Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The State of Munich's Ongoing Linux Migration

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the es-geht-immer-noch dept.

Linux Business 203

christian.einfeldt writes "The Munich decision to move its 14,000 desktops to Free Open Source Software created a big splash back in 2003 as news circulated of the third-largest German city's defection from Microsoft. When it was announced in 2003, the story garnered coverage even in the US, such as an extensive article in USA Today on-line. Currently, about 60% of desktops are using OpenOffice, with the remaining 40% to be completed by the end of 2009. Firefox and Thunderbird are being used in all of the city's desktop machines. Ten percent of desktops are running the LiMux Debian-based distro, and 80% will be running LiMux by 2012 at the latest. Autonomy was generally considered more important than cost savings, although the LiMux initiative is increasing competition in the IT industry in Munich already. The program has succeeded because the city administration has been careful to reach out to all stakeholders, from managers down to simple end users."

cancel ×

203 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A success? Some people disagree... (0, Troll)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 5 years ago | (#28502015)

This blog chronicles the failure of this project: http://limuxwatch.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28502035)

Sorry to break it to you but that whole "blog" smells like troll to me...

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (-1, Troll)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502089)

Between the realities of just how poorly the transition has gone, and the rabid fan base Linux has, it would be impossible for an honest blog to not have an element of trolling to it.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502163)

It's not the criticism I can't stand, it's the tone op most of the posts. They way he words his blog shows that this isn't about criticising the project. A few examples perhaps.

Waaaah! Asus Slapped Linux in THE FACE! Sob! Somebody call the Waahmbulance!

Linux dreamers have faith that Linux is more than just a niche product for hobbyists and power users.

Mr. Babcock then goes on for like another 3,000 words, explaining how Microsoft, which makes over a billion dollars profit each month needs to follow the Linux model, which makes zero. Good luck with that!

Now maybe, in your opinion, that's criticism, in mine it's trolling

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (-1, Troll)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502329)

trolling or not but the guy might be onto something with the last one, what profit did Canonical make recently?

as alot of people finding out in these tough times its hard to put food on a table if you give your work away for free

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (3, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502371)

as alot of people finding out in these tough times its hard to put food on a table if you give your work away for free

If work was being given away for free, the budget would be a tad smaller, right?

I repeat: buying Microsoft licenses is *not* going to improve economy. It only improves Microsoft profits.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502391)

whats wrong with a company making a profit?

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (3, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502431)

whats wrong with a company making a profit?

Strawman.

It's not just "a company", it's Microsoft. If you don't know why Microsoft is special, I recommend a few more years in the internets before proceeding with commenting on tech websites.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (-1, Flamebait)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502669)

Erm its funny how quickly the average slashdoters Libertarian values go out the window (no pun intended), when it comes to Microsoft (M$ as referred to by some around here, to great dismay of many)

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502731)

being libertarian doesnt imply supporting monopolies

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502475)

whats wrong with a company making a profit?

Nothing, but there are different way to achieve a profit

.

In the case of Microsoft there are recognised problems with the morality of their business model.
It's the client who has (should have!) the liberty to go along with a particular business model and Munich has made it's decision not to follow the Microsoft ways.

Some claim there is no morality in business but especially when public monies are involved you better review that opinion.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503241)

Project started in 2003 and only 60% of the desktop have been migrated... Luckily I am not a Munich tax payer because I would seriously challenge this project justification....

I wonder if the people who made the decision are still in charge....

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (4, Insightful)

Tynam (1284066) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502505)

Nothing. Of course MS wants to make a profit, and good luck to them. But I don't work for them, so MS profits don't benefit me.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502677)

whats wrong with a company making a profit?

Nothing, but moving the profit from some company to your own company (or government) is a lot better.
There is nothing wrong with your own company making a profit.

Nothing. (3, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502737)

Unless your company is a "protection" racket Mafia or something similarly ethically dubious (like abusing your monopolistic position in a market for example).

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502905)

Nothing I suppose. Maybe you should start donating money to MS? I won't though.

And I sure as hell don't use the economic figures of a company to assess the technical quality of their products.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502565)

This whole Munchen idea was NOT about how much the company's involved making money. It was about the CONSUMER paying less money.

You know - I always think it is strange that these arguments are all about how the company's are driving well, but not how the consumers (and that are you and me and the man in the street - make no mistake) are served well. I do not care a bit if Microsoft gets money or gets a lot more money. However - I DO care if it is MY money. Open Source software is cheap, so it is a big bonus for me as consumer. I do not care if Ballmer gets a lot of money - as long it's not my money. Result? If I buy some Microsoft software I shoot myself in the foot. Most consumers - and that's most of you and certainly me - are better off with Open Source software. Simple...

