Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Software Linux

Rome Moving to Linux 231

Posted by michael
from the all-roads-lead-to-linux dept.
fmstasi writes "La Repubblica, one of the main Italian newspapers, reports shortly about an interview (in Italian) with Mariella Gramaglia, Communication Councillor at the Municipality of Rome. They are planning to start soon trying Linux on the desktop: 'The first tests will concern e-mail, address book software and sharing systems', she says. The Councillor also says that motivations are political rather than economic: 'In the short term, the money saved on license will have to be spent on training'. It seems that there haven't been any reaction yet from Microsoft: 'At Microsoft they know how much we esteem them', she says; 'for example, they are sponsoring a campaign to spread the use of computers among the elderly. And we'll keep on cooperating with them on other projects'. Maybe Microsoft also appreciates that there is (yet) no project of migrating all the clients? The Municipality has about 9,500 clients, so an eventual migration project would be slightly smaller than the one taking place in Munich."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rome Moving to Linux

Comments Filter:
  • by mst76 (629405) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:27AM (#8396885)
    that some large organization moving to Linux on the desktop is not considered news anymore.
    • by jstave (734089) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:31AM (#8396926)
      A year or two after that maybe we'll start seeing stories about the stranglehold Linux has on the desktop.
    • Of course, when that day comes you won't notice if you're still reading /.
    • by FVK (411455) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:51AM (#8397111)
      It may be sooner than we all imagine. There could be a turning point if MS doesn't get control of this virus and sucurity problem. I work for small business and home computer users, bottom of the barrel stuff maybe, but even on this level people are fed up with Windows and strongly considering OS X, if not Linux quite yet.

      On a corporate level, if Linux is up to the task, and the myriad costs associated with Windows are more than the costs of switching and retraining on Linux, well... maybe I'm just dreaming.

      Does anyone else think MS's future position seems less certain than ever?
      • by rseuhs (322520) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @01:13PM (#8398585)
        Does anyone else think MS's future position seems less certain than ever?

        Let's look the reasons not to switch to Linux:

        • Hasn't been done before (at that scale, by such a company, int that niche etc.)
        • Some needed software isn't available for Linux
        • Retraining costs, support problems, etc.

        If you look at all these problems, you can sum them all up into a single problem:

        Linux isn't very well established on the desktop yet

        But with every migration, this problems becomes smaller. With every migration more software is ported. With every migration, more people gain Linux knowledge and mindshare. With every migration others can just "copy" them with much less risks.

        One niche after another, Windows will go and Linux will come. The 3d-modelling world already has switched to Linux on the desktop. Now it seems that government desktops are next.

        And as I already said: With every migration, reasons not to switch to Linux diminish, so the whole thing snowballs until Linux dominates the niche (and in the long run all computing).

        So I expect that a few pioneers like Munich and maybe one or 2 other big cities go from WinNT4 to Linux. When Windows 2000 is discontinued (IIRC about 2006 or 2007) a lot more will migrate to Linux and will be able to do so much faster because you can easier avoid mistakes when it has been done before and of course because lots of software is already ported. Then after Windows XP is killed (2010?), I'd expect the majority of government desktops to run Linux.

  • by sinergy (88242) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:27AM (#8396892) Homepage
    A horse will be appointed governer!
  • Trying or Doing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by compbrain (625174) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:30AM (#8396905) Homepage Journal
    They are planning to start soon trying Linux on the desktop:
    The subject would suggest that it has been chosen to switch to Linux, but as we can see they are just going to be 'trying it'. How many people have 'tried' switching and given up under pressure from Micro$oft?
    • by Wudbaer (48473) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:39AM (#8397000) Homepage
      How many people have 'tried' switching and given up under pressure from Micro$oft?

      Oh yes, especially as we all know that Microsoft is cooperating closely with the Italian Mafia. Duh.

      Might it be that a lot of people/organizations switch back or abort migration projects because they find out that Linux is not the right thing for them (yet) ?
      • by Vihai (668734) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:55AM (#8397148) Homepage
        No, italian mafia is Powered By Linux :)

        > telnet www.mafia.it 80
        Trying 212.78.66.135...
        Connected to www.mafia.it.
        Escape character is '^]'.
        HEAD / HTTP/1.0

        HTTP/1.1 200 OK
        Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:53:50 GMT
        Server: Apache/1.3.27 (Unix) (Red-Hat/Linux)
        Last-Modified: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 15:41:36 GMT
        ETag: "18094-5e-3e8b04b0"
        Accept-Ranges: bytes
        Content-Length: 94
        Connection: close
        Content-Type: text/html

        Connection closed by foreign host.
      • Mod Parent Up! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by goldspider (445116)
        I was going to make this same point... Linux isn't the be-all-and-end-all of operating systems. For a lot of people, Windows simply does the job better/faster. Is it really that hard to accept the idea that people still using Windows aren't being "pressured" in some way by Microsoft? Maybe they just like Windows better! Deal with it!
        • Re:Mod Parent Down (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 1u3hr (530656)
          Maybe they just like Windows better!

