[ubuntu-uk] What aren't we doing? What should we be doing?

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Sat Jun 25 11:57:39 UTC 2011

On 25/06/11 11:45, Yorvyk wrote:
> On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:24:51 +0100 Carlos
> Ferreira<carlosemferreira at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> The UK team should be talking to Universities and other public
>> services, doing advocacy and trying to figure out what the
>> obstacles to the adoption of free software are, and how they can
>> be overcome. In fact, it's something I'd like to do myself.
> The problem with this idea is that you have to find somebody with
> influence who is willing to listen to some oik that's just wandered
> in off the street and is telling them their IT strategy is wrong.
> That's how it was described to me by a senior IT bod at a council.
> His suggestion was that Canonical need to be doing this sort of
> thing with professional 'sales' people.  Also the philosophy of
> Open Source doesn't really wash,  what’s needed is numbers in
> Pounds Stirling. He also pointed out that there is no single point
> of attack when trying to get FLOSS into these places.  As an
> example, when he put forward Open Office.  One of the excuses given
> was that people were familiar with Microsoft Office and that was
> what they got taught at college.  The college says it teaches MS
> Office because that's what industry uses.

UK Government policy strategy (9 March 2011)
'Government ICT Strategy'

or shortened
Download in a format of choice including 'Open Office Text'

Interesting contents.
Unlike the strategy on similar subject over the previous 4 years which 
did not get much use I think, this strategy imposes *mandatory* open 

'To allow for greater interoperability, openness and reuse of ICT 
solutions, the Government will establish a suite of agreed and 
mandatory open technical standards' (12 months)

'The adoption of compulsory open standards will help government to 
avoid lengthy vendor lock-in'

'The Government will also put an end to the oligopoly of large 
suppliers that monopolise its ICT provision'

Also the strategy will directly affect the jobs and careers of IT 
senior workers:

'Government will appoint SROs with the expectation that they will stay 
in post until an appropriate break in the life of an ICT 
project/programme, to reduce the risk of project failure'

Might concentrate the mind somewhat?

When did you last see such words in a Government document?

Also, I asked my local councillor if the (my) Council uses software 
libre in any form. The response at first greatly disheartened me, it 
referred me direct to the IT department on grounds of the Councillor's 
self declared ignorance. However I then was offered and accepted an 
invitation to be shown round IT and discovered to my delight that 
there was massive use of Suse Enterprise Server,  everything was in 
VMs, and there was a known number of legacy apps held on (windows), 
although the office staff still mostly used xp.

I  then felt much better.

The individual Councillor's lack of self confidence with anything 
computers is typical of most people. I am working on this individual 
..... and anyone else who I can get to listen!!

Marketing can be an indirect process. If every one saw or heard the 
word Ubuntu every day, they would begin to accept it as a normal part 
of life, even though they might not be using it.

alan cocks
Ubuntu user

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