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French National Assembly Embraces Open Source 88

eldavojohn writes "The French National Assembly is in the news as they have recently switched to Linux, & open source software at the request of several deputy members. Bernard Carayon wrote it it into the proposal entitled 'On Equal Terms' [French PDF]. From the article, 'IT staff at the National Assembly have almost six months to prepare the switch to open source.' The same document urged France to adopt ODF as a standard. Hopefully things go more smoothly for them than the Birmingham library effort."
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French National Assembly Embraces Open Source

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  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jo42 ( 227475 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @04:54PM (#16966872) Homepage
    I guess now we'll have to stop making fun of the French... ~:->
  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:00PM (#16966944) Homepage Journal
    ... and, as far as I could understand (I lack some French) is focussed on a better usage of economic resources - that is - why pay M$ Euros. Good move.

    And my bias is that France (for short) will not be bribed by M$s.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I don't think the french can be lured by money. They are very patriotic, and the political decision to spend money on French products instead of giving it to a U.S. based monopoly-accused company can be hold up easily.
    • I know a lot of people cite cost as a reason to use open source, but in my eyes that's never been the real advantage. Maybe that's an advantage for home users, but large organizations have lots and lots of money to burn and if it's not being spent on software it will be spent somewhere else. Open source has to do with control. I hate hate hate having to put in a feature request for software. It takes forever for it to make it into subsequent iterations or if you pay for them to customize it, there is no gua
      • by foobsr ( 693224 )
        In general, I am with you. I might add, though, that IMHO greater control (thus a better planning reliability) in the end leads to increased profitability (or efficiency with regard to the public sector, where all your arguments hold even more) which then via <insert favourite performance evaluation method here> translates into money gained or saved.

      • by Fred_A ( 10934 )
        As a home user that's the exact reason why I've mostly run open source for ages (the mostly being because every now and then I have a Windows partition to run the games I buy). The price I've paid just for the random crappy games that I've only spent half an hour on before discarding them over the last five years could probably buy a couple Windows licences plus a lightweight MS Office. Price certainly never was an issue.

        However I've worked solo either on the side or full time for a very long time now and I
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Don't forget that Mandrake^H^H^Hiva is almost as close to a French national distro as Red Flag is a Chinese distro.
      • Mod parent down (Score:3, Informative)

        by alexhs ( 877055 )
        Mandriva is as close to a French national distro as Red Hat is an american national distro or SuSe a german national distro.
        Red Flag is state-founded [], others aren't.

        Please inform yourself before commenting or moderating inappropriately.
        • Please inform yourself before commenting or moderating inappropriately.

          No, the phrase "national distribution" does not mean "state funded distribution" except in the eyes of a rabid free marketer; so it's perfectly legitimate to say Mandriva is French and SuSe is German.

          If I say that football and beer are the national sport and drink of England, I am not implying that they are State funded or approved in any way.

          No doubt the original poster was attempting a Linux=Communist troll, but it didn't make

      • by BokLM ( 550487 ) *
        What do you mean ? Mandriva is mainly a french company (and Brazilian now, since the merger with Connectiva), like RedHat is mainly an american company, nothing more. This is not like Red Flag.
  • New slogan (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ralph Yarro ( 704772 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:04PM (#16967004) Homepage
    Freedom software... that's 'freedom' as in 'fries'.
  • They've given up on Windows?
  • Good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tttonyyy ( 726776 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:16PM (#16967118) Homepage Journal
    While the rest of the world umms and ahhs about OSS and things like nuclear power, the French just get in there and do it. Despite the poor attitude that many have towards the French (you know who you are!), you've really got to admire them sometimes. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by turgid ( 580780 )

      Yes, but the French are smelly. British people are not. French people use Linux and nuclear power. The British run Windows and burn gas and oil to make elecricity. The French are proud of their culture. Britain tries to be like America.

      See any connection?

      Where did I leave my pills?

    • Re:Good for them! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:46PM (#16967414) Homepage
      the French just get in there and do it

      That is true. They are very good at delivering projects too, at least from my UK perspective. We worked with them to make Concorde. They built that huge new bridge above the clouds in France [].
      I like many things about France. Let's hope they don't become too Anglicised/Americanised.
      • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

        God! I have to find an excuse to go and see that bridge. I'm going to have to dig out a tour book and find something in the region that I can tell my partner we're going to see without giving away that I want to go to France so I can look at a bridge. :)
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Cheapy ( 809643 )
      I will admit, they are a fairly good and consistent road bump for Germany.
  • ...considering that the assembly recently voted the infamous DADVSI law on copyrights etc. remember when there were talks here on slashdot about a global licence for music and everything? well, everything got thrown out, and the so-called "Universal" amendments were brought in. Universal referring to the music magnate of the same name. Essentially, it is illegal in France to distribute or even promote software that "obviously" aim at sharing copyrighted material. Downloading and sharing mp3s is still assimi
    • lamely replying to my own post... this move towards embracing opensource software in the French administration is not new. as far as I know, the police has switched to openoffice and firefox, and this summer about 400 000 government computers switched to openoffice as well. it is an encouraging trend.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Conti ( 914631 )
      What you probably don't know is the fact that even if sharing copyrighted material is forbidden in France (as in the US), there's one big difference... The justice is asked not to deal with that issue. I mean, you almost have to do a living out of copying copyrighted material to risk being sued. There're several reasons for that: - the department of justice has already enough *real* issues to deal with (real criminal activities), - suing individuals would reduce internet expansion in the country, which is a
    • by BokLM ( 550487 ) *
      Hopefully this is only temporary, and a new law will be voted next year.
  • Considering... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:44PM (#16967390) Homepage Journal
    The same parliament voted recently for the most restrictive copyright law [] in Europe, a law that could potentially kill french open source projects, and that was practically written by the French RIAA, there is a sweet smell of irony in the air...