Try to see all this from a consumer point of view.

Really? (3, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502727)

Google, Red Hat and others must be shitting their pants ...

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Informative)

bursch-X (458146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502851)

RedHat had a 30% revenue increase. Last year. How many other IT companies were able to accomplish that (maybe except for Apple)? DUH.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (-1, Troll)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503407)

well if you have 0% revenue, that's super easy to achieve... percentages lie.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503451)

If it's super easy then could you post your business' results? I want to see how many times you increased your company's revenue by 30%. Or if you are just talking out of your ass.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503419)

It's not the criticism I can't stand, it's the tone op most of the posts.

Nope, nothing at all like Slashdot.

Kettle meet pot.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502203)

It's not really trolling, seems more like Microsoft astroturfing. I have mod points and am proceeding with modding down the astroturfers as we speak.

I hope other moderators are doing the same, and that they do acknowledge that Microsoft astroturfing is being done on forums like Slashdot.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502273)

I posted a comment which was negative about the transition, anyway I think that after 6 years, the 10% conversion rate and no other cities following Munich's lead speaks for itself. I'd love it if somehow expressing my honest opinion involved Microsoft giving me money, unbelievably it doesn't. If Microsoft is Astro-turfing Slashdot to give it a pro-MS bias, they're doing an unbelievably shitty job.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502339)

If you play into Microsoft pockets without financial interest, you are a sad being indeed.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502693)

I've tryed at work to switch on linux, and the problem is, you will have a lot of troubles if you're alone with it. I had no problem working on linux, but every time somebody did a commit violating case sensitiveness it was a pain for me, every time somebody did powerpoint presentation of a recent feature I was cut out and more.<br/><br/>It could have worked, if every other on the team switched along, but if you're a linux island in a microsoft world, you will surely have lot of trouble - that is, until someday standard will become standard.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502841)

Lorenzo,

      Really ?

I work in a 4200 employee firm. We run XP SP2 & a small percentage of Vista ( some server guys run Win08 on their desktops but that is the wayyy minority )

I run Fedora.
    To read my email I can use webmail or Groupwise on Linux. ( same software I would use on windows )
    To web surf I can use FireFox ( I like Chrome on windows but 2nd choice is FF )
    To do spreadsheets or document I can use OpenOffice - I do have Office 2007 on my windows laptop and I can see zero difference between the documents I create/edit on OO versus Office.

    Their is one tool I do not have on Linux - Visio. I am a network guy and my visio diagrams are legendary - I connect every single connection to the right port.

    Now on the the other 4100 employees. They use Citrix. The ICA client runs just fine on Linux.

I think Linux - especially for "thin client" use ... no brainer.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502473)

As Microsoft strives to migrate their core technologies from the desktop onto the Web, so too is their propaganda machine migrating from the established press to the informal social web. Microsoft shills are invading social web sites everywhere - in forums, discussion groups, comments to news items, edits to Wikipedia, manipulation of search engines, comments to blogs - posing as innocent participants to promote their agenda and counter wide spread complaints about their shady marketing practises. Even in the comments section of blogs by Microsoft employees on their own corporate site they employ sock puppets to say the things the author felt inappropriate to say directly. They race to place their shill postings at the top spot in the comments section of news and blogs, or perhaps they are given advance notice enabling them to do this where they are a sponsor.

The evidence is here on Slashdot for all to see, without embellishments from me. What I say here is amounts to only a digest of hundreds of postings by others. A careful investigator can see for himself the evolution of discussions on Microsoft related issues, especially those accusing them of their usual hard ball tactics. As one reads from Slashdot's historical record on through to recent times, the evolution of Microsoft's efforts to pervert Slashdot's discussions becomes readily apparent. Microsoft's ambition is to twist internet discussions around a full 180 degrees until these discussions become a platform for propaganda from Microsoft's "Ministry of Truth". A study of the comments of the shills posted here can be cross-correlated with postings on other sites. Their pattern of saturating a discussion with shill postings, and the repeating of mindless memes becomes obvious. Their harassment, ridicule, and suppression of criticisms is designed to intimidated those who would speak out against them. They seek to establish and enforce a discipline of giving Microsoft "fair treatment" and their propaganda the same consideration and respect a real person would deserve.

In the process they are destroying Web 2 as we know it. This insidious attack on the infrastructure we rely upon to form our opinions in a complex world has both a direct and an inhibitory effect on free speech as a side effect.

We must stop this while it is in its infancy. Once it fully established, it will become much more difficult to root out, and other ruthless corporations, organizations, and even governments will want to emulate the success of Microsoft's campaign. This is the nightmare vision of the end of the social internet as we know it.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502673)

You got your tinfoil hat on?

