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GNU is Not Unix

Andalucia Adopts Free Software 277

InodoroPereyra writes "Browsing Linux Today I found a link to an HispaLiNUX article stating that Andalucia goes OpenSource. More specifically, "All public educational centre necessities are intended to be fulfilled, first of all, with Free Software [...] It is compulsory to all hardware acquired by official educational centres to be fully compatible with Free Software operating systems. Furthermore, it must be preinstalled in all new bought computers". Andalucia is a region located to the South of Spain, with about 7.5 million inhabitants. This is an important follow-up to the many stories on Linux in Extremadura."
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Andalucia Adopts Free Software

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  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 )
    Andalucia? Extremadura?
    Sorry, but this needs to go much further.

    What about Higgletypigglety and Ishkabibble? Ringolevio might get on board, but I think Jaberwocky will be the hold-out.
  • Small nations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2003 @03:28PM (#5599743)
    Small nations/language groups may indeed follow suit. I remember when Microsoft refused to make an Icelandic version of Windows some years ago. Reason? Too few users... Well, there are actually 250,000 icelanders, like a larger city block. Which makes me think of my 25 minute old Mandrake 9.1 installation. It boasts support for 60 languages, including Icelandic.
    • Re:Small nations (Score:3, Informative)

      It starts with decsions such as this and finally everybody is too small except for the federal government of the US of A and then they realize that 80% of their users are now running an OS with penguin for a mascot!
    • Re:Small nations (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      With a small yet relatively prosperous nation like Iceland, wouldn't it be worthwhile to really saturate them with information on Linux? Iceland seems to be very progressive (they want to rid themselves of fossil fuels as soon as they can), so I would imagine they'd be fairly receptive. The Icelanders I've met are very proud of their language, and unless MS has gotten around to releasing a localized Windows version, that issue could be used to get their attention
      • Yes, and if they ever thaw out a long frozen Viking, they could have him playing "Tux Rider" in no time!

        (Icelandic supposedly being very close to Old Norse)
        • Icelandic supposedly being very close to Old Norse
          It is, and furthermore, it's a beatiful language. I (being a norwegian) can even understand quite a lot of a written Icelandic text. At school, we are to learn a bit about Old Norse. That means generally listen to somebody speaking Icelandic and try to understand what they say.

          KDE and as far as I know, OpenOffice are translated to Icelandic.

          In Norway, there are two variations of the same language - roughly translated "Nynorsk: New norwegian" and "Bo
        • only if you install a runic font...
    • Being a "yankee" I can speak normal English, but having moved to TN I can see a desperate need for a Southern translation of Linux or Winshit.

      Basically, just use "hallfar" instead of "error", "gimme sum dam dip" instead of "insert disc 1," and so forth. I'd translate it myself, but a true linguist would be needed for a proper translation.
    • Here, the catalan government pays Microsoft to translate windows into Catalan while no governmental office uses the translated version.

      Even more, though they passed a law by which if a program was needed it should be open source as long as it was 'as good as the propietary one' the government keeps on using propietary software. The sentence is too ambiguous and Microsoft may be is 'not paying attention' to the fact that most software in public institutions is probably pirate as long as all the money invest
    • Unfortunately not all translations are equal ... I have a Dutch friend who prefers using English on his desktop, simply because not everything is translated, and when it is, it's not always professionaly done (windows and linux)
    • Yeah, but the "Linux has support for x languages" argument is only a factor if you speak one of those languages; for me, I never speak anything but English, so for an OS to support non-English languages, it doesn't make a difference to me.
      • Sure I only speak English. (I pretend I can speak Spanish, but I'm not fooling myself, much less anyone who knows spanish.) I still installed all the lanuages translations KDE has on my computer. I have friends who speak other languages. They like the ability set the computer in their languages.

        Only about 5 people have used my computer in the last 4 years, but one of them used a language other than english. It makes it worth it, and cost little disk space in todays world.

        I keep hoping the cute girl f

  • It seems to be focused on using open source software on educational centers, not for all activities in that region, but its a very good first step.

    Anyway, ensuring that all computer and components are compatible with open source solutions maybe not ensures that they will not use windows, but at least that they can choose now or after without being forced to use one solution over another because winmodems, winprinters, and other hardware that depends on windows to work.

    • In Extremadura, where the idea (and the folks that promote it) come from, the term "use Open Source Software" means "let's give a PC per every 2 boys in every class in every school, and let them throw away their papers".

