hope for openness in the UK government begins to sparkle:

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hope for openness in the UK government begins to sparkle:

Postby kamrananvaar » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:15 pm

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/ ... reaks.html
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Postby kamrananvaar » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:09 pm

UK needs to be more open to open source
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 ... e-software
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Postby johnhudson » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:03 pm

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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Postby towy71 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:25 pm

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.
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Postby nordle » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:04 pm

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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Postby johnhudson » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:37 pm

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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Postby CJLL » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:28 pm

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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Postby nelz » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:23 pm

I don't think the NHS qualifies as a "company committed to open source".
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Postby towy71 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:54 am

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 :roll:


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Postby guy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:00 pm

Maybe the UK government is like many large organizations, and already uses a lot of free software server-side, without knowing it. ;)
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Postby nelz » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:36 pm

Are you suggesting our government doesn't know what it is doing? :-O
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Postby johnhudson » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:55 pm

It wouldn't be the first time.
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Postby nordle » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:37 pm

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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Postby guy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Lots of IT geeky stuff goes on in the engine rooms of national government departments 8). 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. :roll:

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 :oops: - and once unearthed it doesn't last long :twisted:
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Postby kamrananvaar » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:56 pm

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-d ... ommunities
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