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hope for openness in the UK government begins to sparkle:
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kamrananvaar
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: hope for openness in the UK government begins to sparkle: Reply with quote

The first glint of hope for openness in the UK government begins to sparkle:
From today we are inviting developers to show government how to get the future public data site right - how to find and use public sector information.
http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-light-on-yonder-ukgov-site-breaks.html
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kamrananvaar
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK needs to be more open to open source
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/30/uk-government-open-source-software
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johnhudson
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once heard that IBM reckoned it would take 5 years for a company committed to open source to migrate completely. Since governments only normally get four years to put their policies into practice, it will never be a government policy for fear the next government will benefit from it - and the costs of migration, e.g. retraining, are primarily up-front; so not really welcome in the current climate.
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towy71
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhudson wrote:
..the costs of migration...
I don't unterstand why there should be any intrinsic cost in migrating operating systems if they have been using best practice.
Log in, point and click, get on with it! Wink
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nordle
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My previous employment had guys/gals using very complex Excel models with loads of linked spreadsheets and resulting summary data embeded in Word. Yes they could be moved over, but the time it would take would be huge and everyone is running so close to the bone these days that there just isn't the spare capacity to achieve this, however much it is a good idea.
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johnhudson
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The costs of migration arise because, while most MS Office to OpenOffice is fairly straightforward, Access to whatever Linux combination you use isn't and there are many other programs which are sufficiently different that failing to plan for the move and identify training needs could be very costly.

This was all studied in the 1980s because companies then assumed that there would be little need to train staff and ended up losing business because their staff hadn't had time to learn enough about the new software to be able to use it effectively.

IBM doesn't say things for nothing; it has decades of experience of the sorts of mistakes people (and it) have made in the past.
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CJLL
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhudson wrote:
I once heard that IBM reckoned it would take 5 years for a company committed to open source to migrate completely. Since governments only normally get four years to put their policies into practice, it will never be a government policy for fear the next government will benefit from it - and the costs of migration, e.g. retraining, are primarily up-front; so not really welcome in the current climate.


any sign of the National IT project for the NHS being fully up and running yet? They been at that for the last seven/eight years or so.

I think 5 years is a very big underestimate.
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nelz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the NHS qualifies as a "company committed to open source".
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towy71
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nelz wrote:
I don't think the NHS qualifies as a "company committed to open source".
Most of the people running* the NHS should be committed to somewhere else Rolling Eyes


*politicians
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guy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the UK government is like many large organizations, and already uses a lot of free software server-side, without knowing it. Wink
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nelz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you suggesting our government doesn't know what it is doing? :-O
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johnhudson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wouldn't be the first time.
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nordle
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought maybe Guy was eluding to the "free as in beer" side.

Any large organisation is quite likely to not be entirely correctly licensed.
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guy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of IT geeky stuff goes on in the engine rooms of national government departments Cool. The average user tends to get on with their own job, blithely (and usually wrongly) assuming that because they use Windows (TM) and MS Office (TM), all the servers do too. Rolling Eyes

As for free as in beer, national government is pretty hot on licensing - if anything is unlicensed, it won't be the bureaucrats' fault - probably either a senior droid or a lowly geek Embarassed - and once unearthed it doesn't last long Twisted Evil
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kamrananvaar
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK: Head of IT development Camden: 'Cooperate with open source communities'
Government procuring open source IT should consider how to benefit from collaborating with open source communities, says Alasdair Mangham, head of Information Systems and Development of the London Borough of Camden in the UK. "We need to learn how to become experts at being members of communities rather than experts at governing them."
http://www.osor.eu/news/uk-head-of-it-development-camden-cooperate-with-open-source-communities
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