          That might well be true, if they had actually tried using something else. It's always amazed me how people will just refuse to even consider anything else than MS Office/Windows/IE/Outlook. If a menu is a different colour, it's a showstopper.

          • I think this is normal human behaviour and does not only apply to people's choices in computing. It starts with essential things like food: A lot of people often aggressively refuse to even try a little bit of a dish they don't know causing people to complain that they don't get a good Schnitzel with fries in Bangkog. Stupid ? Maybe. Human ? Very.
        • First of all, yes of course they are pressured because most OEMs only get nice discounts if they don't preinstall anything from the competition.

          Then, the only reason to use Windows and the only thing Windows can do better than Linux is: Run Win32 software. That's it.

          When the needed software is available on both Linux and Windows, there is no reason to use Windows anymore. Just look at the 3d-modelling sector, as soon as Maya and the other tools were available for Linux, almost all studios switched to Li

  • by tcomeau (114361) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:30AM (#8396909) Homepage
    Don't expect to see this right away. After all, the Roman network wasn't built in a day.

    (Sorry.)
    • by Lancer (32120) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:57AM (#8397156) Homepage
      the Roman network wasn't built in a day
      Of course it wasn't! Have you ever had to work a CLI like this?

      [caesar@router:/root]# ping -c II CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV

      PING CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV (CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV) from CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.XVII : LVI(LXXXIV) bytes of data.
      LXIV bytes from CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV: icmp_seq=I ttl=CCLIV time=I ms
      LXIV bytes from CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV: icmp_seq=II ttl=CCLIV time=I ms

      --- CXCII.CLVIII.CCLIV.CCLIV ping statistics ---
      II packets transmitted, II received, no loss, time MVIIms
      rtt min/avg/max/mdev = I/I/I/none ms

    • by elwell642 (754833)
      Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
      Gatesius: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:30AM (#8396910)
    This is excellent news!

    Hopefully we can shift London to where Rome was before and finally get some decent weather.

  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:30AM (#8396913) Journal
    Sounds more like they're trying to coerce Microsoft into giving them free training among other things. I'm not sold on their direction towards Linux based on the statements.
  • by SphericalCrusher (739397) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:31AM (#8396920) Homepage Journal
    I live in Rome, Georgia, and I have to say that everyone here is switching to Linux nonetheless. Well, not everyone, but my large list of friends. =)

    It's a fact that things that piss us off, we do not like to continue to use. And well, you know how Italians are... Sorry Microsoft; better them use a different product than yours, than them holding a Godfather-shootout in your HQ in Redmond.
  • How long? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:31AM (#8396922)
    How long before the US government starts to notice how much foreign countries are saving with OSS?

    The US government forgoing M$ would surely be the death knell of Micro$haft W1nbl0ws.
    • Re:How long? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by millahtime (710421) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:35AM (#8396960) Homepage Journal
      " How long before the US government starts to notice how much foreign countries are saving with OSS?"

      Typically the US Government is behind the rest of the world in adoption of this kind of tech. So, I would say give it 5 to 10 years after the rest of the world starts to make a serious move towards it. That 5 to 10 years would hold with how they are with other tech programs.
      • Re:How long? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by will_die (586523) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:55AM (#8397140) Homepage
        You do have a fair amount of systems that are switching over to Linux as the servers instead of windows. Granted alot of the older ones were originally running on Solaris, then were in the process of being switched in Windows, and then got switched to Linux. However you are also starting to see a fair amount of new large scale projects that start off on Linux.
        The biggest problem with Linux on the desktop and for local projects is that most branches of the military get huge enterprise licenses. For example when I was doing work with the Air Force we used Oracle because we could call a number and get a free license for Oracle, now I am working at an Army base we use MS-SQL server because I can call a number and get a free license for MS-SQL server.
        Sigh, I do miss my Oracle database it was far easier to provide the solutions the users needed.
    • Re:How long? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Bigby (659157)
      It is not going to happen with politics involved. Do you think the U.S. government cares how much it spends when it means more corporate campaign contributions?
    • Re:How long? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bhima (46039) <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:43AM (#8397038) Journal
      From the little I know about the US government I don't price is the issue. Earlier this week in the SELinux a military sysop was bemoaning the use of NT 4 because it was verified or validated or whatever. I lived in America for a long while, the government contracts I saw were filled based on how well you were connected or how much you lobbied/bribed. Microsoft has plenty of money to lobby/bribe and so I expect it will always has some sort of foothold.

