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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2014-11-11" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2014</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body class="newsletter article" microformats="h-entry" id="nl-201411">
  7. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – November 2014</h1>
  8. <h2>Munich: facts harder than fiction</h2>
  9. <p newsteaser="yes">The city of Munich runs Free Software on more than 15.000 workplace
  10. computers <a href="">and has saved over
  11. 11.000.000€ in return</a>. During the migration to Free Software, they
  12. consolidated their heterogeneous IT in 51 places with 1000 IT employees and 22
  13. IT departments. Despite these challenges <a
  14. href=",3043464,2">most
  15. users are happy with the migration and say they do not want to switch back</a>
  16. (in German). And all of this happened in the front-yard of Microsoft's German
  17. headquarters.</p>
  18. <p>If you do not like the success of Free Software in Munich, what could you
  19. do? You could play on emotions and spread rumours that the Munich IT people are
  20. not taking the demands of regular users nor the executive into account. Of
  21. course, you have to stay vague, hoping to bring out a few of those voices that
  22. are always unhappy - but this is an easy way of discrediting the progress
  23. already made. This is what happened in the last months in Munich with remarks
  24. by the new mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD, Social Democrats) and his vice Josef
  25. Schmid (CSU, Christian Democrats). Some commentators have speculated about a
  26. connection to the fact that Microsoft is now moving its headquarter from
  27. Unterschleissheim to Munich, and <a
  28. href="">Reiter
  29. claiming that he helped with this deal</a> (in German). As Microsoft was the <a
  30. href="">biggest
  31. tax payer in Unterschleissheim</a> (in German), Munich will financially benefit
  32. by this move.</p>
  33. <p>But they seem to have underestimated the success of Free Software in Munich.
  34. <a
  35. href="">IT
  36. experts from their own political parties raised their voice to correct them</a>
  37. and <a href="/news/2014/news-20141016-01.html">others have uncovered their
  38. misleading statements</a>. Thus, the comments by the mayors represent only
  39. individual opinions. Munich's political support for GNU/Linux is strong, and
  40. the money the city saves and will continue to save by using GNU/Linux,
  41. LibreOffice/OpenOffice, and the Desktop from KDE counts profoundly. If Free
  42. Software can even survive a smear campaign by the mayors it shows that it is
  43. there to stay. Dear Free Software community: <em>be proud and spread the
  44. word!</em> But do not rest, the next attack will be more subtle.</p>
  45. <h2>EU wide Open Standards policy</h2>
  46. <p>But the answer to the inquiry includes another crucial point: the problem
  47. with document formats. The Munich IT managers noted that, at the beginning of
  48. their migration, the German federal states and the federal government
  49. highlighted the importance of Free Software and Open Standards, but afterwards
  50. never consequently went this path.</p>
  51. <p>In Germany, the lack of a clear Open Standard Policy is a major blocker for
  52. public administrations to use Free Software. In recent years, other European
  53. Countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden have done more to
  54. promote Free Software and Open Standards.</p>
  55. <p>On the European level, <a
  56. href="">the
  57. former Munich mayor asked the European Commission to implement two measures to
  58. enable participation with Free Software in EU projects</a>: First to have all
  59. document templates which are available in Microsoft Office formats, also in
  60. Open Document Text (ODT) format. Second that all presenter notebooks in the EU
  61. institutions also have a program installed which can handle Open Document Presentation
  62. (ODP) files. This was in 2011 and the European bodies have neglected
  63. implementing Open Standard policies for a long time.</p>
  64. <h2>Open Standard compliance checks</h2>
  65. <p>When institutions decide on Open Standards policies, this is just the first
  66. step. It is important to check this decision and to remind them about it. In
  67. 2010 as a Document Freedom Day activity our Fellows in Cologne and Bonn <a
  68. href="/news/2010/news-20100803-01.html">checked the German
  69. federal administrations after a decision that they have to be able to receive,
  70. edit, and send back ODF</a>. The FSFE found out that only 2 of 87 departments
  71. are conforming to federal open document regulations. This highlights the
  72. importance of being persistent and monitoring the implementation of such
  73. policies. Check out this month's “Get active” item with a specific suggestion
  74. how you can help with that within a few minutes.</p>
  75. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  76. <ul>
  77. <li>We are currently looking for interns again, <a
