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  2. <html newsdate="2014-11-11" type="newsletter">
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  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2014</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body microformats="h-entry">
  8. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – November 2014</h1>
  9. <h2>Munich: facts harder than fiction</h2>
  10. <p>The city of Munich runs Free Software on more than 15.000 workplace
  11. computers <a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/106341">and has saved over
  12. 11.000.000€ in return</a>. During the migration to Free Software, they
  13. consolidated their heterogeneous IT in 51 places with 1000 IT employees and 22
  14. IT departments. Despite these challenges <a
  15. href="http://www.computerwoche.de/a/wohin-steuert-linux-in-muenchen,3043464,2">most
  16. users are happy with the migration and say they do not want to switch back</a>
  17. (in German). And all of this happened in the front-yard of Microsoft's German
  18. headquarters.</p>
  19. <p>If you do not like the success of Free Software in Munich, what could you
  20. do? You could play on emotions and spread rumours that the Munich IT people are
  21. not taking the demands of regular users nor the executive into account. Of
  22. course, you have to stay vague, hoping to bring out a few of those voices that
  23. are always unhappy - but this is an easy way of discrediting the progress
  24. already made. This is what happened in the last months in Munich with remarks
  25. by the new mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD, Social Democrats) and his vice Josef
  26. Schmid (CSU, Christian Democrats). Some commentators have speculated about a
  27. connection to the fact that Microsoft is now moving its headquarter from
  28. Unterschleissheim to Munich, and <a
  29. href="http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2013-11/reiter-muenchen-spd/komplettansicht">Reiter
  30. claiming that he helped with this deal</a> (in German). As Microsoft was the <a
  31. href="http://www.merkur-online.de/lokales/muenchen-lk-nord/unterschleissheim-umzug-nach-muenchen-microsoft-prueft-neue-standorte-2766978.html">biggest
  32. tax payer in Unterschleissheim</a> (in German), Munich will financially benefit
  33. by this move.</p>
  34. <p>But they seem to have underestimated the success of Free Software in Munich.
  35. <a
  36. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/munich-city-council-shields-limux-against-mayor">IT
  37. experts from their own political parties raised their voice to correct them</a>
  38. and <a href="/news/2014/news-20141016-01.html">others have uncovered their
  39. misleading statements</a>. Thus, the comments by the mayors represent only
  40. individual opinions. Munich's political support for GNU/Linux is strong, and
  41. the money the city saves and will continue to save by using GNU/Linux,
  42. LibreOffice/OpenOffice, and the Desktop from KDE counts profoundly. If Free
  43. Software can even survive a smear campaign by the mayors it shows that it is
  44. there to stay. Dear Free Software community: <em>be proud and spread the
  45. word!</em> But do not rest, the next attack will be more subtle.</p>
  46. <h2>EU wide Open Standards policy</h2>
  47. <p>But the answer to the inquiry includes another crucial point: the problem
  48. with document formats. The Munich IT managers noted that, at the beginning of
  49. their migration, the German federal states and the federal government
  50. highlighted the importance of Free Software and Open Standards, but afterwards
  51. never consequently went this path.</p>
  52. <p>In Germany, the lack of a clear Open Standard Policy is a major blocker for
  53. public administrations to use Free Software. In recent years, other European
  54. Countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden have done more to
  55. promote Free Software and Open Standards.</p>
  56. <p>On the European level, <a
  57. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/prasident-des-deutschen-stadtetags-an-europaische-kommission-mehr-fur-freie-software-einsetzen/">the
  58. former Munich mayor asked the European Commission to implement two measures to
  59. enable participation with Free Software in EU projects</a>: First to have all
  60. document templates which are available in Microsoft Office formats, also in
  61. Open Document Text (ODT) format. Second that all presenter notebooks in the EU
  62. institutions also have a program installed which can handle Open Document Presentation
  63. (ODP) files. This was in 2011 and the European bodies have neglected
  64. implementing Open Standard policies for a long time.</p>
  65. <h2>Open Standard compliance checks</h2>
  66. <p>When institutions decide on Open Standards policies, this is just the first
  67. step. It is important to check this decision and to remind them about it. In
  68. 2010 as a Document Freedom Day activity our Fellows in Cologne and Bonn <a
  69. href="/news/2010/news-20100803-01.html">checked the German
  70. federal administrations after a decision that they have to be able to receive,
  71. edit, and send back ODF</a>. The FSFE found out that only 2 of 87 departments
  72. are conforming to federal open document regulations. This highlights the
  73. importance of being persistent and monitoring the implementation of such
  74. policies. Check out this month's “Get active” item with a specific suggestion
  75. how you can help with that within a few minutes.</p>
  76. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  77. <ul>
  78. <li>We are currently looking for interns again, <a
  79. href="/news/2014/news-20141017-01.html">especially in
  80. preparation of Document Freedom Day</a> but we also have <a
  81. href="/contribute/internship.html">general internship
  82. positions open from early January</a>. When Max Mehl saw the news item
  83. he published a <a
  84. href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2014/my-internship-at-fsfe/">summary about his
  85. internship with FSFE</a>.</li>
  86. <li><a href="/news/2014/news-20141017-02.html">Together with
