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Software Government Politics

Paris Accelerates Move to Open Source 225

* * Beatles-Beatles writes to tell us that the city of Paris is moving to open-source software a little faster than originally intended. As a part of the strategy to 'reduce its dependence on suppliers' they anticipate replacing both server and desktop applications with free and open-source software. From the article: "Earlier this year, volunteers among the city's 46,000 staff were invited to download and install open-source software to their desktops, including the Firefox browser and the Open productivity suite. Now, the city is planning to migrate all the users of one city department or all of those in one of the city's 20 districts, not just the volunteers, to test a larger migration. The city has 17,000 workstations, up from 12,000 in 2001"
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Paris Accelerates Move to Open Source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:38PM (#14085204)
    Paris went open source since her famous video went to the internet.

    Oh, wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:39PM (#14085215)
    That should keep her Sidekick from getting hacked again.
    • Not really cracked (Score:3, Informative)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 )
      IIRC, It was the Windows boxes that were broken into, and then accessed the sidekick. The sidekick was suppose to be open to the network, os it did what it was designed to do.
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:39PM (#14085216)
    "Paris Accelerates Move to Open Source"

    by distributing 100 dollar laptops with Red Hat Linux to every rioting teen

    • no no no... the correct, politically sensitive term is "youth" not "teen". And they weren't rioting. As someone being interview in the Washington Post said they're expressing themselves. They're just saying "We're here! We exist!".
  • [grin] (Score:5, Funny)

    by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:39PM (#14085219) Journal
    Never mind TFA, this is just payback time for the 'freedom fries' jibes... None of your nasty closed-source software - we will 'ave the free(dom) software instead!

    Oh, and I spit in your general direction!

    Simon :-)
    • Re:[grin] (Score:5, Informative)

      by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:03PM (#14085427) Homepage
      Of course, the whole "french fries" fiasco was even funnier considering that french fries aren't even named after France - it's the way they're prepared that gave them their name, and the word just happens to be the same in (contemporary?) English.
      • Re:[grin] (Score:4, Informative)

        by PhotoBoy ( 684898 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:49PM (#14085834)
        Funnier still is that the UK and US governments deliberately mis-quoted Chirac, they claimed Chirac had promised to block any vote for war in the UN. What Chirac actually said was that he would not vote for war unless the weapons inspectors were allowed to complete their inspection and confirmed the presences of WMDs. Which is quite reasonable if you ask me...

        But that didn't stop Bush & Co from demonising the French and starting a nationwide backlash against them just to prevent their reasonable criticism from being heard. I don't have any great love for the French but we should at least criticise them for something they did actually do.
        • Re:[grin] (Score:3, Informative)

          by boule75 ( 649166 )
          Thank you to point out that dishonnest misquoting.

          But you ought to point out that the bias in the translation was setted up from second one: The Associated Press _in French_ misquoted Chirac and was translated that way. Tony Blair then used a somewhat-more-distorted-again quote in the Commons in his great discourse to justify this war before this temple of Democracy.

          In the US it became something like "we must attack Saddam because he must be a real ennemy for the Frogs to defend him". Hum... Indeed, I am to
        • Re:[grin] (Score:5, Informative)

          by speculatrix ( 678524 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @07:29PM (#14086216)
          the fact that when troops arrived in Iraq they found proof that the Iraqi gov't owed huge sums of money to the French and Russian gov'ts may have played just a tiny part in their refusal to go to war?

          now, of course, the debt is cancelled :-)

          • now, of course, the debt is cancelled :-)

            Is it? I'm asking because I'm too lazy to check. That's not how this usually works. If the debt is legitimate then the it is not the "regime" or even the "gov't" that owes the money, but the nation. Successor states usually have to pick up the tap.

          • What the French, German and Russian governments did was simply obey the will of those who elected them. The invasion of Iraq faced massive disapproval from the peoples around the World. I call your attention to the fact that the History's biggest demonstrations ever, just happened recently, with the populations all around the globe rallying against Bush's intention of invading Iraq.