      And, believe me, that creates a market. AFAIK, Oki (one big printers maker) has released some linux drivers targeted only at Extremadura.

      It may seem a small step, but in Extremadura it has meant lots of things. I only hope that it will have similar effect in Andalucía.
  • Economic Development (Score:5, Interesting)

    by luzrek ( 570886 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2003 @03:31PM (#5599763) Journal
    Sounds like they want to encourage Open Source software to encourage the local economy. Makes sense, they won't have to send X-dollars per computer to MS or IBM or SUN or Apple and that money can stay in the local economy. Before someone says, "but what about the cost of training?" The money spent on the computer training for people to use OSS will also stay in the local economy and is actually a direct expendature on educating the local work force.
    • Actually the money you invest in training will not only save you from the expenses on crapy microsoft sofrware, but you'll end up with a highly trained unix profesionals workforce and soon you'll not buy from Cisco because these guys will like to build routers of their own.
    • They'll be training kids on secondary school, I suppose (that's how LinEx works). And the cost of training a 15-year-old boy or girl to use Gnome, Abiword and Kspread isn't very different to the cost of training a 15-year-old boy or girl to use windows, word and excel.

      Just train a couple of teachers on the subject, write some good documentation, and you're gone. I don't think that that teacher-training would be any cheaper using windows&office, anyway.
  • Close minded (Score:4, Interesting)

    by binaryDigit ( 557647 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2003 @03:31PM (#5599769)
    The question is, is the REQUIREMENT that all systems contain Free (they didn't say OPEN, just FREE, I don't know if this is a translation thing, but there is an important distinction) software good or not. Are they limiting themselves just as they would be if they declared "all systems must have Microsoft software". What if it turns out that MacOS actually suits their needs the best? (ok, you can stop laughing now)

    The article is light on background and I don't read Spanish, so I don't know what precipitated this decision (purely financial, political (aka Anti-Microsoft), technical, or whatever). So it's hard to tell just how well thought out this is.
    • Re:Close minded (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2003 @03:48PM (#5599897)
      Are they limiting themselves just as they would be if they declared "all systems must have Microsoft software".


      This isn't same kind of limitation (assuming that being free is a requirement). If they required that all systems must have MS-software, they would lock out competing companies. If they require that the software must be free, no company gets excluded. There's nothing stopping MS from offering software that fits their requirements. If MS chooses not to do so, it's MS's problem.

      It would be same if I wanted to buy a station-wagon. Would I be excluding car-manufacturers that don't make station-wagons? Nope. If they don't have products that I'm interested in, it's really not my problem, it's their problem.
      • That is why I prefaced by pointing out that the article said Free and not Open and that I wasn't sure if that's explicitly what they meant to say. If they did mean free, it's also interesting to see if they mean just license costs, or are they also expecting free support?
      • If they require that the software must be free, no company gets excluded. There's nothing stopping MS from offering software that fits their requirements.

        What would you say if NASA wanted Space Shuttle control software to be free as well?

        Yes, that's an extreme example, but the point is, the free software/open source community should encourage people to use software with the best value for the job. Free software obviously have inherent advantages in value, but some are still in early stages of developme

        • "What would you say if NASA wanted Space Shuttle control software to be free as well? "

          That would be pretty easy to do considering it is custom written for NASA. In fact, all internal software is technically "free software" (free as in speech), because, everyone who has access to it has full rights to it.

          If you're requirement was that the software was Free (as in speech), you wouldn't have to wait at all for current Free software to mature, you just find a corporation that is willing to license it to the
          • I was talking about free (beer) software, or the rest of my post would make no sense.

            If an entity was required by policy to only use free (beer) software, that policy must be violated when there are no free (beer) software that are good enough to use. Such violations will bring about more violations, even where free (beer) software do fit the job. Worse, they'd probably pirate the non-free (beer) software, because they don't have a software budget.

    • Yes, in fact in spanish "libre" is like "free" in english, it has two senses: It can be free "as in beer" (gratis, gratuit) or "free as in freedom" (libre).
      In spanish we say "codigo libre" (free code) for what you understand as "open source". It can also be "codigo abierto" (open code), but we tend to use "libre" instead.

    • The question is, is the REQUIREMENT that all systems contain Free [...] software good or not.

      Assuming this is Free, as in speech, I don't think this as a REQUIREMENT is such a good idea. I believe Bruce Perens' Sincere Choice principle of 'Competition by merit' is a better (more fair) way for countries/organisations/etc. to adopt FOSS. That is, providing a level playing field by observing:

      The customer should be able to choose between a number of software products, solely upon their merits. Where Open Sou

  • "And that, children, is how Andalucia assured the world that nobody from our country could compete in the global IT marketplace. The End."