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503355)

Yes he does. Microsoft astroturfing... maybe. Destroying Web 2.0... unlikely (especially since its a buzzword anyway and probably should be destroyed).

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503141)

Drop me a line if you want to make some serious $$$'s.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503441)

So how did Linus Torvalds pay you to post that?

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503061)

Shut the fuck up Schestowitz you rat-faced bastard!

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502991)

Sorry to break it to you but your whole "post" smells like denial to me...

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503045)

I agree, the subtitle of the blog Watching the city of Munich fail to convert to Linux does rather indicate a balanced viewpoint as long as your name is Steve Balmer.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

wondershit (1231886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502111)

Some people always disagree.

(can't wait for the first 'I disagree!' reply)

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (5, Funny)

GeniusDex (803759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502167)

I agree!

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

bursch-X (458146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502935)

Shouldn't your agreement mean that you are disagreeing?

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (3, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502351)

It normally takes about 20 minutes to install a customised version of Linux for a known desktop. You can even connect to a build server so you don't have to lug around distribution CD's or DVD's. I will concede that making a customised Linux distribution can take a few days (as will a MS Windows custom installation) but rolling that out is simple and quick. Total cost for the non commercial Linux distribution plus Office and ancillary software is effectively zero dollars. Total cost of Microsoft OS plus Office and Microsoft extras is what massive discount Microsoft is willing to give you just so a Linux distribution is not used.

From the blog:

According to vice director SchieÃYl, an upgrade of the then-existing Windows NT4 operating system to Windows XP would have been as much as two million euros cheaper.

Hmm I wonder how they arrived at that figure? If the blog said Windows 2000 to Windows XP then I might concede however NT4 is normally used on servers (it's a bit expensive for the desktop) I would have expected NT4 to Windows 2003. Are we talking servers here or the desktop and why XP did not Microsoft want firms to upgrade to Vista? Even if the figure they gave is true well that is Government for you and for a city like Munich then 2 million Euros is not that much for a one time cost..

The biggest obstacle to installing a Linux Distribution on the desktop is actually middle management not the rank and file worker. If your business has locked themselves into Microsoft solutions then shifting to Linux solutions is going to be hard be it server or desktop and in many ways expensive because there are many proprietary Microsoft solutions that make integration with other operating systems difficult. It must be noted that this is not the fault of other operating systems but of Microsoft, after-all it is not as if Linux solutions hide their API's and source code.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502487)

I might concede however NT4 is normally used on servers (it's a bit expensive for the desktop)

Windows NT4 was commonly used in big companies, even in the time when XP was already out. I personally remember a big bank having all workstations on NT4... because, hold your breath, Windows NT4 has a Workstation [wikipedia.org] version!

Windows 2000 was the successor of Windows NT4 Workstation. So, you either are a very young one in the IT business, or you only used the 9x branch of Windows, which died with Windows ME

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502671)

NT4 is normally used on servers (it's a bit expensive for the desktop

NT4 came in Server and Workstation versions (and some other big-server versions, I think). The Workstation version was not much more expensive than Windows 95, especially with a corporate site-license and had a lot of features that make sense in a corporate environment (e.g. login that you can't bypass by pressing 'escape'). It was a bit expensive for home users (I ran it because I got a free copy and bought a computer which came with no OS), but a lot of students ran it because the student license OS bundle included both '95 and NT4 for around £40. NT4 was a bit more RAM-intensive than '95, but if you had 32MB it ran nicely (my desktop at the time was a P166 with 32MB of RAM). If you wanted a corporate MS network before 2000 was released, and didn't want to pay a lot to Novell, you bought NT4 Server for the servers and NT4 Workstation for the desktops.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503205)

Nevermind the figure, XPwould be obsolete by now and another migration would have to be planned.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502381)

This blog chronicles the failure of this project: http://limuxwatch.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Wonder how this would compare with similar projects involving proprietary software. Assuming that it would be possible to blog in such a way without the software vendors and contractors setting their lawyers loose!

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502627)

Big migrations having issues because of poor planning, poor leadership, poor user acceptance?

Lots - i'd guess almost all of them. Look at all the shit people have been spewing about Vista and Office 2007. People hate change so much they don't even consider it being a good thing.

Re:A success? Some people disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502547)

Here it is the whole story [www.osor.eu] , maybe it might interest you.

Which part of 60% installed is vague? (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502619)

And which dates are not clear to you?

Needs Logo (5, Funny)

resistant (221968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502047)

The project will not be complete until they have a logo with Tux the Linux Penguin lofting a good German beer.

