Random rants and thoughts about my activities in and for the Free Software community.

Free Software acquisition by governments

 It’s recent news that the Italian Camera dei Deputati (the lower chamber of the Parliament) has started a project to offer support for GNU/Linux on desktops for those that ask it.  I hope to see Pietro Folena‘s laptop equipped with Free Sw next time I meet him :)   From what I understood also the backend infrastructure of the chamber will also migrate to GNU/Linux. 

The big news, IMHO, is that the technical helpdesk has been prepared to support GNU/Linux, which is an important achievement.  I’m one of those that believe that Free/Libre Software shouldn’t need laws that mandate it. What is most needed IMHO, is that CIO of public administrations are trained and prepared to deal with Free Software acquisition.  Tenders to "buy" software often contain provisions that cut out Free Software based solutions (as it was the case fought and won by Assoli).

We need leadership (as Matt says) but we also need lobbyists and think tanks that are strong and credible to support those leaders because it’s a war out there, as Massachusetts demonstrated.   FSFE’s Freedom Task Force training goes in that direction, but more more more is needed and should be done.  I think that good-will, as Roberto puts it, is the same thing as leadership in this case.

BTW: DoD (Naval Research Lab) does and did "C".  At least one example is the project TOR, The Onion Router. Oddly enough, DoD shared development costs with those liberals of EFF :)

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