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Spanish Region Goes Entirely Open Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the build-it-and-they-will-come dept.

219

greengrass writes to tell us TechWorld is reporting that the Spanish region of Extremadura has decided to go completely open source with their day-to-day operations. While the region has long been a supporter of open source software, within a year it will be a requirement that all officials use the ODF and PDF formats for all documents. From the article: "Extremadura, Spain's poorest region, made headlines following a 2002 decision to migrate about 70,000 desktops and 400 servers in its schools to a locally tailored version of Debian called gnuLinEx. The government has estimated that the total cost of this project was about 190,000 euros (£130,000), 18 million euros lower than if the schools had purchased Microsoft software. "

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219 comments

A Goal! (1, Insightful)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829815)

This is what Opensource should be using its power to do. Good work every one!

Re:A Goal! (2, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829834)

Please, if you're going to use football (sorry, 'soccer') metaphors, at least do it right. It should be:

"GGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLL LLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Re:A Goal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829867)

Actually it is "GOL! GOL! GOL! GOL! GOL!" (like a gong). Silly españoles.

NOTE: Technical limitations prevent me from writing the "¡".

Re:A Goal! (3, Funny)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830153)

Sorry, I'm from Australia...You know, the place that had a slight chance in the last world cup until Itally decided to use our game for diving practice? So it's more like:

"YOU TOOK A BLOODY DIVE!" ...Funnily enough this is probably what Microsofts price per seat offer will do in the country in question.

Re:A Goal! (5, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830089)

This is what Opensource should be using its power to do. Good work every one!

Yes. A few detailed points:

1. When you have tens of thousands of desktops, the money saved by not paying Microsoft is so great, that you can even afford to pay people to code a few specific things you need (regional customization, etc.). This is the beauty of the open source stack - you get 99% of the code FOR FREE; salaries for a few good programmers to code the last 1% is cheaper than 70,000 MS licenses. Now, I don't know if the region of Extremadura pay the salaries of the LinEx people; but my point is that even if they did, it would be a huge savings.

2. That last 1% of code may be GPL (in case it's integrated into the system and not completely standalone, or, even if it is standalone, a government or nonprofit might free the source code anyhow). So others will also be able to benefit from it.

Back to the article itself, this latest news is very good, and may be another sign of slowly-building momentum for the Open Source movement.

Re:A Goal! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830350)

Here in Spain, Government does pay indirectly to the GPL coders for their adaptations: they open a standarised-by-law public bidding process for contractors which have to suply the adaptations or developments or whatever service is needed. The lowest bidder which has enough technical expertise gets the contract and develops the software, which is then property of the government, and then the government releases as GPL.

Good now they don't have an excuse to pirate bylaw (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829823)

Good now they don't have an excuse to pirate by law. You'd think Spain would have become a world power, what with its history of killing everyone they contacted, but nope, third world.

Re:Good now they don't have an excuse to pirate by (5, Informative)

davaguco (771514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830281)

Spain is not third world, by any account or figure.

Re:Good now they don't have an excuse to pirate by (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830347)

Even though it's clearly an ignorant troll, he's not completely off. Spain has a LOT of blood on its hands. First the moslems, then all of south and central america. We're talking millions and millions! And then "recently" the civil war and the fascistic dictatorship until 1974.

However - They've learned their lesson - that war does no good! And is now very peace-loving people. Passionate, but peace-loving. It was simply amazing to see how people went on the street after the Madrid-bombings to demonstrate for PEACE - the day after they had been victim to a large-scale terror attack. Their response was not to start wars. They had learned the lesson.

Other countries and people could learn from that......

Disclaimer: Yes, I live in Spain.

Is it just me? (5, Funny)

olego (899338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829828)

I read that as "Spanish Religion Goes Entirely Open Source", and spent the next few seconds wondering about the implication of this transition.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Interesting)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829880)

Most religions are already open source - apart from the Scientology that is.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830027)

Most religions are already open source - apart from the Scientology that is.

And look at their forking problems! Proof positive that proprietary religions don't have the same forking problems and open source religions.