    "Grandpa, could you read it again?"

    • Right. Because as we all know, the global IT marketplace is 100% Microsoft and growing fast. And that's never going to change.

      "And also, children, there's a terrible curse on those who learn to code with those evil nasty non-Microsoft operating systems, so that those whose small soft brains were corrupted by the dark forces of Free Software will never be able to learn to use the Holy Hand Grenade of Microsoft to assure peace and prosperity for Andalucia."

      BTW, Andalucia isn't a country.

      • BTW, Andalucia isn't a country.

        Reading comprehension is a skill. I never said it was.

        Because as we all know, the global IT marketplace is 100% Microsoft and growing fast. And that's never going to change

        Ignore it and it will just go away is a good attitude to take. Excuse me if Im wrong, but if a person learns C++, or whatever, I believe those skills can translate to other languages. So stagnating all your people to one model, like OSS only, kind of limits their exposure. Totally banning Linux

        • "Reading comprehension is a skill."

          So is writing with clarity and purpose. Perhaps you meant to say, "And that, children, is how Andalucia assured the world that nobody from our province" yada yada. Or perhaps because a government entity in Andalucia has decided not to pay for Microsoft products, they have in some mysterious way doomed all of Spain to the dark night of IT ignorance.

          My bad. I shouldn't have tried to decipher your fable.

          "Excuse me if Im wrong, but if a person learns C++, or whatever,

          • So is writing with clarity and purpose. Perhaps you meant to say, "And that, children, is how Andalucia assured the world that nobody from our province" yada yada. Or perhaps because a government entity in Andalucia has decided not to pay for Microsoft products, they have in some mysterious way doomed all of Spain to the dark night of IT ignorance.

            Well, in the same way that Russia wasnt the Soviet Union, Andalucia is not Espana. Russia wasnt the country, but they did set policies that affected the res

    • The main skills with respect to professional opportunities:

      (a) Write well. You don't need MSFT Word for that. Any reasonable document preparation system is good enough. Most people are limited by their thought than the tool these days.

      (b) Programming Basics. KDevelop, GLADE, Java Development, (X)Emacs, Eclipse, blah blah blah. I know many in India that still use Turbo C and so on. Learning on the latest open source IDEs is going to be helpful (not the standard widget magic from MS Visual Studio)

      (c) Web.
    • Hehe, nice FUD.

      First of all, open source is part of the global IT marketplace, even if you don't like that fact.

      Second, only a tiny fraction of the IT marketplace is about selling and sending shiny shrinkwrapped boxes around the world. Most programmers are employed to write in-house software or special software for one customer or one need. - If the customer or your boss wants the end product to be open source, it is open source.

      Third, the shrinkwrap-part of the IT marketplace tends to form dominating

      • First of all, open source is part of the global IT marketplace, even if you don't like that fact.

        And Microsoft is part of the global IT marketplace, even if you dont like that fact.

        Second, only a tiny fraction of the IT marketplace is about selling and sending shiny shrinkwrapped boxes around the world

        Ya, a majority of the rest are running MS "warez".

        Most programmers are employed to write in-house software or special software for one customer or one need. - If the customer or your boss wants the end

  • Although rather low-profile on the global scale I think this I great. I would like to see a lot more of this happening in the United States and in South Korea (among other countries). I find it very disheartening than so many people I know have never heard of GNU-Linux/Free Software and never seen a non-Microsoft operating system on a personal computer. (Besides Macs of course) The school districts are by far the most important place to start. If kids know there is something out there besides Windows
    • I find it very disheartening than so many people I know have never heard of GNU-Linux/Free Software and never seen a non-Microsoft operating system on a personal computer.

      It gets worse when you are studying a 5-year-long university grade, and watch out (somewhat amazed) how people with the diploma just don't know how to install anything that is not windows-based.

      Uninformation is a great weapon. Let's hope these projects have the expected impact (I'll be happy if a boy runs into his house and says "Hey,
  • In case anyone is in the Worcester, MA USA area tonight, Maddog is giving a talk about just this kind of thing.

