woensdag 5 september 2012

Governments invest in open source

Just before the start of the vacations the news was published about several public administrations make a strong investment in open source software. A project was started to improve the interoperability of LibreOffice and OpenOffice with the latest file formats of Microsoft Office. [1] The parties involved invest a sum of 140.000 Euro in the project.

That is what open source really is about: as user of a product you can support the development of features that are important for you. Simple, direct. The products quality growths and the value increases too, also for other users. It's logic that administrations too invest in this way in the quality of their tools.

The project that we talk about here, is about improving the interoperability. Important, because a insufficient interoperability is a source of frustration and limited freedom. [2], [3] More freedom in the use of office software is extra important, because that opens the doors to use open source for the desktop.

Open source is about freedom of choice and control of processes and content, about ownership of information. Smart organizations, and in any case public bodies, take that well into account. The administrations in this specific case, that invest in Open- en LibreOffice, are the German cities of Munich, Freiburg im Breisgau and Jena, together with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit (FITSU) and the canton of Waadt. So there are no Dutch administrations involved in this example... Food for thought? In any case food for a next article, to be published here soon. (And of course before the elections next week ;-) )

1 opmerking:

  1. Actually this is a great idea and UE should publicly involve in the development of open source software. Even force the use of open source file formats for information interchange in some domains. If not, we will always be at the hands of large corporations who force people to use their software also with closed standard file formats.

    Sounds strange, but others started this already. I do not remember which US state did this already, forcing the use of .ODF file format instead of Microsoft .doc format.