Re:Is it just me? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830424)

Well, Christianity is a fork of Judaism; its main selling points being less restrictive input criteria and no need for hardware modifications. Islam is a fork from Christianity that reintroduced some of the features of Judaism 1.x whilst remaining basically incompatible. Satanism is also a fork from Christianity.

As for the polytheistic religions, they aren't so much forks as localisations. The Norse god Odin, for instance, is the same as the Saxon god Wotan. (except Odin didn't make cheap light bulbs in the 1970s).

I don't think so (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830448)

Dear pope,
Someone on /. told me your now open source so please could you open up the valuts of the vatican so that I can run scientific test on all the relics and books you hold their.

Thanks,
Judus.

Re:Is it just me? (5, Funny)

Torstein Haldorsen (905795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829887)

I misread it the same way, and I am in the process of actually founding an "Open Source Religion". A coherent organized worldview that is dynamic, module-based and upgradable. In contrast with the thousands of years old, monolithic, static and all-to-often fundamentalist doctrines that monopolize the religious market today. I say it's about time they get some competition.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829965)

It already exists.

http://www.yoism.org/ [yoism.org]

Warning, the website contains annoyances, turn off your sound before visiting.

Their holy book is already at version 0.2. You can join if you want and submit patches.

And it's very modular, you can remove mysticism from it if you wishes.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830145)

I misread it the same way, and I am in the process of actually founding an "Open Source Religion". A coherent organized worldview that is dynamic, module-based and upgradable. In contrast with the thousands of years old, monolithic, static and all-to-often fundamentalist doctrines that monopolize the religious market today. I say it's about time they get some competition.

I have heard there are these things called 'science' and 'philosophy', both of which have coherent organized worldviews which are modular and upgradable.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830226)

A coherent organized worldview that is dynamic, module-based and upgradable.

Welcome to Hinduism. Those pesky Indians already did this years ago.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830431)

So people are out there sending in their patches to the holy scriptures ... then someone goes and forks the project.

So you have ScriptureFree86 and Scripture.org competing with each other, and each of the religous distributions has to decide which branch to take up.

Meanwhile, the evil MicroScripture.com is preaching that you should give them 10% of everything you earn, if you want to be blest. And they insist that you use their DRM'd Scripture reader that won't allow you to look at alternative versions.

Nah, it will never work. back to the Closed Source Brethren.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

OctaviusIII (969957) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829972)

It is just you, to clarify.

My region already has open-source religion anyway: gotta love New Agers and their crystals.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Insightful)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830256)

Hey! Don't mix those dirty new-age hippies up with us dirty open-source hippies!

gnuLinEx (3, Interesting)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829841)

Is this just a localised Linux distro, or does it have other specific properties? Small footprint, extra security, that sort of stuff? TFA weren't too clear about that, and the gnuLinEx website was a bit... Spanish.

Re:gnuLinEx (5, Informative)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829875)

Based off here [linex.org] it looks like it's basically Debian Sarge with a set of useful applications - I assume the ones that have different names eg Zurbarán (Gimp 2.2) are localised builds.

Re:gnuLinEx (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830023)

The latest LinEx (6/06) has an up-to-date Linux kernel, and likewise GNOME (2.6.16, 2.14.1 respectively), which is useful (Debian Sarge has much older versions).

Looks like some nice work on the part of the Spanish Linux people. Also, they deserve congratulations on their success detailed in the article.

Re:gnuLinEx (5, Informative)

4e617474 (945414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829881)

From what I could find, it's mostly a localized Debian with a few tweaks for ease-of-use and some educational apps and such. Review [linuxjournal.com] linked by distrowatch. [distrowatch.com]

Re:gnuLinEx (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829899)

The main advantages of the distro seem to be the creation of system to install programs via the browser (after root authentication). They have also developed a program to update free distributions with non-free amenities Windows users typically take for granted: namely Java, Flash, the ability to read commercial DVDs and Real and DivX codec support. The installation seems to be based on Redhat's installation system (anaconda) and it has the ability to resize existing NTFS partitions. They've also got a centralized "control panel" where one may install packages, update the distro, etc... The core of the distro consists of: Gnome 2.14, X.org 6.9, with specific updates for Intel 945 chipsets, Linux 2.6.16, with support for Core 2 duo as well as ipw3945 as well as nVidia, ATI, firmware ipw2*00 and ipw3945, etc.

