Open source software development in Russia is one of the most important directives for Igor Schegolev – the Head of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation. At a key meeting with Werner Knoblich, Red Hat Vice President for EMEA, he announced support for a Russian Fedora association and for Red Hat development in the Russian Federation. He also expressed support for open source infrastructure and applications, and the development of a repository for industry best practice.
February 9, 2009 — Open source software development in Russia is one of the most important directives for Igor Schegolev – the Head of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation.
On February 5, 2009 Igor Schegolev, the Head of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation, met with Werner Knoblich, Red Hat Vice President for EMEA at the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation, and other industry leaders.
At the meeting many questions regarding open source software market development and the use of open source software with existing systems were discussed. The Ministry is supporting Red Hat’s initiative to create a Russian association of Fedora developers. Through this association, Russia has become one of the countries, including the USA and India, which participate and influence the development of the world’s most successful Linux project – Red Hat.
“Software development is moving so fast, that it would be impossible to take an available open source product from abroad, re compile it and name it “Russian windows”- because the moment it would be launched it would be already obsolete. The formation of a Russian association of Russian Fedora developers (www.RussianFedora.com) who will be working in Russia is the basis for the creation of a national operating system,” – the Minister says. “We think that the intellectual potential of Russian specialists would allow us not just to build but also to develop
the code,” – Igor Schegolev said.
The Ministry moved beyond the limits of operating systems to further open source software market development and use. “We should pay attention to database management systems, portals, mail systems based on open source software, without it the practical use of such software would be too narrow,” – Schegolev said.
For this purpose the Ministry is ready to support working in co-operation with Red Hat. It would also be sensible to consider the creation of an information resource to gather together “best practice” in the use and adoption of open source software.
Milan Prohaska, director of VDEL – the Red Hat Master distributor for Russia and Eastern Europe, who was present at the meeting stated afterwards: ‘We believe that the creation of a best practice competence center is the most logical next step in wider adoption of Open Source in Russia.”
“Both Red Hat and VDEL, the organizers of Russian Fedora projects, will provide this center with financial and technological support and also help to build the wider local and international IT industry network needed for this Ministry initiative”.
The good news is that Russians will be able to use LXDE as their default windows environment for the Russian Operating System due to the excellent support of RedHat/Fedora. So LXDE is still in the race to win the hearts and minds of the Russian officials.