Re:Needs Logo (3, Funny)

donaldm (919619) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502399)

The project will not be complete until they have a logo with Tux the Linux Penguin lofting a good German beer.

Then the project must almost be complete. Here it is [getdigital.de] . :)

Re:Needs Logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502409)

It will have to be like this:
http://www.loewenbraeu.de/

PS: The spam filter just asked me to type fascism...

Nice wake up! (0, Redundant)

pickle_in_being (1522709) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502055)

I love good news in the morning!!

Both sides of the story (4, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502071)

Here's the blog from Floria Schiessl, project leader of the LiMux distro and the Munich migration: http://www.floschi.info/ [floschi.info]

Here's a blog from someone who believes the Munich migration was a failure: http://limuxwatch.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

From reading both, I tend to gravitate towards the failure side. It's 2009 and only 10% migration? Wasn't this suppose to save money? It's a frigging embarrassment! How are you suppose to point to Munich as an example of free and open-source software working on a city scale when they can't even implement it in a reasonable time-frame?

Re:Both sides of the story (3, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502119)

Keep in mind that this is a government project. Not really known for coming in on time and under budget, are they?

My guess is that it could have been handled better, but they look to be over the hump.

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502171)

It's supposed to save money in the long run, of course MS will be cheaper at first because you don't have to cope with defeating the vendor lock-in if you stay with Windows but it matters what happens a few years down the line.

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502245)

It's supposed to save money in the long run, of course MS will be cheaper at first because you don't have to cope with defeating the vendor lock-in if you stay with Windows but it matters what happens a few years down the line.

Additionally, the money they use will be channeled to local companies (which means more jobs, improvement of local skill pool, making it cheaper to repeat such transitions in other cities).

Definitely beats shoveling the money to american robber baron company by any stretch.

Re:Both sides of the story (2, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502421)

Additionally, the money they use will be channeled to local companies (which means more jobs, improvement of local skill pool, making it cheaper to repeat such transitions in other cities).
Definitely beats shoveling the money to american robber baron company by any stretch.


Though the exact effect on Germany's balance of trade depends on other factors, including the EUR/USD exchange rate and global state of the economy.

no, it ALSO depends on other factors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503347)

Or are you saying that if the EURO drops against the dollar that not spending more dollars is going to make things worse in trade deficit?

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502389)

Bearing in mind that the have migrated only 10% of desktops in 6 years, would you like to hazard a guess at how long this long run is?

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Insightful)

cryptolemur (1247988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502175)

Looks like government job to me:

  • 3 years to plan
  • 1 year to prepare and get selected OS certified
  • 2 years for training, piloting, feedback and revising
  • 1 year for final migration

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502197)

I think it's a bit of a cop-out to just wrap the delay under "Government job", but it does make sense, particularly your time-line. A fair point you make. :)

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502429)

You say this as if it's necessarily a bad thing.

It's a good idea to get things done as quickly as possible, generally speaking, but you should also give them as much time as necessary to do them PROPERLY.

Munich, it seems, was under no particular pressure to rush the project through and meet and arbitrarily-set deadlines so that shareholders would be satisfied or so that a C*O would be able to collect his bonus. Isn't it better to take a few more years and actually do the job well, in a way that will ensure the resulting "ecosystem" and infrastructure is going to last, than to rush it and have it all fall apart in 5 or 10 or even 20 years?

Of course, this is Slashdot, so chances are you're the libertarian sort who hates anything that's been touched by the "government". Which is fair enough, but you shouldn't confuse cause and effect: if you want to hate the government, do so because the things it does are objectively bad. If you automatically view everything the government does as bad for no other reason than that it's the government (which you hate) that did it, then you've got it backwards - you've slipped from reason into more or less blind ideology.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502633)

Weren't they still running NT4 when the migration started? Does this mean 90% of Munich's computers are still running on NT4? If so, a rush job is probably badly needed.

Re:Both sides of the story (2, Interesting)

cryptolemur (1247988) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502679)

"Bad thing" was not my intention.

Perhaps I should have added that to me it looks like they're doing the right way. I sorta figured that claiming it as 'mere' "government job" and then providing their good plan would be enough for people with a sense of irony. In any case it didn't see that anti-libertarian knee jerk aggression coming -- I really don't think libertarianism is worth any attention at all. It's a prime example of dead-on-arrival ideology.

Re:Both sides of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502959)

It wasn't intended to be anti-libertarian per se, actually. :) Just anti-"the kind of shortsighted libertarianism that seems to be all too common on Slashdot".

I apologize for reading your comment the wrong way, though; it seems that spending too much time on this site has made me rather cynical (and, perhaps, trigger-happy) already.