Microsoft won't back down (1, Interesting)

hopopee (859193) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829855)

Soon they'll propose a counter offer that costs less than the open-source solution.. for the next few years. Then they concentrate on taking the deciding parties to cruises, trips to USA and Bahamas etc. to keep them from ever again even thinking about migrating to another system. Or maybe I'm just becoming a bit jaded? :-)

Re:Microsoft won't back down (1)

Anti-Trend (857000) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829940)

They already migrated in 2002. TFA is about extending this decision even further. FTA:

"The new decision will extend the use of LinEx from schools to all civil servants and finally all of the region's administrative offices. The government didn't say how many systems would be migrated. The plan calls for all applications to be open source as well. The standard document format will be ODF (Open Document Format), with PDF used when exact visual appearance must be preserved."

Re:Microsoft won't back down (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830513)

But will Balmer throw a spanish chair or an american chair at the incompetant microsoft spainish employee.

Good (5, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829903)

Good. Now if only my local government would listen to me and stop wasting millions of dollars on MS licenses. (Their "compatibility" issue boils down to being compatible with the printer -- they always print out their stuff on letterhead and mail it through the post!)

Re:Good double-PLUS good... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830039)

It's not just those government offices. It's also all those suck-up, KISS-ASS computer companies that have the VAPID, disGUSTING gall to slap on their hardware the stickers that say:

"(kiss-ass-hardware company) recommends microsoft windows XP home edition..."

"(kiss-ass-hardware company) recommends microsoft windows XP professional edition..."

"(kiss-ass-hardware company) recommends microsoft windows 2000 edition..." ...

As IF the consumer (nevermind the wiser PROsumer...) has a frackin' choice. These snivelly-ass companies are accepting marketing dollars for ms and whoring their names on the labels, stickers, and box art. THERE ARE NO other choices coming from MOST manufacturers, and the prosumers and adventurous consumers are ate least trying out Linux/Debian.

It ought to be illegal the SHIT ms gets away with.

It's like recommending "Milk. It does YOUR body good". Then they dairy council gets sued, and they change to:

"Milk. It does A body good."

With all the virii and other bullshit incessantly bringing up the cost of ownership of ms windoze products, its amazing that the industry has not demanded more Linux-based native apps to get off windoze.

-- lame file system... STILL needs defragging in XP/2K. What will vista have?

-- an admin logging off users STILL blows out any work they may have open as drafts. If ms is SOOOOO innovative, then WHY in the hell in the past 6 years have they NOT rewritten windoze to save the endangered draft docs/files as "admin-shutdown-draft 2006-07-31-1422-wordfile.doc" or "sysadmin-shutdown-draft 2006-07-31-1422-outlook.olk"....

Even if security is a problem, the SYSADMIN on the machine should be able to save the file and do the work that the crappy design causes them to do in reboot or log-user-out mode.

Open Source Devs... I think Linux needs something to deal with my 2nd comment, for those systems where the admin needs to bring down a multi-user machine... (presume the kids/family/housemate users left home and left drafts open but their session locked/screen-saved...) for maintenance or hardware change. It would be a "nice to have to be nice and behave" feature...

Re:Good double-PLUS good... (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830055)

Doesn't that work in Linux? I know from my own experince running KDE that when X crashes (I'm running the binary nvidia driver, sorry, but it only happens once every few weeks), when I log back in to KDE there's everything just the way I left it. Surely bringing down the system entirely wouldn't be more disruptive than that.

Re:Good double-PLUS good... (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830185)

Open Source Devs... I think Linux needs something to deal with my 2nd comment, for those systems where the admin needs to bring down a multi-user machine... (presume the kids/family/housemate users left home and left drafts open but their session locked/screen-saved...) for maintenance or hardware change. It would be a "nice to have to be nice and behave" feature...