  78. href="/news/2014/news-20141017-01.html">especially in
  79. preparation of Document Freedom Day</a> but we also have <a
  80. href="/contribute/internship.html">general internship
  81. positions open from early January</a>. When Max Mehl saw the news item
  82. he published a <a
  83. href="">summary about his
  84. internship with FSFE</a>.</li>
  85. <li><a href="/news/2014/news-20141017-02.html">Together with
  86. the Italian consumer association ADUC, and the Italian group ILS, we asked</a>
  87. regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay
  88. for software they do not want or need.</li>
  89. <li>Local activities: Our Vienna group had their most active and successful
  90. Autumn ever. Franz documented how they participated in the three big events <a
  91. href="">Software
  92. Freedom Day, the biggest German speaking animal rights conference, and the Game
  93. City fair 2013</a>. Christian Kalkhoff from our Munich group gave a
  94. presentation about the groups activities at the GNU Hackers Meeting 2014. The
  95. <a
  96. href="">video
  97. is now online</a>. If you want to help with the organisation of the LibreOffice
  98. conference 2015, <a
  99. href="">Carsten
  100. Agger is still looking for assistance, as our Aarhus group will help at the
  101. event</a>.</li>
  102. <li>Spoiler alert: The last edition of the education news <a
  103. href="">also
  104. mentions the focus of the upcoming Document Freedom Day 2015</a>.</li>
  105. <li>Public administrations: The German town of <a
  106. href="">Gummersbach announced that this
  107. summer it has completed its switch to GNU/Linux PCs</a>, <a
  108. href="">England's Healthwatch switches
  109. to Free Software CiviCRM</a>, and a Free Software solution developed for the
  110. government of South Tyrol (Italy) to automatically test government websites and
  111. services is now <a
  112. href="">also
  113. being used to probe sites of the region's tourism sector</a>.</li>
  114. <li>Our sister organisation invites Free Software enthusiasts to the <a
  115. href="">libre
  116. planet conference 2015</a> in the US. Furthermore the <a
  117. href="">nomination
  118. for the 17th annual Free Software Awards is open</a>, and you can send your
  119. nominations before Sunday 16 November.</li>
  120. <li><a href="">Matthew Garret wrote a
  121. blog post on why he joined FSF's board</a>. But some of the comments he
  122. received are really offensive, and your editor hopes that Matthew can just
  123. ignore them. Related to this, your editor recommends you reading the article <a
  124. href="">“On the sickness of our community”</a>
  125. by Jonathan Corbet. As always, if you have comments about it <a
  126. href="/contact/community.html">send them to our discussion
  127. lists</a>.</li>
  128. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
  129. <ul>
  130. <li>Computers are entering the fashion field from multiple directions.
  131. Current FSFE intern <a
  132. href="">Michele Marrali
  133. wrote about MeshCon 2014, a conference that connects fashion designer and
  134. technology experts</a>.</li>
  135. <li>André Ockers reports that <a
  136. href="">the
  137. Dutch public broadcaster NOS moves away from open standards</a></li>
  138. <li>Matija Šuklje <a
  139. href="">made his first
  140. commit to KDE and writes about FSFE's Fiduciary Licence Agreement</a></li>
  141. <li>Daniel Pocock <a
  142. href="">reports positive
  143. results from Outreach Program for Women</a></li>
  144. <li>Hugo Roy explains how he <a
  145. href="">wrote a new defensive
  146. publication for ownCloud's file syncing encryption</a>.</li>
  147. </ul>
  148. </ul>
  149. <h2>Get active: Fix my document - ODF in EU bodies</h2>
  150. <p>The EU institutions still have a lot to do to remove barriers for Free
  151. Software users. Together with Open Forum Europe (OFE) your editor had a meeting
  152. with the IT responsible of the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament
  153. about that. We discussed <a
  154. href="/news/2014/news-20140326-02.html">our letter on video
  155. format</a> and the campaign “”. This campaign was started by
  156. OFE to help EU institutions to implement <a
  157. href="">their
  158. decision to support Open Document Formats</a> FSFE's volunteers already
  159. translated the website in more languages, but now it is time for all of you to
  160. act.</p>
  161. <p>We would like you to <em>find EU institutions who offer non-free
  162. formats</em> on their website, without also publishing those documents in ODT,
  163. and then <em><a href="">submit
  164. them</a></em>.</p>
  165. <p>Furthermore OFE encourages and will support anyone who wants to use the
  166. platform to cover other administrations.</p>
  167. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  168. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  169. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="">FSFE</a></p>
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  182. <author id="kirschner" />
  183. <date>
  184. <original content="2014-11-04" />
  185. </date>
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