      However on Groklaw a military man wrote a short piece on how the military loves Linux.

      So I suppose those areas that need customizability or security over the unwashed masses ability to use it will some sort of *nix.

    • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:22PM (#8398006)
      How long before the US government starts to notice how much foreign countries are saving with OSS?

      Probably some time after they notice how much they're saving by using metric measures. I'm amazed that the US actually has a decimal currency -- with the conservative attitudes they have to these things I'd expect they'd still be using pieces of eight (though that's what "two bits" refers to).

  • by millahtime (710421) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:31AM (#8396923) Homepage Journal
    "Those of Microsoft know the esteem that we have for they"

    "The Common one of Rome ahead slowly towards Linux"

    Can you move from M$ to Linux and still kiss M$ ass in the same article??? For the first time I really noticed it in an article.
  • by UncleBiggims (526644) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:32AM (#8396929)
    Roman Gnome in Rome... right?

    Are you Corn Fed? [ebay.com]
  • When in Rome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cluge (114877) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:32AM (#8396930) Homepage
    Interesting notes such as "money saved on liscencing will have to be used on training. When will the linux desktop and desktops in general get to the point that they are so intuitive that training won't be requried? Judging by my own experience helping new computer users - not any time soon. While the interface may seem intuitive to you and me, to the complete computer newbie - it is still a challenging jungle.

    • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mick Ohrberg (744441) <mick...ohrberg@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:44AM (#8397042) Homepage Journal
      It seems that even if the interfaces are very similar, if there's even a slight difference in the look and feel about it (and as soon as there is *ANY* change) there is a need for training. I know from experience that moving from a dumb terminal environment (SunRiver [boundless.com] terminals) to Win95 workstations for a nationwide company required a LOT of training. Surprisingly, whenever an icon was added to the desktop there was an outbreak of confusion and mass hysteria, and more training was required.
      • Re:When in Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RetroGeek (206522) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:04AM (#8397216) Homepage
        Surprisingly, whenever an icon was added to the desktop there was an outbreak of confusion and mass hysteria, and more training was required.

        Why is this surprising? Most users use a computer as a toaster, and mostly by rote. Imagine if tommorrow morning your toaster has a new lever on it labelled "PBT 1.0". What is PBT? It is Perfect Brown Toast. But did you KNOW that?

        Most users are afraid of this thing called a computer. Here on /. we are comfortable using comnputers, but more importantly we are the curious and adventurous types. Changes do not faze us. We start a new program, without a manual, and can still get a pretty good feel of how to use it.

        But to the normal user, a new icon is a terrifying thing. "OH MY GOD, IT IS DIFFERENT!" is a standard reaction.
          1. Why is this surprising? Most users use a computer as a toaster, and mostly by rote. Imagine if tommorrow morning your toaster has a new lever on it labelled "PBT 1.0". What is PBT? It is Perfect Brown Toast. But did you KNOW that?

          Well, I'd hover my finger over the button for a second or two.

      • by Richy_T (111409) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:29AM (#8397496) Homepage
        Are you really training the users in what you think you're training the users in?

        Seems like you're training them that if, when an icon appears on the desktop, that rather than just getting on and dealing with it, if they react with confusion and mass hysteria, they get a day off from their regular job for cushy training.

        Rich

    • Re:When in Rome (Score:3, Insightful)

      by socode (703891)
      Why do you think it's possible to have "desktops... so intuitive that training won't be required"?

      Consider: everyone needs to be trained to use a toilet.
    • Re:When in Rome (Score:5, Interesting)

      by utahjazz (177190) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:49AM (#8397085)
      "The only intuitive interface is the nipple. Everything else is learned."
      -Steve Jobs

      (OK it was actually Bruce Ediger that said that, but Steve Jobs sounds better)
    • Re:When in Rome (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      I can tell you that for a fact Windows is no easier for novices.
      You have no idea how many people find WinZIP and Windows explorer to be "Hard" to use.
    • Re:When in Rome (Score:2, Informative)

      by 3 am Eternal (754358)

      My flat mate usually uses Windows in Internet Cafes. When I gave her a login on my Slackware laptop (with almost every menu option gone and a simple "web" and "e-mail" set of icons) she didn't notice what operating system she was using, she's not even sure what an operating system is. She could browse the web and look at her PDF application form.