Done, but you're not going to like what I charged you. ;)

On most of the Linux distros I've used, xscreensaver will accept either the user's password or root's password. If it doesn't, or if the user is using an esoteric screensaver program, switch to the console, log in as root, kill the screensaver process, and switch back.

Re:Good (0)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830078)

Good. Now if only my local government would listen to me and stop wasting millions of dollars on MS licenses. (Their "compatibility" issue boils down to being compatible with the printer -- they always print out their stuff on letterhead and mail it through the post!)

Remember, that Linux is as "free" if your time is. If your time has value, then Linux can get quite expensive. That's how come RedHat can make a decent amount of bank selling a "free" product!

However, if your time has little financial value, that will tend to tilt the scales so that Linux becomes more cost-effective.

Look at it this way:

Setting up a printer the Windows Way (tm):

1) Buy whatever printer.
2) Unpack printer printer
3) Plug in printer. (computer asks for driver disk)
4) Insert driver disk, click ok.
5) Click ok a few more times. May select "no" on loading yet another dumb, free image editor.
6) Done.


Setting up a printer the Linux Way:

1) Before buying printer, check Linux compatability at linuxprinting.org.
2) Try to find one of the half-dozen printers you think you'll like by calling all local vendors.
3) When you find one, go to the store, and check the revision numbers to make sure you know what you're buying.
4) Buy the printer, bring it home.
5) Unpack printer printer
6) Plug in printer. Nothing noticable happens.
7) Download the CUPS driver you found in step 1.
8) Pray to god that all the revs match, and that you have all the deps met for CUPS and the printer driver. If not, spend half a day sorting this out.
9) Print your sample page, and pray to god it works.
6) Done.


The Linux way is more time intensive. If you are paying your staff $35/hour (not atypical for qualified clerical staff) then spending that extra 2 or 3 hours of time just may not be worth it, especially if you consider the time it takes to train people to do steps 1-6 for Linux printing! In that case, it might pay to shell out $500 for Windows and related software!

When $500 represents 2 days of paid staff time, it's a small investment when compared to the annual cost of that employee. But, when it represents 1 month of paid staff time, it's a very different equation!

Proof that MS-fanboys just don't get it. (3, Insightful)

RoLi (141856) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830196)

Comments like these just flow over from ignorance and stupidity.

Let's review the statement from Extremadura:

The government has estimated that the total cost of this project was about 190,000 euros, 18 million euros lower than if the schools had purchased Microsoft software.

Do you think that "Before buying printer, check Linux compatability at linuxprinting.org." is included in these 190,000 Euros? (= well over 200.000 US Dollars)

Do you think that they called vendors ahead before they bought whatever was needed to upgrade 70,000 computers to the new printing-needs?

Do you think that they called vendors ahead before they set up printers for 70,000 computers, no matter if run on Linux or Windows?

OK, I fully admit it:

For some gamer who runs a single computer in a basement, Linux is probably not the prime choice. Even for many non-gaming home users Linux might not be the best choice.

But this is about a government organization that:

  • Doesn't need games
  • Runs so much hardware that the cost for checking out (or even creating fixes or workarounds for) hardware-compatibility is neglectible

Re:Proof that MS-fanboys just don't get it. (2, Informative)

killjoe (766577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830336)

LArge organizations like that tend to have an IT team. The IT team tends to dictate which printers are bought.

Have you ever worked for a company? Check with you school. You will see that they too make centralized decisions about which printers are bought and installed.

Anyway most printers are supported by linux. There are few windows only printers but they are pretty rare because the printer companies want to sell to mac users too (mac and linux use the same printer subsystem)

Re:Good (1)

njh (24312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830259)

My work switched all the printers over from windows to linux running cups and samba. It was easier to get them working and keep them working.

I've never had a problem with a shop bought printer under CUPS either.

Re:Good (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830332)

However, if your in an organisation your likely to have a single printer for a large number of workstations, in which case it's much easier:

If your print server is running CUPS in the same subnet as the workstations, and is configured to share it's printers, all the workstations which are running cups (including osx by default) will automatically detect the printer and add it to the list of available printers, you don't need to install any drivers on the workstations because the server handles the translation of postscript into whatever the printer is expecting.