    On the other hand that was probably the plan all along: write a stupid law to placate the RIAA/MPAA of this world. A law so totally impossible to enforce, that any case brought in front of a court would be laughed out of the justice system. And then, benefit from Open Source, safe and sound in the knowledge that you [the members of Parliament] have taken your bribe, and you get to benefit from Open Source on top of it. Bastards.

    And if you think I am making this up, I invite you to read the documents in the link above and discover the whole sorry mess for yourself.

    [As a side note: I am French, and I despise all these wankers, so take this not as a troll, but a letting off steam.]

    [Side note 2: also, I was one of the few French who actually took the time to protest the whole thing, so don't give me the "you should have done something" line Mmmmmm'kay?]
    • Hehe a French guy quoting Rowan Atkinson :) Drole

      Having seen the whole sorry state of affairs we have here in Europe for the moment surrounding software patents (Brit in Beglium), I salute a fellow geek who is not ashamed to show his true colours. Its about time some of the more apathetic geeks STARTED VOICING THEIR OPINIONS

      *looks at our brethren over the water*

      Guys, hows about it? You know how important the internet is to your economy, right? Just one or two little *protests*.....

      [Nota Bene: Le discussion
      • by ericwb ( 126929 )

        Nice try. Let me translate that into French for you:

        [Nota bene : la discussion entre la Commission Européenne et le Parlement est pour l'instant gelée concernant les " brevets logiciels ". La stratégie est sous-marine dans chaque pays, si je comprends bien...]
        • by PhB95 ( 442518 )
          The EU parliament dropped software patents, so for now it's officially a dead case. But I repeatedly hear intense lobbying goes on to re-open the debate. Probably not with the current chamber, as this would be considered an outrage. Now wait when the next MEPs are elected and I'm sure it will resurface...
        • Thanks for toughting [] me.
      • In the US a lot of crap is technically illegal. For the most part, when it is really stupid, we just ignore it. See "prohibition" for one instance. See "speed limits" for another. And so on. It may take us some years, and unfortunately, some times it takes decades, but eventually a lot of stuff gets sorted out for the better.
  • Having lost my Office CD a few months back in an unfortunate smelting accident... Okay I stepped on it... I was forced to switch to OpenOffice myself. I'm still using Windows due to compatibility issues with my hardware components, but everything besides Windows and IE7 has been replaced with OSS. My personal opinion: 1) OpenOffice Writer is 95% as good feature-wise as Office imho, and the PDF support is a boon. My two biggest complaints are the somewhat limited spellcheck, and the fugly Office 97 interfa
    • Odd cursor behavior, occasionally, and the default word completion are annoying...

      Tools - AutoCorrect - "Word Completion" tab - uncheck the "Enable word completion" box (or else customise to suit taste).

      • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 )
        No, I know how to turn it off, otherwise I probably wouldn't have mentioned that it was a default. Point is, the default itself (which isn't exclusive to OO) is annoying. Worse still, I find the automatic numbering and bulleting MORE intrusive than in Office, and a little more difficult to turn off, because the toolbar for it seemed to keep "forgetting" I wanted the numbering off. The menu setting did, however, work in stopping it. Still less intrusive than Office.
    • by sponga ( 739683 )
      Well you probably should have made a backup of the cd or just downloaded another one off the net and use your cd-key. Oh yah and if you are a student you can get office for super cheap; like $20 whever they offer it.
    • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
      However, some default settings are very irritating, like starting a reply message at the bottom.
      That's proper netiquette. ;)
    • by Budenny ( 888916 )
      OO macros however, its not sweet, its simply diabolical. No chance for a non-programmer. You may not approve of non-programmers using MS Office macros. But fact is, there are a few small things lots of people want to automate, which they can do easily in MS Office, and not at all in OO. Like, for instance, having a character input, any character input, which would operate the toolbar total button... Easier to write your own application from scratch than try to figure out how to write an OO macro to do
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bert64 ( 520050 )
      Email replies should always start at the bottom, unless your writing in a language that reads from the bottom upwards (do any exist? theres a few left to right languages but i`m not sure about bottom to top)...
      Trying to follow a conversation where the reply comes BEFORE the original question is a horrendous thing to do, this is known as top posting... And consider the following short example:

      A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
      Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
      A: Top-po
  • I thought the French were all going straight to Hell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Coeurderoy ( 717228 )
      Of course they are going to hell, where else do you think they will be able to find loose women (or men) and good wine ?
      And of course all the dead pan humorist, and agnostics thinkers, funky artists and other enemy of orders.
  • I'm curious "which linux" they're switching to...
    Are they...
    1. "Rolling their own" like Munich? (see [])
    2. Picking a vendor/distro? e.g. RedHat/RHEL, Novell/SuSE, etc.
    3. Going with an established distro like Debian?

    Anyone know?
    • I can't answer your question but I've worked on some French govt. OS projects. Antares - a Ministry of Education system for recruiting lecturers and professors used Weblo. (as it is called here - Weblogic AS) on RedHat.

      The Interior Ministry, Finance and Economic Ministry, Customs and Ministry of Works all use Open Office having migrated from Office 97. The Gendarmeries eC@RE project is also migrating a lot of functionality to Open Office. We are talking around 150,000 to 200,000 seats in total for these min
    • What about Mandriva ? It's a Frech distro. It's my favorite distro too because It seems to me perfect for desktop. Anyone knows ?
  • C'est forte intelligente!

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.