      She did like the penguin themed desktop though.

    • Re:When in Rome (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iabervon (1971)
      All systems require training. The real question is when the documentation will be sufficient training. Linux documentation has gotten to be quite good, but it is not clearly organized, nor does it start at the level of a complete newbie. Ideally, the training requirement will become a short-term loss of productivity (as people look things up the first time on the new system) rather than something where you need people to come in and teach you stuff.
      • Linux documentation has gotten to be quite good, but it is not clearly organized, nor does it start at the level of a complete newbie.

        Dummies.com Search [dummies.com]: Your search for "linux" returned : 26 books

    • My finacee is by most measures a computer newbie, and the experience she had with computers before meeting me was on Windows. Yet she had no problem using Linux, even my bastardized machine that runs all kinds of bleeding edge unstable versions of various software. To the point where she now prefers using Open Office on her laptop (which runs Windows) for her university coursework because she found it easier to use.

      Have you tried helping new computer users on Windows?

  • by PowerBert (265553) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:32AM (#8396936) Homepage
    All roads lead to Linux!
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do!
  • by the.jedi (212166) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:36AM (#8396974) Homepage
    Good to see they're giving up bad software for lent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:37AM (#8396978)
    Veni, Vidi, Vici
  • by blcamp (211756) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:37AM (#8396980) Homepage

    Seems to me the City is playing the "we're trying out Linux" card in as a means to publicly complain about Microsoft.

    At Microsoft they know how much we esteem them.

    Riiiiight. They "esteem them" enough to tell the media they are trying something else.

    This has been a tactic tried and true by other customers - it gets Redmond back to the bargaining table, to knock thier bid down a few euros, just as long as they send Tux away.

    • The Italians I know use thise same tactic with women.

      They tell the women they are with how much they love and adore them while they are working a deal with some other woman.
  • When I first read the slashdot writeup, I thought, "So, the Roman Catholic Church is taking a political stance againce Microsoft. This should be interesting."

    I guess it's because I was just reading about Gibson's The Passion (which the Vatican seems to like, despite it being horrifically violent), and seeing this happen would be really quite funny. :P
    • Speaking of confusion, why are all people getting upset about the violence in Gibson's movie when the whole Hollywood cinema industry glorifies violence in so many other movies?


      Is it the specific context in which the violence occurs? My recolllection is that this part of the Bible deals with a lot of violence, including horrific methods of killing people...

      • Well from the reviews I read, the people opposed to the degree of violence are saying that you lose the point of Christ's teachings (love for fellow man, compassion, etc. ) when you focus so completely on the gore and violence and not much else. Christ's suffering is just one piece of the puzzle.

        Also, in my personal opinion, the manner in which the suffering is portrayed may be off. As awful as Jesus suffered, if we think back in ancient history on all the different travesties of torture and cruelty infl
  • by LibrePensador (668335) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:41AM (#8397018) Journal
    Why is Munich the frame of reference for Linux on the Desktop when the region of Extremadura (Spain) moved 80,000 desktops to Linux nearly 2 years before Munich even announced its intentions?

    More time should be spent on understanding how they did it and why they have had such good results. The move has been an incredible success with copies of Linex (the debian-based distribution they created) being given away when you buy the newspaper.

    And schools have transitioned to it. The key, I believe, was localization. They switch the name of openwriter to "Cervantes", the famous Spanish writer, author of Don Quijote. They did the same for all of the applications and streamlined the installation to a process that makes it dead easy for anybody to install it.

    Finally, the government is subsidizing the use of linux in rural areas for first-time computer buyers by paying for a chuck of a linux-compatible computer.

    So why isn't this being talked about is the greatest mistery to me. Linux is on thousands of government, school and private desktops today. And it works!
  • by the_crowbar (149535) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:42AM (#8397028)

    After reading the article, those involved are being quite realistic about this test. They are investigating changes for political reasons, but they also expect long term monetary savings.

    From the article: (emphasis mine)

    Political issues to part, to pass from the software owner that free one would have tradursi in a good saving of money for the communal cases. "But
    this probably will happen alone in the medium period", specifies the Gramaglia city council member. "In the short term, what it is saved on the licences rispende in the formation of the staff, that will have to learn to use the new instruments. There are 9500 employs to you communal, by now, that they use the computer ".