As for difficulty setting up a printer on linux, pretty much all modern printers from reputable manufacturers are USB based, and get detected automatically by a modern linux system when connected, no need to install drivers from a cd or anything, and this is just lowend consumer printers...
When you get to high end printers, they virtually all support postscript which has been the native printing protocol of unix for years.

You are coaching it wrong (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830454)

Try this instead. [wbtllc.com] Once you can lower a cost, then change it to imcreasing their revenue. Than all that is left, is to overcome the money factor. If the gov. is attached to gates front pocket (or there abouts), then it is difficult to get their backing. But not all are that way.

190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (-1, Flamebait)

Corey Hart (797650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829917)

Interesting that the math says that each computer cost less than 3Euros (or about $3) to do. Since I imagine it would take about 10minutes for the average superman to set up a computer via some great imaging technique, that means the IT staff was working at about $18/hour.

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15829943)

IT staff? They probably let the IT staff produce a big guide to the new OS, and had everyone install it themselves on company time. Probably not included in the price tag.
 
Of course this means they lost some productivity through this, which just drives home the point that if you need to lose productivity, the cost may be difficult to measure but it can't possibly be as high as the productivity loss caused by M$ products.

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830444)

But then, all the people who installed it will know better how to handle it in case of a problem and may not need to run to IT staff to solve little problems.

Bert

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (1)

juahonen (544369) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830007)

Why use IT staff? Schools are full of eager nerds who would love to hold an install fest...

There are many schools in Finland for example, which have student-maintained computer classrooms, school servers, web pages, etc. However, the higher level education a school offers, the less likely it is to find students maintaining the IT infrastructure...

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (3, Insightful)

Murodese (991864) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830010)

I'm sure that with some thought they could cut that down to x minutes per infinite computers (unattended installations, etc), which would certainly make the price tag seem more logical.

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (0)

paxmaniac (988091) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830026)

Interesting that the math says that each computer cost less than 3Euros (or about $3) to do. Since I imagine it would take about 10minutes for the average superman to set up a computer via some great imaging technique, that means the IT staff was working at about $18/hour.
If your install process is properly automated: *insert disk* *reboot machine* *go away and do something else productive - like start installations on a dozen other computers* *remove disk* Time taken per machine? Oh, about 30 seconds.

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830068)

Thank God there is not a Nerd Union that would require one nerd per each install.

Keep in mind that Corey's method for arriving at $18/hour is totally asinine.

Re:190,000Euro divided by 70,400 computers..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830322)

$18 / hour seems normal, not sure about spanish saleries though.
Quick math for Denmark, minimum wages are 90 DKK, a dollar is around 6 DKK. I don't think that $18 is all that wrong for a IT staff who just installs machines.

Vista makes it worse, actually... (4, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829927)

What exactly do schools look for in "Computer curriculum"? Most I know only look for a browser, a HTML editor and some presentation s/w on the clients side. The servr side is mostly some Courseware s/w - Moodle or Drupal; LDAP; Centralised File System etc.

There has been no incentive for schools to upgrade from Windows 98, indeed many schools near me have about 80% of their systems running Win98, and the students are quite happy with what they're getting. There's absolutely no incentive to upgrade to WinXP (although a RAM upgrade might allow XP to run).

Schools in fact have every reason to ask Microsoft WHAT EXACTLY they get in return for Big $$ they need to shell out in MS upgrades. If they switch (the servers are already on Linux) the clients also to Linux, schools will have absolutely zero incentive to upgrade to Vista.
 

Re:Vista makes it worse, actually... (1)

mindtriggerz (914619) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829983)

I go to school in Kentucky, and KDE has one of the largest Active Directory trees in the world. We *had* to upgrade to XP. As for curriculium, all the Comp Apps classes teach Office, the school runs STI (ugh, hate it, crashes once a day), and various other windows-only apps are used throughout.
We are getting Moodle integrated, but all our main servers are 2k or 2k3.

For your information... (2, Informative)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830017)

Fedora Directory Services is a very robust implementation of LDAPv3, and is available under GPL. FDS also allows integration with Craptive Directory. Moodle and many other Courseware come with LDAP integration, so there's no problem if the school really wants to go in for Open Source.