Yeah, sure, like if private companies were better. (2, Interesting)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502649)

Several big failures of the UK's government's IT strategy has been due to the sheer incompetence of the *private* contractors.

Or what about train companies in the UK, or highway operators in Mexico. In both cases the original "investors" cashed in on their shares as soon as they could and left a mess behind that the government has had to paid.

I can also say that, having worked all my life in private industry, your comment, which seems to imply government=ineptitude could easily apply as well to major well known corporations.

It is ironic that now that governments are having to bail out banks (not for the first time mind you, in Mexico we got deeply into debt to avoid the collapse of the financial system during the 90s), car manufacturers and insurers there are still people out there equalling government with incompetence.

Re:Both sides of the story (0, Troll)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502185)

Typical Slashdot moderators. Unable to face the fact that not everything is perfect in their own little world.

I provided two useful blogs that gave facts and opinions from both sides of the migration, plus my own opinion... and I get modded "Flamebait". If this isn't a perfect example of how your opinion WILL be punished if it's not totally for the FOSS line of thought, then I don't know what is.

I love open-source when it's applicable, but I'm not going change my opinion if I think it's fallen short. Got to laugh at those who can't stand dissent. But thank you to anyone who can post with some maturity.

Re:Both sides of the story (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502291)

You must not have read beyond the first post in that failure blog.. and you are the second one in this thread to post the failure blog.

That writer is a fucktard troll. In fact, if you scroll down past the Wahmbulance story you will find out that "Switzerland acknowledges there is no alternative to Microsoft."

Back on topic - it is entirely possible this migration was not handled well. Either way, you are a fucking douche.

Re:Both sides of the story (3, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502321)

And look, already a comment on the Switzerland story.. maybe the first of many? Who knows? *shrugs*

From http://limuxwatch.blogspot.com/2009/05/switzerland-acknowledges-that-there-is.html#comments [blogspot.com] :

Anonymous said...

        Someone linked to your blog on /. and it is not going well for you, your ideas, or your writing style. You might want to disable your comments section - just based on my analysis of your failure to grasp the basic tenants of reporting.
        June 28, 2009 5:25 AM

Re:Both sides of the story (0, Troll)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502375)

Either way, you are a fucking douche.

I didn't write the failure blog. Unless your criticism was directly towards the actual writer, in which case so be it. But if you were having a go at me for initially siding with his blog, then fuck you. It's a differing opinion, get used to it.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

Fr33thot (1236686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503331)

if the criticism's were constructive then perhaps you should get away with calling the post a differing opinion. It is not. It is instead just another in a long line of similar derisions offered by people who see this as a competition between MS and Linux, or between closed and open source, and they've decided (or been paid) to champion closed source. These people exist for open source as well and they like their closed source cousins mostly fail to add value to the discussion.

Re:Both sides of the story (3, Insightful)

ahodgkinson (662233) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502359)

To answer your reasonable question about unfairly squashing dissent:

From reading both, I tend to gravitate towards the failure side. It's 2009 and only 10% migration? Wasn't this suppose to save money? It's a frigging embarrassment! How are you suppose to point to Munich as an example of free and open-source software working on a city scale when they can't even implement it in a reasonable time-frame?

I think you got got labeled flamebait, not that I agree, because your conclusions appear unreasonable, namely that you are measuring the project on criteria which do not match the project's own stated goals.

First of all: Munich was said that the their goal is not to save money in the short-term, but to gain 'autonomy' from a single supplier. The savings, if any, are to be realized in the long term.

Second: Schedule and cost overruns are (unfortunately) normal for projects this size and complexity. What is your idea of a reasonable time scale anyways? With some searching I can probably identify other similar sized projects which eventually succeeded, in spite of serious schedule overruns. BTW: The sound byte that only 10% of the workstations have been migrated in X years doesn't scale to mean that it will take 9 * X more years to complete to rest of them. I know you didn't state this, but the LimuxWatch blog implies this in many of their schedule slip lists.

Third: There is more at stake than producing Linux-based work stations and a support infrastructure for Munich. This is a first of it's type project, meaning a major public-sector open source deployment on the desktop. If this succeeds, then the lessons learned will form the basis for other similar projects. In other words, don't be surprised if LimuxWatch blog has a hidden agenda.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502641)

In other words, don't be surprised if LimuxWatch blog has a hidden agenda.

