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Barcelona Opts for Breath of Open Source Fresh Air
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Barcelona Opts for Breath of Open Source Fresh Air

Barcelona metropolis officers have voted to close the door on Microsoft Home windows in favor of the Linux working system and open supply know-how.

Town hopes to economize from proprietary software program license charges and to construct a specialised library of open supply purposes focusing on the wants of authorities staff. Its purpose is to encourage specialised open supply options all through governmental businesses in Spain.

Town final fall unveiled the Barcelona Digital Metropolis Plan to enhance government-provided on-line companies. The plan additionally helps city know-how and smart-city tasks and promotes open knowledge.

The last word purpose of this system is to realize and assure “full technological sovereignty” for the municipality by the adoption of open supply applied sciences. This consists of the potential to conduct a full public audit of the units and software program metropolis authorities makes use of each day after which prolong their functionalities.

Metropolis officers hope to push the open supply envelope each to economize and enhance digital safety. They need to make software program obtainable in public repositories with licenses that let third-party use and enchancment.

The brand new know-how coverage will lead to much less dependence on exterior suppliers and larger diversification in contracting. One purpose is to create an administrative community for sharing know-how.

“Metropolis governments selecting open supply for desktop computing is a extra specialised case,” stated Howard Inexperienced, vp of Advertising and marketing at
Azul Systems.

Its success will rely completely upon the open supply purposes they select to develop and/or implement,” he instructed LinuxInsider.

Uncharted Territory

Barcelona just isn’t the primary European authorities company emigrate from Home windows to Linux and open supply software program. Efforts to dump proprietary software program have arisen in different cities.

For instance, Rome already has put in the LibreOffice suite to exchange Microsoft Workplace on all of its 14,000 PC workstations throughout town, and this yr it plans to check a pilot program utilizing workstations operating Linux.

Maybe probably the most controversial instance of introducing Linux to exchange Home windows is Munich’s years-long experiment, which presently is being reversed. Munich officers adopted an in-house Linux variant known as “LiMux” 15 years in the past and swapped Microsoft Workplace for the free open supply LibreOffice.

Metropolis officers just lately voted to return to Microsoft Home windows, and later this yr will vote on a proposal to return to Microsoft Workplace as effectively.

The so-called Munich Fiasco was not an open supply failure — it was a political failure, based on Italo Vignoli, one of the founders of
The Document Foundation, the house of LibreOffice.

“Linux in Barcelona might be a very totally different story for a number of causes,” he instructed LinuxInsider.

That is partially because of the broad-based recognition that open supply is now the driving drive for innovation in data know-how. Additional, the data the open supply ecosystem gained from all of the migrations to free software program will eradicate any duplication of errors, Vignoli stated.

“Immediately, Linux on the desktop is corresponding to Home windows and macOS in time period of complexity,” he added, noting that “Home windows just isn’t a viable choice for stability and safety causes.”

Profitable Linux Migrations

Many massive organizations
successfully deploy free software, such because the cross-platform LibreOffice. The open supply workplace suite runs on Home windows and macOS in addition to Linux working methods.

Use of the Linux OS and LibreOffice is gaining reputation amongst quite a few European governmental businesses. For instance, 15 French ministries have switched to LibreOffice. The French Gendarmerie, France’s police drive, switched 70,000 PCs to GendBuntu, a customized model of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu.

The Dutch Ministry of Protection switched to LibreOffice. Copenhagen’s hospitals switched 25,000 PCs from Microsoft Workplace to LibreOffice.

The Italian Ministry of Protection will change some 100,000 desktops from Microsoft Workplace to LibreOffice by 2020.

The Barcelona Plan

Barcelona’s metropolis authorities has not disclosed many particulars about its migration to Linux, however some actions already are beneath means:

  • Metropolis computer systems are being fitted with Ubuntu preinstalled with Firefox;
  • Microsoft Workplace and Microsoft Trade are being changed with LibreOffice and Open Xchange.

“The Barcelona plan is formidable, which I discover inspiring,” stated Molly de Blanc, campaigns supervisor at
Free Software Foundation.

“They’re exhibiting dedication to the dialog by their time line,” she instructed LinuxInsider.

Barcelona officers have already got begun creating software program to fulfill their distinctive wants, and their strategy to creating methods absolutely free is thrilling, de Blanc stated.

Their plan to exchange software program one program at a time is comprehensible, given the big scale of the venture, she added.

“It’s particularly good to see that they’re working to create heretofore nonexistent free options to software program wants. This references the creation of a platform to permit small companies to take part in public tenders,” stated de Blanc.

FSF will regulate Microsoft to see in the event that they try to intervene, as they did with Munich, she famous.

“On the similar time, we’ve got excessive hopes for Barcelona’s future in free software program and look ahead to seeing what they do,” de Blanc stated.

Linux, the New Home windows

The Barcelona Metropolis Council has instituted a migration plan that spells success, based on The Doc Basis’s Vignoli. It started to speak on the proper time, and it has supplied the rationale for the migration to all of the council stakeholders. That counters one of the issues encountered with the LiMux venture in Munich.

Munich was tormented by a scarcity of details about the achievements gained in utilizing the Linux OS, defined Vignoli. Munich additionally failed to elucidate the massive financial savings over proprietary options.

“Linux in Barcelona might be a hit for town and never for the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software program) group,” he stated, including that Munich’s change again to Home windows is a loss for that metropolis however not for the FOSS group.

It is unlikely that Barcelona’s determination and supreme success could have any influence on the general adoption price of FOSS, stated Azul’s Inexperienced. “That ship has sailed, and open supply software program is ubiquitous.”
Barcelona Opts for Breath of Open Source Fresh Air


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