Re:Vista makes it worse, actually... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830345)

Here's the biggest problem with schools right now.
They teach you a single application, instead of the general concept of how such applications work.

when i went to school, we had Acorns running various word processing and spreadsheet apps, and later we had intel boxes running first wordperfect for dos, and later wordperfect for windows 3.1 (tho the dos version was still installed too).

Because all the computer rooms in the school had different software and different machines, they had to teach us generally how these apps worked, rather than the recent trend of teaching people by a single app by repetition.

Re:Vista makes it worse, actually... (2, Interesting)

xdxfp (992259) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830383)

While I tend to agree with you, schools face a tremendous market pressure to go with the latest technology "fad". My old high-school put desktops in the back of every classroom. Since there's only 8 per classroom, no one ever uses them. Next, they wanted to get laptops for every student (despite the fact they would get lost, stolen, etc). This kind of stuff is constant.

How many soccer-moms see the Microsoft commercials on TV (which claim that Windows "inspires" children), and vote at school-board meetings to have a $1,500 laptop for every kid? It was more than 50% in my district.

Simple math (5, Interesting)

orzetto (545509) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829953)

The government has estimated that the total cost of this project was about 190,000 euros, 18 million euros lower than if the schools had purchased Microsoft software.

Good argument for GNU, Linux and open source in general with your boss: cuts your software costs by 98.9%. Finally someone puts an official number on this.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830030)

All these things are always announced, never completed. I'm yet to see one project that ends and they say "we spent what we planned to spend and we saved what we planed to save". Every single experience I've seen so far ends up at something like "We are already overbudget and we haven't started the migration because of compatibility and support issues".
So great for OSS that they got somebody to try. But until it is done, it means nothing.

Re:Yeah right (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830316)

18Mln vs. 190k euros? I'd say it doesn't hurt to try.

From my personal experience, 5 years ago Linux had problem of application availability and the quality of the applications. Now, most problems boil down to "Wind0ze does it differently". IOW, If you deploy Linux-only environment such problems don't exist.

I once worked for three years in Linux-only house. After 4 years on WinNT4. That was best experience of my life: easy installation and recovery, painless networking, simple backup, no-brainer collaboration with others, etc. Perl, python, apache/php/mysql, cvs, gcc, gdb, vim, etc - all stuff already installed for your there. And it all works! All servers are only click away. But of course the experience depends on kind of work you are doing. I'm software developer and Linux known to be developers' "nirvana".

Re:Simple math (1)

chemisus (920383) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830031)

As a college student, I have based all of my research papers or speeches around computer related topics. Most of my persuasive type projects have been solely on switching the campus from windows to linux.

Problem is, the network administrator is a dumbass who just sits in his office all day and watches dvd's. Meanwhile, the "back up image" that is ghosted over the network to a computer that malfunctions was created from a computer that had already been loaded with all kinds of spyware and other junk on it. Quite amusing really.

Good thing this came up, as I have another persuasive speech to do on friday. Might be able to update my sources with it.

Credit (3, Insightful)

indrax (939495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830002)

I think 'Extremadura' would be an awesome name for a release of a major distro.

Re:Credit (2, Funny)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830025)

Actually, I believe "Extremadura" means "Extremely Hard" in Spanish, so it should be a better fit for a well-equiped Spanish pornstar than for a major distro.

Re:Credit (2, Informative)

MBMarduk (607040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830074)

Extremadura actually means "extra mature" so this would be like Grandma-ILF quality pr0n.










(*No peeps, I'm a native spanish speaker so need to point out the obvious ;-)

It takes time, but it happens (3, Insightful)

RoLi (141856) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830003)

Slowly, but steadily, Linux is gaining ground.

With every year, MS Windows loses another advantage or another killer-feature and the playground - while far from fair - gets a little bit more leveled.

I still remember the mid-late 90s, when you still had to recompile the kernel for sound (now it's autodetected), when there was no office suite (StarOffice came IIRC somewhen around 1998), when there was no KDE.

Of course, in many areas (especially gaming) Windows is de-facto without competition, but these areas become smaller with each year.

