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French Parliament To Go Open Source 231

Posted by kdawson
from the desktops-and-all dept.
dhoyte writes, "Newsfactor.com reports that next June the French parliament will be switching from Microsoft to open source products such as Linux for desktops and servers and OpenOffice for day-to-day documents. They see it as a cost-cutting measure." The French have not settled on a Linux distribution yet. The article quotes an analyst voicing a note of caution: "'The evidence on the cost savings attributable to a switch to Linux has been mixed,' according to Chris Swenson, director of software industry analysis at research group NPD. 'There has been some evidence that companies have to spend a good deal on training and support after you deploy...'"
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French Parliament To Go Open Source

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  • Dupe (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:11PM (#17028130)
    It's childish of me to do this but I recall posting this story five days ago [slashdot.org].

    There is a little bit of new information for this submission, however, so hopefully we can read the childish jokes on the other submission and cut right to the actual discussion here?

    eldavojohn
    queen of the karma whores
    (hence the AC post)
  • Re:mandriva (Score:1, Informative)

    by Clete2 (823221) <other.clete2@com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:18PM (#17028204) Homepage
    Yes, Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) is a French company. I don't see any reason why they would use Mandriva over anything else, other than Mandriva being French.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:59PM (#17028538)
    I too worked for them at the time and got to see some of the pilot, so like me you would have seen how much an utter disaster the attempted linux pilot was. It was a sun driven pilot for no reason other than suns anti MS sentiment as the CIO was little more than a Sun mouth organ. thankfully once sun poached him people inside could see the disaster he was creating and stopped it dead in its tracks.
  • by frogstar_robot (926792) <frogstar_robot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:19PM (#17028680)
    The path of least resistance is to switch pure functionality servers first. Things that provide services like DNS, DHCP, and NTP. The Linux machines can also hold the file shares even if Windows is still serving the directory. Anyhoo, you start simple and work up slowly on those.

    On the desktops, deploy FOSS apps one at a time as dependencies allow. Even Office is tough if a lot of bespoke apps laying around use it as a development environment. Sneak up on that as long as you can too. Once the users are broken in on FOSS app replacements, begin switching the OS for those users you've managed to get using purely FOSS apps. Move up through the users from there. The last and most difficult cases can be handled with virtual machines and terminal servers.

    If things are done this way rather than in one fell swoop then you avoid a user rebellions with great missing chunks of missing functionality amidst the kludges. You can also try things out first with the users who have a bit of clue and build up experience within the organization. Most of the negative Linux organization switch stories I've heard involved either the Fell Swoop approach or not having sufficient Linux/BSD/UNIX admin talent on hand.
  • Re:mandriva (Score:3, Informative)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:33AM (#17029864) Homepage
    Distrowatch [distrowatch.com] says this about Mandriva: "Cons: Some releases are buggy". Sadly this has been exactly my experience with them. Granted, I may have run into some obscure bugs by my own bad luck, but having Distrowatch say what I quoted seems to support that it wasn't just that (and I kicked myself for not listening to Distrowatch).

    This was around a year and a half ago, so perhaps things have changed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:38AM (#17030632)
    What strong anti-American sentiment? You may sure find uneducated people
    in France bashing Americans, North-Africans or whoever they decided they
    do not like. That is low-level racism, the same kind you find everywhere.
    What I am saying is: it is definitely *not* widespread in France as the
    US media might like to paint it. Having lived in both countries, it would
    never come to my mind to describe France as having a deep hate feeling
    towards the US, it does not even remotely look that way.
  • Re:mandriva (Score:2, Informative)

    by chrisbeatty (811646) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @08:29AM (#17031626)
    The French have a reputation for industrial protectionism.

    Many French companies were nationalised & the government effectively kept the businesses afloat with taxpayers money.

    Here's one I know about for a fact (I used to work there) I believe the EU actually got on the case about the government propping up the company in the late 90's but seeing as how the French & Germans run Europe nothing much happened. d-:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupe_Bull [wikipedia.org]

    You may also notice that French companies tend to source components from other French companies (eg. new Renault, Citroen & Peugeot cars most likely all use Michelin tyres) whether this is due to tax breaks or cheaper costs I don't know.
  • Re:mandriva (Score:3, Informative)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:36AM (#17032300) Homepage
    If you want lots of packages, and you like Mandriva, you might want to try using the PLF sources, via EasyURPMI [zarb.org]. They provide tons of packages, and I very rarely find a piece of software for Linux that isn't available via this channel. Makes installing software a breeze.

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