    Guest Speaker
    Jon 'maddog' Hall

    Linux in Emerging Economies

    Wednesday
    March 26th, 2003
    Kinnicutt Hall - WPI Campus
    (Salisbury Labs 115
    aka the usual place)
    Worcester, MA USA
    7:00 PM

    More info at: http://www.wlug.org/
  • Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania, discovers Windows and the wonders of Graphical User Interfaces, or Gooeys, as they are commonly referred to. Details at 11.
  • All the arguments about TCO and which system is cheaper in the long run depend a lot on training pr retraining of staff and such. But if kids grow up on OSS and everyone is not stuck with the idea that Windows is your computer, then it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to use GNU/Linux (or some other *NIX that can be made user friendly). Because then the main argument is between $0 - GNU/Linux or $>0 - Windows.
    Doesn't seem like a very hard choice. :)
    • And "training costs" will be dramatically reduced if you can hire someone that started off in the right direction at a young age. A lot of reason why training costs are rather high for GNU/Linux or Unix OS's is the little exposure to them. If a few more companies and countries bit the bullet and switched the training cost argument would fly right out the window.
  • Sweet! (Score:1, Troll)

    by Proc6 ( 518858 )
    Wow! This is great news! - seriously, who cares?

    Is this the "LookWhatOtherNoNamePlaceUsesLinux.com" website, or Slashdot? I mean really. Im glad people are using Linux, and OS/2, and OSX, and anything else, but uh... so one place no ones ever heard of adopts Linux as their OS of choice today and Slashdot posts about it? I wonder how many people setup a new environment based on Windows today? Or OSX? or IRIX, or Solaris? Post some of the places on that.

    • Point... counterpoint!

      I enjoy seeing these articles. I think it's neat that a government would make such a decision, and I'd be especially interested in follow up articles that would say "we ran into these problems which we solved using this program".

      And you're right, it wouldn't be as interesting if it were Win2K. I suppose that's because Win2K isn't a community effort...

      Yours,

      Tom
    • Many colleges have had and continue to use Unix OSes (GNU/Linux included).

      Your right though, the dramatic majority of new setups go to the windows world. And that needs to change. Windows has its place, but oftentimes Open-Source is better suited to the task. (Webservers and the likes.) The trend really need to change and one way to help facilitate that change is to point out no name places in the world that have changed. To companies it is like saying "Even Local Business XYZ has done it, why have
    • If you actually read the article you would see that Andalucia is Spains largest region with 7.5 million inhabitants. So I guess the entire spanish population is likely to know what the region of Andalucia is. And that's roughly 40 million people.

      I guess you not knowing where it is doesn't meen that others don't nor that it's not an important region.
      • Woah. You mean 7.5 million inhabitants of Spain just chose Linux simultaneously? Did the government hand out 7.5 million linux boxes? I guess that IS impressive. "A region" chooses Linux. Is that even physically possible? I hope they hand out Linux for Dummies books too. "Ayuda me! Que es "make, make make, make install, install, install make, grep sed awk make, tar -gvxoqpeox | make install > sed?"
        • Yep, just like if they had said "California adopts free software" they would mean that all the inhabitants of California went out and got linux. They definitely wouldn't be referring to the government of the region. Nope. That couldn't be it at all.
      • Andalucia is Spains largest region with 7.5 million inhabitants

        Andalucia is not the largest region in spain. It is Castilla-León, with 94.193 km2 (Andalucía is 87.268 km2). And not the one with the gratest population density. Madrid, Cataluña, Valencia, Aragón, país Vasco, have a greater density.

        It is, although, the region with the gratest population.
    • Is this the "LookWhatOtherNoNamePlaceUsesLinux.com" website, or Slashdot? I mean really. Im glad people are using Linux, and OS/2, and OSX, and anything else, but uh... so one place no ones ever heard of adopts Linux as their OS of choice today and Slashdot posts about it? I wonder how many people setup a new environment based on Windows today? Or OSX? or IRIX, or Solaris? Post some of the places on that.

      All your post does is prove that you haven't bothered to look at a map or study geography. Andalucia

      • Yes. All 7.5 million inhabitants of Andalucia chose Linux today. They all went to Wal-Mart and bought eMachines with Linux on them while the other 33 million inhabitants of Spain looked on in awe. You should have seen the lines! What a monument to open source. It makes me want to "Freedom Kiss Everyone" on the mouth.
    • It is very important (Score:3, Informative)

      by Baki ( 72515 )
      What matters is not what place adopts Linux, but because it is the (small) beginning that might convince others.

      Up to now many organizations (mainly public/state such as communities, regions, provinces) have been thinking aloud on switching to Linux (on the desktop), but until now it seems like noone dared to make the jump.

