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AFUL's meeting with French Government officials 30

AFUL, the french Free Software user group, held a half day conference touting the benefits of free software to a government panel in the French Prime-Minister's building. The government panel (MTIC) is responsible for introducing new technologies to different ministries. A french customs official described the easy introduction to their intranet of a Linux web server which has shown itself to be very reliable. Another presentation discussed the commercial need to force customers into an update cycle. It compared Windows 3.11's reliability to that of women's stockings which are designed to break quickly. The french city of Lille's computer department also enjoyed Linux' ease of use, scalability and efficiency on older hardware. Finally, Bernard Lang's presentation did not pull its punches. He discussed the dangers for the French economy of relying on foreign black-box software: proprietary software reduces local employment, tends to concentrate power monopolistically, while free software increases local employment (since most software jobs are in the service industry), guarantees originality, competition, conformity to open standards, and a free choice of service provider. The website referred to is the French Prime Minister's Governmental website, so we can be hopeful things will start happening. Links courtesy of Nouvelles Neuves Linux, and Translation services available from Babelfish.
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AFUL's meeting with French Government officials

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  • ..how foreign goverments allow MS to supply products to key industries...
  • ... my native language is:

    English
    French
    German
    Spanish
    Italian
    Chinese
    Japanese
    Russian
    Penguinian
    ..

    ..did I double post?
  • Okay, I'm writing this without my usual bold comments for the sake of speed...

    I find it comforting that many people are now finding that Linux, and similar free items are becoming dominant in the corporate world, and the international world.

    Most people know that Linux kicks the hell out of Windows. Doh. What I'd like to know is when we might be able to get Linux as a fesable workstation system, vs. the current Windows system.

    I'm hoping that the Corel Sidewinder LC systems will change this drastically, becuase they embody the ultimate in kick ass for Linux.

    Let us hope in the future, as the world becomes a free thing, and we evolve to the point of Star Trek (yeah right.)
  • Ack! I like my info in little peices. They're easier to process this way.
  • Reading the above piece, it suddenly dawned on me why the french are rude. --- They're not.
    They're just indignant at cheeky furriners trying to tell them how to run their lives. My guess is that they appreciate the way day-to-day life FEELS, inconveniences and all, and like it. I know I'm looking for an OLD house right now, because half the fun of owning an old home is the smells, and the other half is the upkeep. You're in touch with reality ALL the time, and bullshit takes a back seat. Same reason I like wood heat, and stalking the wild tree, and cutting it down, and...
    Hmmm... sounds a lot like us *nix enthusiasts.
    The french've produced a lot of cool mathematicians, yaknow. Very abstract guys.
    Ok, now you can LART me.
    Just make it hurt for real.
  • Posted by The Mongolian Barbecue:

    The French are all assholes. We should either

    1) Nuke France back to primordial ooze.

    or

    2) Invade france, tear up their mansions and shit, and build something useful, like a silicon processing plant.

    I would like to see those damn grey poupon eating bastards suffer.
  • I must say, Bernard Lang makes an excellent case. Well put. Well organized. He isn't a "Director" for nothing! :) I was wondering if the speech and the presentation was "GPLed"?? So that other countries/companies could use it in almost its entirity.

    BTW, did I mention I LOVE Babelfish?
  • If you think about it, all the same arguments apply to the film industry. The French want to keep their niche, and Hollywood asswipes like Jack Valenti want to steamroller 'em.
  • The French have a national informatics and automation research institute. How many countries have that? AND it participates actively in the w3c work. AND it has produced some great free software, such as Scilab, Toth, LyX (contributing), .... and LOTS, LOTS more.


    here. [inria.fr]

  • There's such a thing called "reality". It's the thing you should check your beliefs and prejudices against BEFORE posting. Think of it.
  • For the "small history":

    Last year, top government officials were contacted by Microsoft, which basically said that France was "behind" in information technology and Microsoft would help it improved its education system on advanced technologies. Bill Gates even met Chirac on this.

    Of course, lots of people (engineers, academics...) didn't like this. The problem was that Microsoft did its marketing right: the POLITICIANS are indeed very backward when it comes to technology, and they can get misled by clever marketdroids. If I were even more cynical, I'd say that politicians think of themselves as so bright and intelligent that if they are nonknowledgeable in a particular area, then it must be that the whole country is as ignorant as them.

    So AFUL [aful.org] was founded notably by people from INRIA [inria.fr]. AFUL is mainly a lobbying group for Linux and free software.

    Our American friends may not be aware of this, but the bugs in Windows and Linux advocacy have been discussed on prime-time nation-wide radios; not to mention the mainstream magazines and journals talking about Linux.

    I begin to think that after all academics can make good lobbyists.
  • Posted by Christopher B. Browne:

    You're not wrong; Remy Card is indeed a "Linux luminary" due to his efforts on ext2.

    On occasion any nation can come off as "jerks." The French put together the factors that they deploy a lot of political opinion/theory, do things about it, and have been doing this for several hundred years. Put those together and...

    The substantial contributions of INRIA to Free Software must be considered. And sometimes other things come up; I finally saw this French translation of a paper I wrote last year; excellent translation effort. Some of the French version seems to read better than what I wrote in English...

  • naww... small countries are the way to go. Andorra is about the right size :-) Now free Catalonia and I'll be happy :)
  • wine was known to the Romans, oral sex probably goes back to the dawn of time, and the best food is a matter of taste, but I'd put it either in India or somewhere in the Middle East :)
  • damn, the site is slashdotted. I wonder if it runs on NoTechnology.
  • No they wouldn't. Subscription is better for companies than one buy. Hint: in the 1970s there were adverts for 20 Year garantees on a car... No longer.
  • I was catching up on movie star gossip in the Economist last week, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but statistics on protectionism.

    Guess which country has the highest percentage of people against free trade? Starts with U, ends with nited States.

    This was a global survey. Even places like Korea, which used to execute foreigners, are way ahead of the US.

  • ..obviously ?
  • I guess that you anglo-saxons will never understand that, but we, the French, trust the State a lot more than you do. After all, we did not have a Magna-Carta to start to distillate doubts about the State in our collective neuroses.

    We view the State as an ally, not an ennemy. And since we believe that the State plays a positive role in Society, we do not regard a career to serve the State as something to be ashamed of. So, the best talents are naturally drawn to Public Service, rather than going into private business.

    The (totally free - the State pays all tuition fees) French Public Service schools (Polytechnique, École Nationale d'Administration, École Normale, Saint-Cyr, etc.) are strictly reserved for the very best of the graduates and provide a yearly crop of extremely talented and exquisitely qualified civil servants, who upon graduation, will put their talent at the service of the State and, by extension, of all French Society.

    So it is quite natural that, since it is being run by extremely competent people, a French State will more than often take the right, obvious, decision (which, incidentally, goes towards the benefit of the majority of people, rather than according to the "laws of the free market"). Like supporting OSS.

    The French put intellectual achievement ahead of financial success; writers and academics enjoy one of the best perception within French society, quite ahead of successful entrepreneurs. Could there be a better intellectual achievement than collaborating in establishing a new solid and robust and open operating system standard?

    After all, such an OSS OS will benefit mankind far much more than writing (yet another) book of verses, or composing (yet another) symphony or opera...


    -- ----------------------------------------------
    Vive le logiciel... Libre!!!

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