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Hungary, Tatarstan Latest To Go FOSS 129

christian.einfeldt writes "It seems as if almost every other week there is news of another government migration toward Free Open Source Software. Two of the most recent such moves come from Hungary and the tiny independent former Russian republic of Tatarstan. On April 2, the Hungarian government announced that it will be modifying its procurement rules to mandate that open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology. In Tatarstan, a Republic of 3.8 million inhabitants, the Deputy Minister of Education announced that by the end of this school year, all 2,400 educational institutions in Tatarstan will have completed a transition to GNU/Linux, following a successful pilot program it rolled out in 2008."
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Hungary, Tatarstan Latest To Go FOSS

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  • by Charles Dodgeson ( 248492 ) * <> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:15PM (#27545733) Homepage Journal

    After some searching, I haven't actually found much more in the Hungarian news than was reported in TFA. So, I can't add many details.

    What I can say is that there is a fair chance that the coalition that rules Hungary today will not be in place six months from now. Secondly, Hungary needs immediate cost savings. It is not in any position to spend money now to save money later.

    This might be part of the motivation. Hungary's currency is in collapse, so it is much cheaper for the government to pay local developers in forints for software and systems than it is to pay Microsoft and Novell in dollars or euros.

    I'd love to know the internal machinations that went on here, but I suspect that someone took the opportunity of the fall of the forint and the foreign currency debt problem (an enormous problem) to push an open source agenda. Whether this will hold up, or whether MS will make a counter offer allowing the Hungarian government to pay cheaply in forints remains to be seen.

  • Re:Geography lesson? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['kis' in gap]> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:36PM (#27545789)

    Indeed. Perhaps they were confused by the common phrase "former Soviet Republic", which refers to entities that were formerly Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), but became independent around 1991, like Ukraine.

    Republics of Russia, though are subnational entities that are still part of Russia (pre-1991, part of the Russian SFSR). They are one of several kinds of top-level subnational divisions of Russia, others including Oblasts and Krais and so on. The Republics are those with a traditional non-Russian population, so have some autonomy in the areas of language use. But they're effectively what other countries call provinces or prefectures.

  • Re:Doing the math... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tftp ( 111690 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:43PM (#27545807) Homepage

    Tatarstan [] is part of Russian Federation, which means that they can hire programmers and IT people from anywhere in Russia, not just from its own, much smaller, population. UNIX (*BSD and Linux) is well known in Russia.

  • by petr999 ( 1530231 ) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:44PM (#27545815) Homepage

    Tatarstan is the subject of Russian Federation and actually is the same way independent as any other one.
    More to say: sovereign independence of Tatarstan is the thing both impossible because it has no any outer state borders AND inevitably should lead to total destruction of Russia which is not the case to happen.
    As a fact, the "pilot education program" about FOSS is the Alt Linux disk set packaged with a book for schools, is performed in several regions of Russia, Tatarstan is simply among them.
    I even know someone in person from altlinux moscow based development team who is originally from Tatarstan.
    Hope this is a fix to correct the info.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 11, 2009 @11:02PM (#27546077)

    Even the guy who submitted the summary didn't read his own link.

    For those that don't want to invest the twenty seconds necessary to read the above:

    *** Tatarstan is part of Russia. ***

  • by Noiser ( 18478 ) on Sunday April 12, 2009 @04:07AM (#27547039) Homepage

    Tatarstan is not tiny - it is one of the most populous and important regions of Russia. Its capital Kazan is one of the most important cities in Russia.

    Tatarstan is not independent - it is an autonomy within the Russian Federation.

    Tatarstan is not a former Russian republic - see above.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission