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Open Source Government

French Parliament Votes To Give Priority To Free Software 98

An anonymous reader writes "The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. [Advocacy association April], after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognizing the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favor of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilized and contacted the Parliament Members."
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French Parliament Votes To Give Priority To Free Software

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  • About time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GPLHost-Thomas ( 1330431 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @02:26AM (#44234841)
    Priority is nice, though mandatory would be even better.
  • Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @02:27AM (#44234849)

    Free, open source software is much more educational by its very nature than closed source shit. One can't learn from source that one can't read.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @02:57AM (#44234971) Journal
    Good point. BUT, I think that is exactly the case. They are just saying that do not want the MS type ppl running around lobbying and buying their pols. Considering that MS and others have worked closely with NSA, and very likely that are loads more backdoors inside windows, it would make sense.
  • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @03:14AM (#44235037) Journal

    Who cares?

    Even if it's available to the merely curious, at least it helps demystify some of the most ubiquitous tools of our time. Children should be encouraged to know what's happening behind the scenes as well as how to use their apps.

    Kids don't magically morph into CS students overnight.

  • by alci63 ( 1856480 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @03:34AM (#44235139)
    A few weeks before this vote, the French Army confirmed a global contract with Microsoft, despite advise not to do so by a security commission, for technological and strategical independance reasons. Lobbies are still here, be reassured !
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @03:59AM (#44235223)

    If open source is so much better, it ought to win on merits. Of course, in civil service merits usually don't count, which is why they have lots of rules, and ultimately the whole doesn't achieve much of anything. So much so that bureaucracy is a byword for exactly that.

    An example of how to do it is the LiMux project. There, the city of Munich stuck out its head, made a plan, adjusted as necessary (because, due to scope turning out much larger than expected, they needed a much longer timetable), and now has a rock-solid integrated software suite to do most if not all their many, many little departments' bidding. As a side effect, they have a clear picture of what sort of thing is in use, where previously that was a complete unknown (and turned out to be much more disparate than expected). That suite is made up out of many open source parts integrated with their own glue.

    Real results always beat legislation that say someone else should something. This legislation will cause a lot of arsecovering and tickboxing and ultimately make the notion of open source part of the rules establishment, of an obstacle to be skirted, not part of the solution. And that is really quite sad, seeing its strong "scratch an itch" genesis.

    Thus I predict that French governments will not see serious open source adoption for decades to come, if ever.

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:49AM (#44235887) Journal
    It also wins on ass-covering, which is a real benefit in business nad government. If there are issues with a well known piece of proprietary software, you can always blame the software vendor or even the implementer. If a FOSS-based project fails, you take the fall for taking a chance on "some free crap developed by a bunch of hippies", even if the project is implemented by a 3rd party. It's the old adage: no-one has ever been fired for choosing IBM. Proprietary software is a safe choice.
  • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:16AM (#44235981) Homepage

    How so? Keeping their IT spending local is likely to improve their economy, at the expense of foreign countries that they would previously have bought software from...

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.