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Government Software Linux News

Open Source Cities Followup — Munich Yea, Vienna Nay 162

Posted by kdawson
from the positively-dickensian dept.
We're catching up on two stories of municipal engagement with open source software: Munich (which decided to go OS in 2003) and Vienna (2005). E5Rebel brings us news that Munich has stayed the course. But bkingaut informs that Vienna has decided to migrate back to Windows (Google translation) — to Vista no less. The migration of 720 computers used in kindergartens will cost the city about €8M. The given reason for all this is a language test application for the kids that only works with MS IE and won't be made compatible (by the producer) with Firefox until 2009.
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Open Source Cities Followup — Munich Yea, Vienna Nay

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  • so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Laebshade (643478) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:21AM (#23650037)
    IE4Linux? Not exactly legal, but hey...
  • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:30AM (#23650137) Journal

    If the way things work in Croatia is any clue, money has Changed Hands in order for things to resolve this way.

  • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:36AM (#23650197) Homepage
    The wonderful world of educational software. It is usually written by the most clueless and incompetent lowlife out there. It runs only on Windows, only on a specific version and is mandated and approved by the relevant government as mandatory.

    It is the _REAL_ reason on why Microsoft is so prevalent.
  • Re:Stupid developers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @08:50AM (#23650325) Homepage Journal

    Obviously someone who is friends with the people who give out contracts for kindergartens in Vienna.
    Or at least has adequately greased palms.
  • Re:In my experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jellybob (597204) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:01AM (#23650415) Journal
    Well, you've cetainly reaffirmed my faith in developers of educational software there.

    As an experienced developer of browser-based educational software and a cyber-security consultant, I can tell you that IE is much easier to develop for than Firefox.

    How can you possibly say IE is easier to develop for then Firefox?

    Either way it's HTML and CSS, it's just that one of them has a renderer that actually works, and the other is broken in a multitude of ways.

    And that's not even getting started on things like Firebug, which makes it far easier to develop on Firefox then with IE's "something broke, I'm not going to tell you where" model of error reporting for Javascript.

    Not only that, but what if they need browser support? Who are they going to go with Firefox? Nobody, because there is nobody.

    What? When was the last time you heard of Microsoft providing support for IE?

    Lets take the classic example of transparent PNGs, which took years to get fixed. And that's something that thousands of developers have been screaming for - I dread to think what would result if you called up Microsoft and said "I have a really specific problem, can you fix it?"

    If you want support for Firefox there are forums, IRC channels, and a publicly viewable bug tracker. I'd imagine that if you waved enough money at them the Mozilla Foundation would be quite happy to get a problem you have fixed pretty damn quick as well.
  • Re:Stupid developers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Swizec (978239) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:11AM (#23650567) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be better to offer Vienna to pay, say, a mere eighth of the money needed to transfer to Vista (a million euro) to the developers so they make their software work with what Vienna already has?

    Any decent manager would go for that.
  • by Anonymuous Coward (1185377) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:12AM (#23650601)

    I bet they could do it for half the price of the migration (5 million USD)
    It's 8 million EURO, that's ~12 million USD, not 5.

    And if you give me just 1 million, not 5 or 12, I'll wrap you about any windows application to work on linux, in half the time they need to migrate their whole shit to vista. Money-back guarantee.

  • by daemonburrito (1026186) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @09:36AM (#23650995) Journal
    I'm guessing that the requirement is actually activex.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @10:18AM (#23651803)

    If the way things work in Croatia is any clue, money has Changed Hands in order for things to resolve this way.
    Corruption is common, but IMHO incompetence is far more prevalent.
    Agreed.

    My guess is that the schools looked at the applications they needed, found one that didn't work as intended and didn't think to contact the manufacturer to say "Before we drop 8 million euros on Windows, can you speed up engineering your product to run in Linux for, say, 1 million euros?"
  • Re:Munich (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @11:04AM (#23652749)
    I spent a lot of time in Munich last year and I heard worse things then this. The project had more or less failed, but the sponsers cannot afford to admit it politically and keep a few departments on it just for show. But everyone (and every department) who asks gets an exception so they can run windows or macs or anything they need to actually get their work done.

    This is well-known in Munich too.

    All-in-all not a pretty picture.
  • Re:Stupid developers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NekSnappa (803141) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @11:08AM (#23652839)
    Tell me about it. I ran across these schmucks http://lapsteelguitar.com/ [lapsteelguitar.com] last night.

    And using the user agent switcher for Firefox on my Mac didn't work either.

    It's too bad to, as once you get there it's a fairly good site.

  • Re:Stupid developers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles AT dantian DOT org> on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:04PM (#23653901)

    IE has a market share of over 50%
    I'm not so sure about that in Europe. From what I see in Austria and Germany (from personal acquaintances and the general office workers I get to see on the job), the majority of people who browse a lot use Firefox.
  • Re:so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonnyj (1011131) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:10PM (#23654011)
    When I installed IES4Linux, I didn't have to agree to any EULA at all. I have no contract with Microsoft and I've made no agreement with them regarding my usage of the software that they freely distributed to me. Provided I respect their implied copyright by not distributing it further, I'm not sure what claim that they could ever have against me.
  • Re:Stupid developers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dave87656 (1179347) on Thursday June 05, 2008 @01:21AM (#23664145)

    You don't get it.
    Actually, it appears you don't get it. You can write an standards based web app and it will run on IE5+ as well as Firefox 2+ (maybe even 1+).

    Writing an application specificially for IE just means you don't know what you're doing.

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