated across the board. Another suggested: What about migrating the whole of government (the NHS, Education etc) from Microsoft products to Linux and open source software like Openoffice. A third public sector worker with the same idea says this would support a more diverse spectrum of the IT industry, and generate additional UK tax revenue.”

Amen. It looks like they got the hint. I don’t see a snippet of M$’s stuff in the list.
“What this means is that the core UK government site will not only be running almost entirely on open source, but will act as an incredible advertisement for what open source can do. Indeed, I don’t see how any corporate IT director will be able to arguably plausibly against open source deployment in the face of this massive roll-out by the UK government.”

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux but Ubuntu‘s better than that other OS.

I wonder how M$ let this one slip by EDGI? I would bet someone in the UK told M$ to take a hike. GNU/Linux has huge advantages in new implementations and a huge one is cost.

Plug this feed into your newsreader to keep up with those Brits.

Some current topics:
7:22 AM
A simple guide to applying for a job at the GDS – If we want to carry on doing amazing things here at GDS then we need to carry on building up the world-class digital talent in Government. We already have some excellent people in the team and ther…
Feb 1, 2012
Martha Lane Fox and Tom Loosemore on BBC News – The Government’s Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox and Tom Loosemore, who is leading on the development of this phase of GOV.UK, were invited on to BBC News today to introduce GOV.UK to their viewe…
Feb 1, 2012
GOV.UK beta day 1- your feedback acted upon – We said we’d be iterative, so here’s a list of all the changes we’ve made since the release last night. Most of these things went live at 3pm today – largely based on your feedback – so keep it com…
Jan 31, 2012
Introducing the beta of GOV.UK – A few minutes ago we released the first phase of the beta test of GOV.UK – the next step on the journey towards a single domain for central government. As Mike Bracken, HMG Executive Director for D…
Jan 31, 2012
This is why we are here – Today we release the beta of GOV.UK, testing a simpler way to get to government services and information… The beta of GOV.UK is now live. Back in late summer last year, I wrote that ‘we exist to…
Jan 27, 2012
Using search data to meet user needs – As a Product Analyst in the GDS Delivery team acquiring data is critical for telling us if our products are meeting user needs and how improvements must be made to content and services. Our team an…
Jan 27, 2012
What does “Google is the homepage” mean IRL? – Back in April last year the Alpha.gov.uk team talked about Google being the homepage*: “Since for the vast majority of people their web journeys (finding out the date of the next bank-holiday, or …
Jan 26, 2012
A brief overview of technology behind Alpha.gov.uk – T

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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One Response to UK Looking at GNU/Linux for Web Portal

  1. Been banging on about this for years. Very strange feelings now that it is finally happening. Strange because I was ignored, ridiculed, sidelined by the other OS’s shills/etc?

    Good work.

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