Archive for the ‘floss’ Category

LibreOffice GSoC

Amazing Google Summer of Code project ideas for LibreOffice.

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Wenn es einen Preis für komische Abkürzungen gibt, dann geht der bestimmt an die EPFSUG (European Parliament Free Software User Group).

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The European Parliament wants to ensure that software used for the European Citizen’s Initiative (1 mio signatures for initialising European laws) is open source, adopted today:

Recital (16) The Commission should make available an open-source software incorporating the relevant technical and security features necessary in order to comply with the provisions of this Regulation as regards online collection systems.

By …*, the Commission shall set up and thereafter maintain open-source software incorporating the relevant technical and security features necessary for compliance with the provisions of this Regulation regarding the online collection systems. The software shall be made available free of charge.


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The platform wikileaks published committee draft documents from an industry working group on a European Software Strategy, a blogger Javier Carrete puts the document and internal comments in a certain lobby context. I am a very sceptical about the wikileaks platform. Documents are put out of context and get politicized. The document is part of larger stakeholder contribution process for the European Software Strategy initiative of Vivianne Reding.

Here is the official final report and here you find the whole process to get the larger picture. I could add more.

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Bundes CIO met Michael Dell:

Interessiert fragte Michael Dell nach der Position der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Informationstechnik zu Open Source und proprietärer Software. Frau Rogall-Grothe schloss einen Eingriff in den Wettbewerb aus. Sie unterstützt aber den Einsatz von Open Source Software in der Bundesverwaltung.

Rough translation

A curious Michael Dell asked about the position of the Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology on Open Source and proprietary software. Mrs. Rogan-Grothe ruled out an intervention in the competition. However, she supports the use of open source software in the federal administration.

You may wonder why a source code disclosure preference was an “intervention” in competition. Precisely, from an ordoliberal perspective the perfection of competition via governmental procurement is one of the justified interventions of a government in the market. Wait-and-see Laissez-faire leads to suboptimal market allocations, stifles market access and innovation, in this case at the expense of the German citizens and the markets. Inaction also casts serious doubt on the ability to act in our government. After all insufficient source code disclosure endangers the security of a public critical information infrastructure.

Apparently the Bundes CIO keeps a low profile on security concerns:

Auch wird es ein gemeinsames Aktionsprogramm des BMWi und BMI zum Thema Cloud Computing geben. …Dell bietet bereits Cloud Computing für große Unternehmen an und baut auch Private Clouds für sichere Umgebungen.

Also there will be a joint action program of the Federal Ministries of Economics and Interiour on cloud computing. … Dell already offers cloud computing for large enterprises and is also building private clouds for secure environments.

First of all I don’t think it suits the dignity of a public office to endorse the commercial agenda of a vendor in a press release. The mere consideration of a cloud operator from third countries for a critical Federal information infrastructure seems insane unless the Ministry of the Interior believes it is appropriate to grant access to their colleagues from these third countries. I strongly doubt so but you never know. The European Commission for instance even outsources critical parts of their staff selection process to third country operators.

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M. Bernard Carayon appelle l’attention de M. le ministre de la défense sur l’accord cadre n° 2009-027/09-54-149 signé par la direction interarmée des réseaux d’infrastructure et des systèmes d’information (DIRISI) avec la société Microsoft Irlande. Si cet accord minimise sans aucun doute le coût des licences payées par le ministère pour les logiciels, des effets secondaires doivent être soulignés. Sur la légalité de la procédure d’abord, car cet accord signifie une option d’achat pour une somme d’un montant maximum de 5 150 000 euros sans appels d’offres ni procédure de marché public. Sur les conséquences de l’accord ensuite, l’arrêt de toute recherche d’alternatives aux logiciels de Microsoft, la mise en danger de tous les logiciels libres gratuits qui ne bénéficieront plus d’appels d’offres, l’abrogation des directives de la direction des systèmes d’information et de communication (DGSIC) favorisant l’utilisation de standards ouverts (article 4 de la loi de 2004 pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique) et l’assujettissement aux formats et protocoles propriétaires fermés. …

A bit strange that the French make defense contracts for their critical information infrastructure with American companies and surrender their domestic procurement rules. Why doesn’t the President care, asks the MP:

Alors que le Président de la République s’inquiétait, lors de ses voeux au monde de la culture d’une éventuelle position dominante de la société Google, il est surprenant que personne ne s’inquiète de la prédominance de Microsoft depuis quinze ans dans un secteur aussi innovant. Aussi, il lui demande ce qu’il entend faire pour éviter une uniformisation des systèmes d’information.

The ministry fully affirms the current approach and adds:

Ainsi, la première version de cette architecture logicielle est principalement issue de solutions propriétaires et elle tire profit de l’accord-cadre passé avec Microsoft. Mais une autre version, composée sur la base de solutions open source, sera disponible dès 2011 et déployée parallèlement à la première. Les retours d’expérience dont bénéficiera le ministère de la défense sur l’utilisation en parallèle de ces différentes solutions par différentes populations d’utilisateurs éclaireront les décisions à prendre à l’avenir.

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Thesis of M. Dapp from ETH Zürich:


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OSOR released the IDABC Guideline for Public administrations on Procurement and Open Source Software (2010). The document release was delayed for almost two years.

Other reports are found on the OSOR.eu website.

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Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant threat of patent infringement that it has cast on the system, Novell vice-president and Microsoft MVP, Miguel de Icaza, is quoted…

Indeed, it is not about actual risks but platform confidence. That is a real pity because the Microsoft .NET platform overcomes certain limitations of operating systems and offers a path to cross-plattform standardisation.

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A list of European Parliament Intergroups, that is non-partisan groups of MEPs, like an official committee.

  • SMEs
  • Ways of Saint James/Camino de Santiago
  • Family, the right of the child and bioethics
  • Sky and space
  • Youth issues
  • Urban
  • Mountainous, island and sparsely populated regions and very remote regions
  • Social economy
  • Sustainable hunting, biodiversity, countryside activities and forests
  • Extreme poverty and human rights, Fourth World European Committee
  • Disability
  • Tibet
  • Climate change and biodiversity and sustainable development
  • Water
  • Baltic Europe
  • Media
  • Ageing and intergenerational solidarity
  • Seas and coastal affairs
  • Welfare and conservation of animals
  • Trade union coordination group
  • New media, free software, open information Society
  • Traditional national minorities, constitutional regions and regional languages
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights
  • Public services
  • Western Sahara
  • Anti-racism and diversity (Roma included)
  • Wine, fruits and vegetables, tradition and quality food

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