For the pioneers like Extremadura and Munich, a lot of political will and forsightness was needed.

For those governments that come later this political will won't be needed (or let's say not nearly as much will be needed) as the migration will be easier, cheaper and faster than in Extremadura or Munich - because of the experience made there, because some programs will already be ported, because the software was developed further.

In the next years, the biggest chance for OpenSource are the OpenDocument formats. While the old .doc format will remain "the standard" for quite some time, I think OpenDocument has good chances beating Microsoft's new XML format and becoming the standard in maybe 10 years. (Mainly because MS XML doesn't offer the advantage of the old .doc format (= being established) and has no advantage versus OpenDocument)

If that happens, MS Office loses it's dominating grip, Microsoft loses a lot of revenue and the ability to fund expensive pet-projects like XBox - and Windows loses another advantage...

Re:It takes time, but it happens (1)

commanderfoxtrot (115784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830419)

That's because it's been a sitting target.

Vista is coming out soon, which will shift the goal-posts.

MS presented it to us at my company - little there to tempt us, but lots of flashy effects to wow consumers. And you know that new computers will come with it installed as a given.

The new Office though- that's quite interesting...

From Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830012)

I'm from Spain, and my fathers are both proffesors at a Extremedura's HighSchool. They have been using Linex for some years, and for what i heard, everyone have a positive opinion from the experience. At first, i were doubtful about Linex. Extremadura is a poor region, with poor estructures. But now, every student has his own computer at school, all running Linex. Professor makes their own programs and demos for class lections (physic, math, language, internet assisted classes, ...)
Great for them and for OpenSource initiatives. If a poor region has succeded at this migration, more people will try the change.

PD.- Extremadura, from "extrema" = "extreme", and "dura" = "hard" ^^

Re:From Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830042)

..."both" your fathers?

Re:From Spain (3, Informative)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830080)

..."both" your fathers?
A mistake in translation I think.
I assume the parent means "both parents", as in Spanish - father is 'el padre', mother is 'la madre', but both together are 'los padres'. This masculine dominance happens with many words for people :- for example, the word for 'sibling' uses the word for brother. I am learning Spanish and this can confuse as naturally I assume that someone is talking about their brothers, when they could also mean their sisters as well.

Fascinating... (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830317)

So are the San Diego Padres supposed to represent Catholic priests, parents in general, or fathers? Which of these makes the best (well, least bad) mascot?

The truth about Linux in Extremadura (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830037)

The truth is that apart from a small number of techies nobody uses Linux in the Junta of Extremadura. It has only been installed on the batch of computers sent to schools and colleges, which the pupils hate, btw. So in many schools they have been cleaned and reinstalled with pirated copies of M$-Winblows.

As a public servant in the Junta I can tell you that this place is a monoculture of Microsoft products, pirated Microsoft products to tell it pecisely. The tests to be a public servant still include practical exercises on MS Word and Excel and there are only a couple of questions about Linux on every test, like "What is Debian?" and the like.

The truth is that the Junta uses the OSS community to get media atention and keep the BSA's people out of their offices.

As an Extremadurian tax payer and OSS developer this just disgust me.

Spain is a socialist country these days... (2, Funny)

CptSpatula (614965) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830071)

Seriously, I wonder how long it will be before a direct mental connection between Open Source and socialism develops in the minds of Americans. It'd be an easy weapon to deploy against Linux.

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830114)

apples and oranges. a political belief vs choice of word processing programs. because it costs nothing to obtain does not mean you will spend less on support. etc.

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (1)

iogan (943605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830247)

Seriously, I wonder how long it will be before a direct mental connection between Open Source and socialism develops in the minds of Americans. It'd be an easy weapon to deploy against Linux.
Seriously, I wonder how the direct mental connection between socialism and Spain developed in your mind.

I'm guessing they became socialist around the same time as they pulled their troops from Iraq?

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830275)

"I'm guessing they became socialist around the same time as they pulled their troops from Iraq?"

Well, they kinda did, didn't they?

