Friday, 12 January 2018 11:05

Barcelona plans move to open source software

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The city of Barcelona plans to move its workers to open source software, with proprietary applications being the first to be replaced.

A report in the Spanish newspaper El Pais said the initial goal was to replace Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office with Firefox and LibreOffice.

Later on, the city plans to transition its users to a Linux distribution and get rid of Windows; it is already running a 1000-user trial with the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

Francesca Bria, commissioner of Technology and Digital Innovation at the Barcelona City Council, was quoted as saying: "The funds that come from the citizens have to be invested in systems that can be re-used and open to a local ecosystem."

This makes Barcelona the first municipality to join the European project Public Money, Public Code which is an initiative of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

The city plans to use Open-Xchange to move away from using Microsoft Exchange for its email system.

In order to increase the internal development of technology, the city council plans to hire 65 programmers, half of whom will join the Municipal Institute of Computing this month.

As far as outsourcing of work associated with the transition to open source is concerned, the council claims to have developed ethical standards to engage "local companies that work with open source and agile methodologies".

Ironically, Barcelona's announcement comes as the poster-boy of Linux enthusiasts, Munich, begins a move back to Windows after experimenting with a Linux rollout. The move back to Microsoft's operating system, however, appears to be driven by political considerations, and not technological issues.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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