  87. the Italian consumer association ADUC, and the Italian group ILS, we asked</a>
  88. regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay
  89. for software they do not want or need.</li>
  90. <li>Local activities: Our Vienna group had their most active and successful
  91. Autumn ever. Franz documented how they participated in the three big events <a
  92. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2014/10/23/three-autumn-events-2014/">Software
  93. Freedom Day, the biggest German speaking animal rights conference, and the Game
  94. City fair 2013</a>. Christian Kalkhoff from our Munich group gave a
  95. presentation about the groups activities at the GNU Hackers Meeting 2014. The
  96. <a
  97. href="http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/ghm2014/2014-08--kalkhoff--fsfe--ghm.webm">video
  98. is now online</a>. If you want to help with the organisation of the LibreOffice
  99. conference 2015, <a
  100. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2014/10/22/announcing-the-libreoffice-conference-for-2015-in-aarhus-denmark/">Carsten
  101. Agger is still looking for assistance, as our Aarhus group will help at the
  102. event</a>.</li>
  103. <li>Spoiler alert: The last edition of the education news <a
  104. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/10/free-software-in-education-news-%E2%80%93-september/">also
  105. mentions the focus of the upcoming Document Freedom Day 2015</a>.</li>
  106. <li>Public administrations: The German town of <a
  107. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/105069">Gummersbach announced that this
  108. summer it has completed its switch to GNU/Linux PCs</a>, <a
  109. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/104519">England's Healthwatch switches
  110. to Free Software CiviCRM</a>, and a Free Software solution developed for the
  111. government of South Tyrol (Italy) to automatically test government websites and
  112. services is now <a
  113. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/tyrol-government-shares-test-tool-industry">also
  114. being used to probe sites of the region's tourism sector</a>.</li>
  115. <li>Our sister organisation invites Free Software enthusiasts to the <a
  116. href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/registration-opens-for-libreplanet-2015">libre
  117. planet conference 2015</a> in the US. Furthermore the <a
  118. href="https://www.fsf.org/news/the-free-software-foundation-opens-nominations-for-the-17th-annual-free-software-awards">nomination
  119. for the 17th annual Free Software Awards is open</a>, and you can send your
  120. nominations before Sunday 16 November.</li>
  121. <li><a href="http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/33455.html">Matthew Garret wrote a
  122. blog post on why he joined FSF's board</a>. But some of the comments he
  123. received are really offensive, and your editor hopes that Matthew can just
  124. ignore them. Related to this, your editor recommends you reading the article <a
  125. href="http://lwn.net/Articles/615192/">“On the sickness of our community”</a>
  126. by Jonathan Corbet. As always, if you have comments about it <a
  127. href="/contact/community.html">send them to our discussion
  128. lists</a>.</li>
  129. <li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
  130. <ul>
  131. <li>Computers are entering the fashion field from multiple directions.
  132. Current FSFE intern <a
  133. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/puster/2014/10/14/meshcon-2014/">Michele Marrali
  134. wrote about MeshCon 2014, a conference that connects fashion designer and
  135. technology experts</a>.</li>
  136. <li>André Ockers reports that <a
  137. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/ao/2014/10/28/dutch-public-broadcaster-moves-away-from-open-standards/">the
  138. Dutch public broadcaster NOS moves away from open standards</a></li>
  139. <li>Matija Šuklje <a
  140. href="http://matija.suklje.name/my-very-first-commit-to-kde">made his first
  141. commit to KDE and writes about FSFE's Fiduciary Licence Agreement</a></li>
  142. <li>Daniel Pocock <a
  143. href="http://danielpocock.com/positive-results-from-opw-2013">reports positive
  144. results from Outreach Program for Women</a></li>
  145. <li>Hugo Roy explains how he <a
  146. href="http://hroy.eu/posts/owncloud-encryption-defpub/">wrote a new defensive
  147. publication for ownCloud's file syncing encryption</a>.</li>
  148. </ul>
  149. </ul>
  150. <h2>Get active: Fix my document - ODF in EU bodies</h2>
  151. <p>The EU institutions still have a lot to do to remove barriers for Free
  152. Software users. Together with Open Forum Europe (OFE) your editor had a meeting
  153. with the IT responsible of the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament
  154. about that. We discussed <a
  155. href="/news/2014/news-20140326-02.html">our letter on video
  156. format</a> and the campaign “FixMyDocuments.eu”. This campaign was started by
  157. OFE to help EU institutions to implement <a
  158. href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/oss_tech/pdf/2011-07-25_ares.pdf">their
  159. decision to support Open Document Formats</a> FSFE's volunteers already
  160. translated the website in more languages, but now it is time for all of you to
  161. act.</p>
  162. <p>We would like you to <em>find EU institutions who offer non-free
  163. formats</em> on their website, without also publishing those documents in ODT,
  164. and then <em><a href="http://fixmydocuments.eu/?page_id=9">submit
  165. them</a></em>.</p>
  166. <p>Furthermore OFE encourages and will support anyone who wants to use the
  167. platform to cover other administrations.</p>
  168. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
  169. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  170. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
  171. <!--/e-content-->
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  183. <author id="kirschner" />
  184. <date>
  185. <original content="2014-11-04" />
  186. </date>
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