Hidden agenda? Are you kidding me? The author is flat out stating that Limux is failing hard, that Microsoft reigns supreme and that Linux is no alternative. The only hidden agenda they could have is to sell Apple computers, but i'm failing to see how that's playing into it.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502883)

hmm Linuxwatch

Funny choice of name that reminds me of migrationwatch.org which claims to be "MigrationwatchUK is an independent and non-political body established in October 2001. Our purposes are to; monitor migration flows to and from the UK,"

In reality its a right Wing organization pushing its nasty agenda where ever it can.

interestingly you can read here how its irish version got shut down.

http://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/Migration-Watch-website-shuts-down.4872135.jp [leinsterleader.ie]

this upset a few people

http://irish-nationalism.net/forum/showthread.php?t=10249 [irish-nationalism.net]

At least they are honest enough not to pretend to be impartial.

There's a few of these "watch" type organisations wikipedia-watch.org is another example.

seems that like in the case of x-sucks sites, the purpose is stick the boot in where ever possible.

I wouldn't expect a sucks site to be unbiased but at least they are not pretending to be impartial.

Now perhaps linuxwatch wasn't intended to be anything other than an impartial site but if it was it was a poor choice of name given the connotations such watch sites already have.

I've never seen a "watch" site which wasn't hypercritical of whatever it watches.

Linuxwatch critical of Linux - say it isn't so

On the nature and timing of slip lists... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503095)

The sound byte that only 10% of the workstations have been migrated in X years doesn't scale to mean that it will take 9 * X more years to complete to rest of them. I know you didn't state this, but the LimuxWatch blog implies this in many of their schedule slip lists.

Yeah, everyone knows things are expected to take O(X log X) time with a slip list.

Re:Both sides of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28503299)

Agree it is a failure...

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Insightful)

jcookeman (843136) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502355)

I don't think you read the relevant bits. The project was put on hold a few years ago for patent legality research. And, they are doing a "soft migration" in which relevant open source applications are being installed on Windows to gear up the user base for the switch. Just pulling the rug out from under all the users quickly is stupid and will generate nothing but backlash. I read the OSOR page, and it seems they know what they are doing and doing it well. I drive a Mercedes, and I can say that Germans don't half ass things. Speculatively, I would say the cost is so high because the city most likely dug themselves a hole by developing loads of software that is Windows specific. But, they are doing the right thing here by getting their technology independence. In 10 years from now, their operating costs will be amazingly low since they will ditch millions in MS tax, have a user base acclimatized to Linux, flexible applications, and knowledgeable admins. This should be an example and business case to other governments and large organizations that they too can save themselves tons of cash by just going through the pain of undoing "easy decisions".

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Informative)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502859)

And, they are doing a "soft migration" in which relevant open source applications are being installed on Windows to gear up the user base for the switch. Just pulling the rug out from under all the users quickly is stupid and will generate nothing but backlash.

From the article - this is a little more about the actual process:

To iron out the system's teething troubles, the project team first conducted pilot migrations in three departments that volunteered for the purpose. Before migrating a department, Matthias Braun and his colleagues in the migration support team take a close look at the particular situation in that section, and work out a solution with the local system administrators.

The LiMux migration itself begins only when the ground is thus prepared. Again, each department can choose which migration path it wants: either moving all services to the new operating system in one bold stroke, or a so-called soft migration in several stages.

During such a soft migration, the administrators first deploy OpenOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird on computers still running a version of Windows. In a second step, they switch to the new operating system. In order to minimise the impact of any problems that may occur, the first systems to be migrated are those that are not frequently used for contact with other sections of the city's administration, and do not have to exchange documents between different office program suites.

Until the end of 2008, each of the city's departments will have a "LiMux germ cell". These are groups of 30-50 workstations that will be migrated to the LiMux client. Even in departments that are sceptical towards the migration, this helps the IT staff to become familiar with the software. This approach also allows the LiMux project team to learn about the specific technical requirements of each department, and address them before the full-scale roll-out of the software.

Color me impressed. They've attempted to head virtually ever issue off at the pass. Migrating to Openoffice, Firefox and Thunderbird on XP was exactly what I did before migrating to Linux, and it's the only time I ever succeeded for more than say, a week or two. I think it's been nearly two years now for me since I began my own "soft migration" and no signs of going back. Another thing that impresses me is their "Linux Germ Cell" idea - get the IT departments up to speed slowly before rolling it out en-masse. Other people here have criticized the "only 10% rolled out" stat, but the last thing you want to do is roll out a mass linux migration without even understanding what the main bugs are or how to solve them, and you can guarantee that there will be a huge learning curve.

One thing I wonder about though - anyone with the ability to block something will do so if they perceive that their income stream is likely to be lessened somehow, either now or in the future. I hope this was anticipated. I can think of at least two solutions: make sure that these individuals are first identified and then either making sure they end up getting paid as much or more after the switch as they used to (and this is communicated to them earnestly)... or, they get purged right away, before they can block anything.