            Particularly in Europe, disapproval of the war was rampant, and the governments from UK, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Italy, a

        • was the whole bit about "This fine british paper" that Powell presented. A paper from, suposedly british intelligence origin, describing all the Über-Threats from Iraq and the dangers coming from them. When it hit the news that the entire paper was copy and pasted from an american students essay posted on the internet, related to Desert Storm in 1991 - copied with exact same typos and all - I was laughing my head off for half an hour. I still crack up today just writing about this.
          Absolutely hilarious
          • I found nothing about the phony push for war particularly hilarious. Not the initial marketing slogan "Shock'n Awe" nor the US military's recent light-hearted "Shake'n Bake" slogan for baking people alive in Fallujah. Or anything that has taken place in Iraq between these cheerful American sloganisms.

            But talking about the manufactured evidence that supposedly incriminated Iraq in the eyes of the hypocritical invaders (Chinese military occupation and genocide in Tibet seems to be perfectly acceptable for bot

        • Chirac's opposition to the war is not really the French issue with we right wingers. Chirac using France and Europe as a counterpoint to American power is. In other words, Chirac sees France as the leader of an opposition to the United States simply for the sake of opposing it.

          Chirac made numerous trips around the world decrying everything about American culture and as a consequence, the American people, and he's attempted to rally the world to his vision of France as the leader of a block standing agains
        • Re:[grin] (Score:2, Funny)

          by Xaositecte ( 897197 )
          it's really not very hard to demonize the french, considering most of us Americans hated them -before- their UN antics
      • Re:[grin] (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lakiolen ( 785856 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @07:50PM (#14086414)
        The proper term is "Frenched Fries (notice the ed)". Refering to the way that the potatoes are cut, specifically cut into long thin strips. So the potatoes were frenched then fried, hence, frenched fries. Then throughout the years, english speakers (British, American, Australian, etc.) being as lazy as they are, dropped a syllable and they became french fries.
      • Re:[grin] (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spoing ( 152917 )
        Of course, the whole "french fries" fiasco was even funnier considering that french fries aren't even named after France - it's the way they're prepared that gave them their name, and the word just happens to be the same in (contemporary?) English.

        The Belgians -- and quite a few French -- consider that Belgium is the source of the friet. []

        (I was asked years ago to make sure people knew this...and I keep my word.)

    • Just a small correction: you mean I fart in your general direction .

      And also...

      Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yer?

      See the løveli lakes

      The wonderful telephøne system

      And mani interesting furry animals

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good Job France -- seems that the French/Freedom fry equality is true - they really do stand for freedom.
    • Good Job France -- seems that the French/Freedom fry equality is true - they really do stand for freedom.

      Oh good grief! This is a software decision for a single city's desktops. You are really going to try to Karma Whore with likening it to real war where people are getting killed?

      • by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:58PM (#14085390)
        You are really going to try to Karma Whore with likening it to real war where people are getting killed?

        They wouldn't be if we had stopped to listened to the French. Hey, here's a bright idea, why don't we actually have a dialogue with our allies instead of pouring their wine down our gutters when they dare to disagree? It's just possible they may have a good point of two.

      • by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @08:44PM (#14086817) Journal
        You are really going to try to Karma Whore

        yeah Damn that Anonymous Coward, such a blatent karma whore there is hardly a single discussion where he hasn't got at least 5 or 6 +5 modded comments.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:40PM (#14085233)
    the rioters burned all the Windows licenses.
    • The right to burn a car is your fundamental right to exercise your Liberty in the Sixth Republic of France. Note, however, that when burning a car, you need to carefully check, whether the the design of the car is Free; that is, it is licensed as GNU GPL. If it is, you're obliged to use a version of Molotov's coctail that's formula is licensed under a GPL compatible license to ignite the car, as the coctail is then linked to the car by the fire and is as such, becomes a derivative work of it.