      It is not for nothing that MSFT is fighting every 'minor defection' vigorously (offering huge discounts etc first and sometimes starting the threaten if that doesn't help). After the fi
    • What I'd really like to know is how many of these "XXX chooses Linux" choose it simply because they can't afford anything else.

      I can't help but laugh when an article gets posted to Slashdot that a group or government, especially in a 3rd world nation, chooses Linux. Chances are, given the choice of the massive support and userbase Microsoft offers, many would likely choose it if they could, but can't afford it, so they go the cheap route. Cheap != better. Just because someone drives a 76' Pinto to work is

      • "Can't afford anything else"? "Third world nation"? What the fuck are you talking about?
        • <sarcasm>
          He's talking about third world nations like Andalucia, California, and Washington DC. I also don't understand why slashdot keeps writing about these strange nations that nobody has ever heard of.
          </sarcasm>

          What I want to know is how he had enough karma to post at +2.
    • Ok, try babelfish this:
      Me cago en tu puta madre, agilipollao de los cojones.
      Just had to do it, sorry...
  • Cool, now we can all go on an fact finding mission [frontierholidays.net] on behalf of our governments.

    More seriously, this is happening in more places than we can possibly imagine. Right now we are setting up a project for a small corporate to convert 300 desktops to Linux. A small step and admittedly we are a small arse company [catalyst.net.nz] in a small arse country [purenz.com] :-) but I don't feel what we are doing is at all unique these days.
  • >>InodoroPereyra writes "Browsing Linux Today I found a link to an HispaLiNUX article stating

    Wow...Linux Today must suck too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Man, this is a slow, slow day. I think I'll head over to Msnbc or the BBC or something.
    How to pass the hours at work, I'll never know

    Linus, good. Fuck SCO
  • I always thought that was Portugal! [portugal.org]

    I guess I always had my map turned sideways ;)

  • by TarPitt ( 217247 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2003 @03:56PM (#5599974)
    Today Andalucia, tomorrow Catalonia!
  • Relax said the nightman
    We are programed to recieve
    You can check out any time you like
    But you can never leave
  • Furthermore, it must be preinstalled in all new bought computers

    Kinda limiting their hardware choices, aren't they?
  • It never ceases to amaze me that people forget the differences between what is "Open Source" and what is "Free Software".

    If you say "Open Source", and license your software with the GPL, then you are still doing Free Software, just without the emotional baggage.
    The end result is the same, but your motives are questionable because your philosophical commitment level is low.

    If you say "Free Software", well, you are letting everyone know where you stand and what your goals are. There can be no doubt. See "
    • And for the record, the referenced article states "Free Software" 7 times, and never mentions "Open Source" even once. Their goals are *definitely* not in doubt. I consider this to be a very good thing.

      Yes , my bad, and thanks for pointing this out. But really, it would be great news even if it they decided to go open source, not necesarily FS in the sense of the FSF. I agree with you that the fact that they talk about "Free Software" makes it even better though. Cheer up my friend !

  • "More specifically, "All public educational centre..."

    Is he trying to spell sentry?
  • InodoroPereyra writes [...]

    Just for the benefit of all our non spanish-speaking readers, "Inodoro" means "toilet".

    This EducationMinute 2.0 brought to you by the Organization For The Advancement Of Free As In Peseta Software Across The World And Other Obscure Places That Nobody Has Ever Heard About.

  • Also there are subsidizing M$, if you bought a computer in Andalucia (Spain), u can get 350 Euros from the regional governement, and 750 Euros for little corporations (The only requeriment is to live here and 1 computer per person...), but the law say ---> "The computer must have Windows Xp....." Ooopss....
  • On first view of the headline I thought that my hometown local gov't in Andalusia, Alabama had adopted open source.
    I was about to get very happy...

    Oh well ...
  • An extremely large European region gets mentioned but because the lack of geographic education is rampant on Slashdot people laugh at this "non-news", some small hickville school in the US adopts free software and everyone raves about it.
    • You will no doubt notice that the article contains an explicit description of where and what "Andalucia" is (a region in Spain).

      If the target audience for the article - Spanish citizens! - needs education of that location, why on earth are you insulting Slashdot readers education level?

      Perhaps the article submitter could have taken the time to mention that it was a huge chunk of spain.
  • World Domination
    It's only a matter of time Windows Trolls!!!!
    The more extreme your responses here
    The more we know we're hurting you plenty LOL !!!
    FREE ALWAYS WINS
    JUST ASK NETSCAPE......

  • Would say "No more Win-dows bombs in An-da-lu-cia!"

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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