Re:Both sides of the story (5, Insightful)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502361)

Wasn't this suppose to save money?

Not really. From the article:

"While the proprietary solution was deemed to be slightly more cost-effective over the full period, the strategic advantage of being free to take its own IT decisions led the city council to decide in favour of the migration to GNU/Linux. "

and also from the same:

"The Microsoft solution would have made it necessary to introduce an Active Directory system, which would have meant a strong lock-in and would have caused significant follow-up costs.

RT

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503239)

Okay, they want freedom to choose the software they want to use, but considering the state of OS email clients I'm not sure they really have any.

I'm not trying to troll, in fact we looked at migrating our machines at work from Outlook to Thunderbird or another free app on Windows or Linux, but gave up in the end because none of the available clients could replace what we do with Outlook. For example, Thunderbird does not have any kind of default template support, so our users would have to remember to use the right template every time they write an email. We have to have it that way to maintain consistency and keep all the legal stuff in there.

We looked at Kmail too (not bad, but lacks group calendaring and is Linux only), as well as Sylpheed/Cylpheed Claws (no proper HTML support, sorry but people send us email in that format), Mulberry (abandoned, poor feature set), iScribe (lacking many features), and a couple of others I forget now. For us iPhone and Blackberry integration is important too which makes things that much harder.

What I'm saying is that unless you are willing to do some coding yourself then the freedom of OSS is not really that liberating if the area you are looking at happens to be under developed. For office stuff OO.org is brilliant (and they finally sorted out a (British) English dictionary, yay!) and Firefox is the browser of choice for us, but there is still a lot of important software we need that forces us to stay with commercial software.

Re:Both sides of the story (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502575)

When you live in this city (Munich) and state (Bavaria) you are immersed in a many centuries old culture.
Munich might not be Rome but a thousand years old structures are what you grow up with, the same is valid for the continuity of the administration.

So who is going to complain about a few years of software migration especially when the goal is greater independence?

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503245)

Munich might not be Rome but a thousand years old structures are what you grow up with, the same is valid for the continuity of the administration.

You can say that again. I have lived in Munich and was talking to a guy who was working on an authoritative Latin dictionary at one of the universities with full literary attributions. The dictionary project has been running for something like a century and will take some more years before it is finished.

Re:Both sides of the story (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502605)

It's 2009 and only 10% migration?

The migration started in 2005 and it is a two step migration:

1) migrate to openoffice, thunderbird and firefox (almost done)
2) migrate to linux (just started, 10%)

they are gradually migrating to linux, applications first, then the OS.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502747)

10% have switched to Linux, but 60% have switched to Open Office.

They are also using a custom Linux distro, which must slow things down somewhat.

It is not fast, but lots of big IT changes take longer.

Re:Both sides of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502751)

Having 10% migrated to Linux does not main a 10% saving on Microsoft licensing costs. That 10% is a very strong point when negotiating with Microsoft, so the actual savings could be a high as 90%. (Microsoft is know to give >90% discounts in situations like these, especially for governments.)

Did you read both? (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502769)

Then you could not have missed this one:

http://www.floschi.info/2009/02/great-news-limux-got-its-own-anti-lobbyist/ [floschi.info]

The most interesting quote:

"Itâ(TM)s not only a dump troll reservoir, the site owner really tries to deal with facts - of course facts interpreted by him in a very strange manner. He is repeating the same lies again and again, trying to hide them behind real quotes⦠his thoughs have no basis in facts, but who will know this?

Who is interested in doing this job? I donâ(TM)t know. Iâ(TM)ll ask ;-) "

That is hardly the voice of somebody leading a failed project.

Re:Both sides of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502835)

The 10% is November 2008. It's the end of June 2009. It's entirely possible that the 60% figure in TFA is correct.

Re:Both sides of the story (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502973)

Well, the execution of their plan in a timely manner is definitely a failure.. the blogs from both sides are also failures in providing any reasons... Mr Limuxwatch hides any information about himself or his motives.. I mean, is he upset because it hasn't progressed to his satisfaction ? .. Is he upset because he doesn't want it done at all ?.. exactly what is his stake in all this ?

Cost of support? (0, Flamebait)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502079)

upgrade of the then-existing Windows NT4 operating system to Windows XP would have been as much as two million euros cheaper

Installing Linux has been costly enough already. One can only imagine the effort to keep everything going, that could potentially be even heavier expense.

Re:Cost of support? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502655)

Yeah, i'm not sure if rolling your own Distribution is the way to go from a TCO/Long Term cost standpoint. It sure makes you more independent, but it's also high maintenance.

Interesting (1)

yanguang (1471209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502109)

Reminds me of the Cuba's Linux Nova.

