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[ossig] The City of Munich praises Linux at the workplace



http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/74868

The City of Munich praises Linux at the workplace

The City of Munich's LiMux project center is rejecting charges by the
Senate administration of Berlin that the migration to free software has
gotten stuck before it ever got going. As Project director Peter Hofmann
told heise online, "Open Source software at the workplace is a reality
in Munich." At the end of May, his department presented the future basis
client to the public at in information day. At present, the pilot phase
is focusing on a software suite. The approximately 100 pilot users
include Mayor Christian Ude and his deputy Christine Strobl. Hofmann
added that "most users" in the city's administration use individual Open
Source programs to surf the net, write e-mails, or edit graphics, for
example, "on the Microsoft Windows operating system, which remains
dominant."  


Last week, Berlin's IT State Secretary Ulrich Freise explained in the
Senate building that a manager in Munich had told him that migration to
Linux had "failed in reality" there. Florian Schießl of the LiMux
project office told heise online, "We have no idea how the Berlin Senate
came to this conclusion." In the fall, Munich will be officially putting
version 1.0 of the basis client into operation. Among other things, the
beta version has a system called "Wollmux" for text components that can
be used to create letterheads and forms. Wollmux is programmed in Java
and is therefore platform-neutral, though in this specific case it works
as an application with OpenOffice.

But Munich is not making everything out to be "pie in the sky." Schießl
admits that migrating current data "is very time-consuming." Hofmann
adds, "Here, we are mainly moving towards platform-neutral solutions,
especially web solutions." "Wherever this is not possible or
economically feasible, we use intermediate solutions." Such solutions,
he explained, allow the city to do without professional software via
emulators, for instance, for the Linux-based basis client, thus
preventing expensive new investments.

In general, only some 80 percent of PC workstations used by the city
government of the capital of Bavaria are to be migrated to Linux.
Hofmann said that migrating the remaining 20 percent would neither be
technically nor economically feasible at the moment. From the beginning,
he points out, a "soft migration" had been planned from 2004 to 2008,
partly to allow enough time for the 300 cases currently being processed
to be migrated. Schießl says that a lot of the applications -- such as
registrations for license plates or services for resident registration
-- are already running on the Web-based applications that are
platform-neutral.

Hofmann also admitted that there were delays, as claimed in Berlin. For
instance, an important call for tenders was postponed in the fall of
2004 because the city administration was concerned about the potential
effects of the EU directive on the patentability of software that was
planned but, in the end rejected by the EU parliament. After the
postponement, it turned out to be harder than expected to compare the
tenders, so that an additional round of negotiations was held. But the
project director said that the project has been running smoothly since
then. (Stefan Krempl) (Craig Morris) / (jk/c't)



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