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830291)

Maybe it developed with news like this:

http://www.ain.cubaweb.cu/idioma/ingles/2006/ago01 evo-chavez.htm [cubaweb.cu]

Chinese President Hu Jintao also sent a message to the leader of the Cuban Revolution expressing his concern and the support of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people, reports EFE news agency.

Spain's minister of Foreign Relations, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, and Venezuelan National Assembly President, Nicolas Maduro, also sent their wishes for a prompt recovery.

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (2, Informative)

davaguco (771514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830292)

Saying that Spain is socialist is knowing very little about spanish politics. Even if the political party in charge of the government actually is called "socialist" party, it's politics have absolutely nothing to do with what you can find in any book that socialism is.

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830344)

American books or European books?

Most European nations are more or less socialist.

Re:Spain is a socialist country these days... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830439)

There isn't one now? And that's a bad thing, anyway? Windows is totally capitalistic, so...

And now for the gaming version..! (4, Interesting)

STDOUBT (913577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830209)

http://juegalinex.linex.org/ [linex.org]

Here you can find the "home-user" version.
And here (PDF Warning!!),
https://www.linux-magazine.com/issue/64/Linux_Maga zine_DVD.pdf [linux-magazine.com]
you can read an English language article describing this special
home version called JuegaLinex (Play LinEx).

It gives an option at install-time to d/l nvidia or ati 3D drivers.
I put this on a 800mHz mini-itx box for my niece and nephew--
They loved it!
(You can easily localize this version to English)
Many educational apps and a ridiculous number of games!
I recommend to try it on any small people you may know.

Re:And now for the gaming version..! (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830252)

OK, I still don't quite get the "PDF Warning" BS...

It's an OPEN format, and wonderfully supoported under Linux, as U*ix is not dependent on the horrid Acrobat reader etc from Adobe.

PDFs display almost instantly, print perfectly, generated by OpenOffice etc etc...

Is it just because I ONLY use Linux at home I don't hate PDFs?

Re:And now for the gaming version..! (1)

Burning Plastic (153446) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830299)

Trying to work out if this was a troll, but pdf warning after a link just makes sure that people know that they are about to open/download a pdf rather than going to another web page...

For those that don't know.... (2, Funny)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830243)

gnuLinEx is spanish for GNU Linux.

But is it any more pronounceable in Spanish? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830286)

So how the heck do you pronounce "gnuLinEx" in Spanish? :-) that looks like a string of characters that's going to be hard for some people to remember surely.. probably I am being trite but I think one of the smartest things those nice browser people did was call their browser "Firefox", not some uberclever mashup of acronyms, just a friendly name. Surely there's some friendly localised name that could be used, will the school teachers and govt officials in this part of Spain really give a damn if their OS is based on GNU and Linux. I'd say the Spanish geeks should think of a friendlier name. Good on you though for what you've done getting the OS established though, good luck one and all!

PDF is _not_ open standard -- it is proprietary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830253)

PDF is not an open standard like ODF. Adobe, a private, for profit company owns and devlops the PDF IP. It is almost ubiquitous however it cannot be claimed to be an 'open standard'. It amazes me that in this audience that no one else has picked up on this!! Come on people!

Open Standard versus Free (3, Informative)

RahoulB (178873) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830518)

Adobe has a few patents on it but anyone is allowed to use the PDF standard royalty-free. so it is an open standard (although not free)

Far Hard (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830278)

Extremadura is the region of Spain from which most of Spain's global conquerors launched [wikipedia.org], starting a half-millennium ago. While that "pioneer" legacy does make it natural to lead in the brave new world of OSS, it's worth considering that its primary legacy from its past colonial leadership is extreme poverty.

Re:Far Hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15830340)

It's exactly the other way round.

Conqueror came for Extremadura because it was so poor that going to make war to the other side of the ocean look more attractive than staying.

99% Off! (2, Insightful)

bobpopo (990639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15830353)

The government has estimated that the total cost of this project was about 190,000 euros (£130,000), 18 million euros lower than if the schools had purchased Microsoft software.
Just to make it really clear: 190,000/18,000,000 = 0.01 So this price is 1% of the original price. A 99% saving. You don't see that kind of deal often!
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