Linux at home for the city employees? (5, Interesting)

1mck (861167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502211)

I'm wondering if they have a percentage of the city employees who, after using Linux at work, have migrated over to Linux at home?

Re:Linux at home for the city employees? (0, Troll)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502517)

Or, conversely, the number of users who, having been forced to use Linux at work, have run screaming back into the loving embrace of Windows back home, where their MSN Messenger and IncrediMail Just Work (tm).

I say this as someone who has rolled out some complete company-wide Linux deployments to companies that have previously has completely free-reign on their badly maintained, totally unlicensed, unmanaged Windows deployments. Technically, they were a complete success. In terms of user acceptance, they were an utter disaster.

Doing OK, in spite of bumps in the road (5, Interesting)

ahodgkinson (662233) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502251)

Considering what's at stake for Microsoft, it's amazing that Munich's Limux project continues.

Over the years I've read a great deal about various efforts to belittle and undermine it. The Munich Limux Watch blog seems like an attempt to systematically discredit the entire project. I'd love to find out who's behind it. I doubt it's directly supported Microsoft, but I'd wouldn't be surprised if there is some business interest, perhaps a disgruntled IT supplier or even a public sector employee who doesn't want their desktop system changed, behind it. Perhaps some clever Slashdot reader can find out more.

Don't be surprised that there are unexpected costs on a project of this size and complexity. Think about similar projects in the (semi-)public sector, some of which had factor 10 cost overruns and were abandoned (for example: Denver airport luggage processing system). In the end, the ability to actually complete the project, even if years late, and the long-term cost savings will determine its real success. [See my signature below]

We shouldn't expect Limux to have an instant pay back. Even though the operating system is free, the installation scripting, customization, roll-out, training and support have real costs, which will take years to amortize. The gain will only be in the long-term when the infrastructure to support Limux is in place and saves from not having license costs associated with forced upgrades are realized.

Further, you must bear in mind that Munich is a pioneer in even attempting to replace a major Microsoft based infrastructure with open source software. They are having to to do everything from scratch, which I'm sure increases the cost.

Munich's Limux project is a battleground for Microsoft. It it succeeds then it will become the model for similar initiatives. This could make non-Microsoft desktop systems a real alternative for large institutions. This is Microsoft's disaster scenario, and could ruin their monopoly hold on the marker. They might even have to, gasp, compete.

Re:Doing OK, in spite of bumps in the road (3, Interesting)

trendzetter (777091) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502309)

About limuxwatch. Why is it posting anonymous? It doesn't look like very honest hiding your identity. It is very very likely that it limuxwatch is connected to business interests (MS?)

Re:Doing OK, in spite of bumps in the road (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502419)

About limuxwatch. Why is it posting anonymous? It doesn't look like very honest hiding your identity. It is very very likely that it limuxwatch is connected to business interests (MS?)

I absolutely agree, Mr T. Zetter. Clearly the only reason somebody might want to post anonymously is that they are secretly being paid by Microsoft/Big Oil Companies/Big Pharma/Al Quaeda/the Dutch.

I believe all anonymous posting on the internet should be banned, and hopefully you will agree with me. The only problem I have is that sometimes people don't believe that I am actually called Mr Anonymous Plusfivefunny Coward!

Most importantly, why is he posting in English? (4, Insightful)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502721)

To whom is that blog directed? (a blog that started barely 6 months ago).

Not to the German public it seems.

Re:Most importantly, why is he posting in English? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28502793)

He couldn't find the German equivalent of Waahmbulance.

Re:Doing OK, in spite of bumps in the road (4, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 4 years ago | (#28502405)

Further, you must bear in mind that Munich is a pioneer in even attempting to replace a major Microsoft based infrastructure with open source software. They are having to to do everything from scratch, which I'm sure increases the cost.

That's what you'd call an early adoptor, they usually pay more, but definitly in this case, everyone, especially the other german government agencies that will adopt it too, will benefit.

Nice sigmonster. (0, Offtopic)

catman (1412) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503031)

At the bottom of the /. page for this story, the quip of the day reads: You can always tell the people that are forging the new frontier. They're the ones with arrows sticking out of their backs.

Re:Nice sigmonster. (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503131)

And to quote Macchiavelli's "Prince":

And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.

Moving target? (2, Interesting)

gravyface (592485) | more than 4 years ago | (#28503307)

Making an assumption here, but perhaps Open Office's release of two major versions [wikipedia.org] during the project's lifecycle may have something to do with the delay.

If I was running this show, I'd have uber-time blocked off for compatibility testing to make sure key stakeholders (see, "important people with important spreadsheets") were happy, even if that meant delaying roll-out for the next major OOo release.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>