LinuxTag: Berlin to make better use of its open-source
At the opening of the trade fairs LinuxTag and IT-Profits the Senator of Economics of the German federal state of Berlin Harald Wolf announced in Berlin on Wednesday that his department would from 2008 on be switching to Linux. The controversial IT strategy of the federal state would moreover incorporate open standards to a greater degree, the Senator declared. The shape assumed by Berlin’s IT landscape had to be “an open one,” the politician, who is a member of the left-wing PDS, said, adding that “I very much want this to go beyond lip service.” This was the only way the 3,700 IT companies in the Berlin-Brandenburg Region, most of which were small and medium-sized enterprises, with their staff of 40,000 people in all, could develop cost-effective and adaptable applications, the Senator averred.
Mr. Wolf intends to set an unambiguous example for a more open approach in his own department. According to the Senator the servers within the traditionally Novell-supported network will next year migrate to Linux. This was in addition intended to keep the option open of implementing open source on the desktops of the department, he said. For Mr. Wolf, who also at times acts as the Mayor of Berlin, the general motto appears to be: “Not either/or but and.” He was banking on a “platform-neutral infrastructure,” he declared. The fact that the Federal Ministry of the Interior was prepared to act as patron to the LinuxTag event, though controversial in some quarters, underlined the importance accorded the topic of open source by the administration of the Federal Republic, especially with regard to critical applications, the Senator stated.
So far the Senate of Berlin, the government of the federal state, has been skeptical about a relentless migration toward free software. Towards the end of 2005 the parliament of the federal state of Berlin had called for the IT landscape of the capital including the approximately 58,000 workstations used by Berlin’s administration to be migrated to Linux and open-source programs. Since then Berlin’s Department of the Interior in particular has repeatedly countered the vision of the parliamentarians with its own open systems approach that takes its cue above all from current cost-effectiveness considerations and features heterogeneous systems. On the other hand members of Berlin’s IT economy have of late pushed for a realignment of the IT strategy of the federal state and demanded a shift of emphasis toward open source. (Robert W. Smith)
Source: Heise Online