      Those using a n
  • Good news! (Score:3, Funny)

    by dmccarty ( 152630 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:46PM (#14085289)
    Some of the French youth are extremely happy about getting their hands on Firefox.
  • by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:46PM (#14085292) Homepage

    From the article: The city is also responsible for IT matters in its primary and middle schools. There, it has installed Open Office on 2,150 computers, and plans to bring the total to 3,500 by the end of March, it said. French high schools are run directly by central government.

    B-b-b-but those poor kids won't learn how to use Microsoft Windows! How will they ever succeed in the real world?!

    (This is sarcasm, folks, regarding a commonly-cited reason for American school systems to standardize on Microsoft Windows.)

    • Why troll? Announcing something as sarcasm doesn't make it NOT sarcastic.
    • Re:Poor kiddies (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HairyCanary ( 688865 )
      How does installing OpenOffice have anything to do with learning how to use Microsoft Windows? I was ASSuming they were just migrating from Microsoft OFFICE to OpenOffice, not from Windows to Linux, and Office to OpenOffice.
      • Nice emphasis on "ASS" there. Very subtle. Same for the repitition of "Office to OpenOffice."

        But at least you're right that I should have said "Microsoft software" instead of the more specific "Microsoft Windows". When schools standardize on Windows (instead of Linux or Mac OS X), they also standardize on MS Office, and the justification is generally "because that's what they'll use in the real world." Like they have any idea what they'll use in after graduation. Or what OS's and word processing software

    • B-b-b-but those poor kids won't learn how to use Microsoft Windows! How will they ever succeed in the real world?!

      Sarcasm aside, the American education system does have a tendency to emphasize tools and rot memorization rather than generalized knowledge and exploration. You don't learn how to use computers, you learn how to use Word. You don't learn how to interpret history texts, you just regurgitate them. And so on... Maybe if we gave students the capacity to use their brains, we wouldn't need weak arg
  • Hmm, I hope they hurry the hell up and do the conversion BEFORE the city gets burned down around them. :)

    Ok, Ok, some of us just can't resist a bit of taunting the French. Actually I do hope it can be pulled off for a change, getting tired of reading about conversion projects started and then scrapped as things either get complicated or Microsoft's wallet opens to local politicians.
  • This could have a much bigger impact than just 17,000 users. Just about the only time I have to dig out IE is to access some crazy government site that I HAVE to use, but can't get to work with anything but IE. It might not be ideal, but if it becomes the case that Parisians can't pay their taxes or something unless they use Firefox, well that's got to be good for Firefox. After all, after being forced to try it, they might like it!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, 2005 @05:56PM (#14085360)
    I'm recycling a comment from another AC in another Scuttlemonkey/**Beatles-Beatles post. This guy's getting worse than Roland Picklepail:

    Am I the only person who has noticed the numerous stories that get posted by *--Beatles-Beatles? Am I also the only person who has noticed that the link used in is name is a constantly changing URL (depending on the story) with pointers to various scammy sites? Is it not obvious what he's doing? He's using the awesome PageRank of slashdot do promote his sites based on searches that have the word Beatles in them.

    It's a small price to pay for free advertising. Find a story, summarize it in 5 minutes, post to slashdot, and get a pagerank boost that advertisers would pay hundreds (or maybe thousands) for. (Text links on high-ranking sites is big business - just ask oreilly).

    Slashdot should at least put a ref=nofollow in the links to submitters (or better yet, only link the submitter's name to his/her user page).

    In closing, a quick bit of WHOIS shows that all the sites linked by **B-B are registered to Carl Fogle. Carl, cut this crap out.
  • what has their experience been during this migration? What are the things they've tripped over? This sort of info would be handy to combat the FUD that the PHB's have stuck in their heads.