    This is good for the viability of Linux on the desktop. Object studies of using Linux for desktop machines will highlight weaknesses that can be addressed.

    the_crowbar
  • Hey! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Cytlid (95255) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:43AM (#8397035)
    Rome didn't switch to Linux in a day, ya know!
  • by boatboy (549643) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:44AM (#8397043) Homepage
    ...Roman guards, under orders from Lineius Torvalds, seized Billus Gates as he camped outside the city. Formal charges are yet to be announced, but already crowds of Linux zealots are picketting the courthouse with signs that read "Penguify Him!"
  • by dtio (134278) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:44AM (#8397046)
    Largo, Florida (400), Munich, Germany (14,000); Extremadura, Spain (80,000); Thailand (up to one million subsidized PCs to low income people, with 160,000 already shipped) and Rome now. Do you see a trend here? Massive deployments are taking place, mostly in the public sector, I think Linux has a bright future as the main option for tax funded massive deployments.
  • uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:46AM (#8397057)
    now we'll have Roman Catholic Zealots join forces with the Linux Zealots?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:46AM (#8397072)
    ...the Huns, Visigoths, and Vandals are running XP. It is said that some of these barbarians are running Windows For Workgroups, but that is just too horrible to believe.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:50AM (#8397101)
    Then we really could call non Linux users heretics.
  • by prescot6 (731593) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:57AM (#8397164)

    Did anybody else find themselves reading the article like they were practicing for a role on the Soprano's?

    I didn't do it on purpose, but halfway through the article I thought to myself "Self, why are we reading with this ridiculous accent?" Crazy, huh?

  • by The I Shing (700142) * on Thursday February 26, 2004 @10:58AM (#8397169) Journal
    A prominent cardinal enters the Pope's chambers with good news and bad news.

    The good news, he tells the Pontiff, is that the Vatican has received an email from God himself!

    The bad news is that they've traced the IP address to an ISP in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:26AM (#8397465)
    I was hoping it was "Rome" meaning the seat of the Catholic faith. If the Vatican went Linux it'd be hard to call Linux users Commies.
  • Et tu Roma (Score:3, Funny)

    by 3 am Eternal (754358) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:47AM (#8397667) Homepage
    Said Steve Ballmer, reeling from being penguined in the back.
  • Ciao bella! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Giulio Cesare (756760) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:01PM (#8397793) Homepage
    What an instructive discussion! To see what the rest of the world (but mainly Americans, I suppose) thinks of us Italians is really amusing! Mafia, sopranos, the Pope, ancient Romans... Lol & lol. (Think also about pizza, icecreams, spaghetti, Venezia, mandolino and "That's amore!" please). Sociological instructive, yes. About Linux in Municipality of Rome... well I hope it's true, but you know... we are in Italy. Maybe the son of my son will see it. Ciao bella.
  • by catf00d (451699) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:19PM (#8397976)
    ... OpenOffice.org is adding mouse gestures.
  • I'll probably get modded down as troll, but it seems to me that e-mail and adderss book software is a terrible place to start. Linux, while it has excellent individual apps, does not have one huge integrated app like Outlook available for it that will combine all these... it will require a huge adjustment in workflow, rather than if they just started with Linux servers or something.

    It seems to me that they are setting themselves up for disappointment, or they want to get MS to give them a discount on Ex

    • Nope. They're doing that first BECAUSE it will be most difficult.

      Better to fall at the first hurdle than spend a fortune on getting over every other little problem and find the final hurdle is insurmountable. Exchange migration (including keeping all the existing emails, calendar entries etc) is distinctly Non-Trivial.

      If they can find (or write their own) system which Just Works as an alternative to Exchange then not only will they find the path to migraton that much clearer, but if they release it migr

  • No big deal: in Rome, they're used to this.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Vatican using Linux and knowing there are Cardinals (wearing red skull caps) on staff to use it brings on a whole new meaning to "Red Hat Linux"

    You may now groan.
  • by lamz (60321) * on Thursday February 26, 2004 @01:47PM (#8399050) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't it be easier to bring Linux to Rome?
  • Deano says (Score:2, Funny)

    by AirDave (188249)


    Arividerci Microsoft...

  • In 390 BC, Rome was saved from the invasion of the Gauls by a flock of geese.

    In 2004 AD, Rome shall be saved from the invasion of the Borg by another type of birds: PENGUINS!

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries

Working...