    Also, is this the largest migration to an open source environment that anybody has heard of? That piece of info would be nice to know.
    • No I do not think it is the largest. For example by the end of 2005 the 70,000 workstations used by the French Gendarmerie will use Open Office. This is the biggest French migration. The Gendamerie hope to save 2 million euros per year. 10,000 computers bought since 2004 will have OO preinstalled. The Gendarmerie say this saves 75 euros per PC for an MS Office license.

      The Gendarmerie say it is not just a simple question of money. Managing Microsofts complicated license structure was becoming a nightmare for
    • This is by far not the biggest migration to openSource in France, actually, the only reason why you see it in Slashdot is because it mentions "paris", it doens't even make the subtitles of French opensource portals. The whole French administration is slowly turning to opensource, currently for instance the Gendarmerie (police) is updating all their 40.000 PCs to OOo + Firefox/Thunderbird, the Tax administration announced last week that they are currently deploying Oo on their 80.000 Pcs and have already re
  • The unemployment soared to 30%. Pundents blame the lack of supply chain jobs.
    • The unemployment soared to 30%. Pundents blame the lack of supply chain jobs.

      Yep, all the money not spent on the M$ tax simply evaporated. The broken window fallacy. []


      Marketing talk is not just cheap, it has negative value. Free speech can be compromised just as much by too much noise as too little signal.

  • The reason (Score:5, Funny)

    by mcgroarty ( 633843 ) <brian.mcgroarty@gmail . c om> on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:05PM (#14085438) Homepage
    The reason France is so excited by open source:

    Wait for it...


    It runs faster.

  • In Finland, my home city had a widely publicised project to start using open source software. In the end, the project was scrapped, with the only thing achieved being that MS lowered it's licensing fees somewhat.

    Only a few weeks ago the City anounced it would purchase a new MS software for all of its computers.

    This was probably due to proficious wining and dining on the part of MS.
  • France is evil (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SebNukem ( 188921 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:14PM (#14085513)
    Yeah! Another post related to France. I can't wait for the flow of rioting cheese eating surrender monkey hate posts to follow. Boycott France, United we stand and God bless america.

    The French Scapegoat []

    (Score 5: Offtopic.)
  • ... how to properly insult the stupid french over this. But then I saw that, really, this represents the french surrendering to our open source power.
  • by pmike_bauer ( 763028 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:18PM (#14085541) support malaria [], riots, and car-torching.
  • Not only that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HawkingMattress ( 588824 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @06:29PM (#14085641)
    My sister in law is student in "teacher's school" (no idea how you call that in english) in france.
    She'll be a teacher in primary school next year. They have computer courses to be able to teach children how to use a word processor, web browser or graphic editor. What's interesting is that they learn everything on free software, are given a cd full of OSS (for Windows), and encouraged to distribute it around them.
    They're told not to use commercial software with children, simply because their parents are not necessary wealthy enough to pay for the stuff at home so it would create ineqalities among the children. Very good idea if you ask me. Now if they could make a program to build very cheap computers and give one to each child it would be even better. But that's a start.
  • Now we know the true cause of the riots. They were obviously financed and sponsored by Microsoft in retaliation.

  • First, they start with beheading a stupid queen.

    Then, a bunch of punk ass kids get away with acting out violent Grand Theft Auto scenes.

    If that weren't enough, they made the gov't admit systemic racism to boot.

    Now they're all going open source? What the $!@# is goin' on? I guess you can really have your cake and eat it too!

    I'd pack up, move to Paris and join all that debauchery if I weren't scared piss of the US gearin' up for Operation Liberate France! Them nuke-totin' anarchists will not be allowed to
  • Misreading (Score:4, Funny)

    by Joe Random ( 777564 ) on Monday November 21, 2005 @07:27PM (#14086198)
    Am I the only one who originally read the title as "Particle Accelerators Move to Open Source" and was preparing a "Beowolf cluster of strangelets" reply before realizing the truth?
  • I mean, look at it this way....

    With a fire wall like that, they sure as hell won't need security.... "I try to root your box!" "Hon hon hon! yahr beurx eeeez on fahr!!!!!!"

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.