[Linux-aus] [Fwd: Re: [xxxxxxx] FW: Re: S.A. Parliament - Ubuntu Matter of Interest]

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Sun Dec 3 11:02:03 UTC 2006

Hi folks

> > This draft seems incorrect to me."The most popular at the current time
> > is called 'Ubuntu Linux'" in particular and that's no suprise seeing
> > the names on the forwarded emails (marketting != popularity).

As replied to LinuxSA list the Ubuntu distribution focus was chosen by
the Family First party team working on the speech. I have been
supplying them with supporting information and a list of foss
advocates in SA which is distribution neutral except for the
coversheet which I have been asked to provide an intro to Ubuntu on,
(I havent finished that yet, it needs editing).
The CDs which will be distributed at the time will be Ubuntu Dapper.
I have also been sending the comments back to the FF party so they can
consider your responses to the draft.

> > I'd like to think that if adoption of a non-MS was to go forward,
> > they'd chose a distro better suited than Ubuntu which itself is
> > pitched as a 'dummies guide'  to linux.

As an introductory CD for people to get their first taste of Linux yes
this is correct.
As that is the goal for the speech as a matter of interest for people
to think about something new and to have an easy first try of it
perhaps it has been chosen for this reason specifically.

> > This ideological one-sided speech pitched to those who don't
> > necessarily know better shouldn't be supported, especially when it
> > doesn't provide any justification to it's points. What happens when
> > someone sneezes and the system locks up, or new development is
> > required to address a bug or new feature? The FOSS zealots don't
> > mention the hidden cost of open source adoption.

Again the speech has been drafted by the Family First Party.
I did provide information but it was more generic. As you can see from the docs.
The kinds of things I covered were more along the issues in the questions list
they were more challenging overall so I can see why a more positive or
newsy approach is being chosen.

It needs to be around 600 words long and they have taken a light newsy
approach. In 600 words they are unlikely to be able to cover the ins
and outs of specific distributions and matrices for deployment in
specific contexts.

If this initial offer by the Family First Party goes well perhaps it
will provide opportunities to further explore technologies and
projects specifically.
Perhaps people would be be interested in talking to the Family First
Party about
how they would like to follow up on their speech.

> ++++++++++++++++
> "My one cent worth on open source software......
> Open source software is not really free as Matt said. The cost of free
> open source software is migration, maintenance and reliability issues.

The cost of *any* change of platform will include migration costs.
Including from Windows 2K to Vista.
All systems require maintenance although I believe that spam and virus
issues are far reduced on Linux based systems.
Indeed I see part of the benefit as being a shift from trade deficit
expenses on license subscription to using these funds for training
local people and being able to engage in development locally, and even
being able to use the developed assets across SA for different groups
with no further expense.
Local capacity building focus on spending in IT.

> That is why it is currently used mostly for running non-critical or
> highly expensive infrastructure (which require less reliability).

I am sorry but I am having trouble parsing that sentence.
Linux is used on the most expensive systems because those systems
don't need to be reliable?? Perhaps you meant Linux is often used on
critical infrastructure because it performs reliably

> So it remains largely with enthusiasts and much of the commercial use is found
>   to be delivering non critical web content, internet services and other
> non critical internet-related services.

Many people would consider their internet facing technologies to be
critical services for their businesses.

> These are only the areas where
> level of reliability of free open source software is good enough to be
> used. Where more reliable services are required, it is more of Unix
> flavours which are more often used than Linux.

Yes there are Unix based platforms which provide critical services.
I will leave it to others on list to talk about their use of Linux for
critical systems.

> There are plenty of GUI's which work well with Unix or any Linux versions used
> at the backend. So the most used server have Unix/Linux flavours and destop level softwares are either Novell or Microsoft or even legacy DOS used in some
> countries.

France, Italy, Brazil, Nuremburg are some of the places currently
looking at Linux systems. Novell is a linux distribution and is being
looked at by at least one government group in SA.

> To replace an operating system there are some main areas
> whihc need first attention when migrating to open source software. Costs
> include
> change of hardware,

> retraining staff,
Yes for any change, including between versions of MS Windows,
I see training as a good thing?

> additional expert maintenance staff,
Using Linux Terminal Server Project for example it is possible to
reduce the amount of administration required to service a given number
of users, especially with reduced concerns about virii.

> buying online support 24/7,
This would be something dependent on the business model and the
critical nature of the system and unrelated to the operating system
chosen surely?

> design and implementation of addtional redundancy to have 100% backup in case of breakdown.
Redundancy and good backup systems are often characteristics of a well
planned system yes. They again can be characteristics of a network
regardless of platform. And hopefully would be?

> This is why the Sun software (I am taking this only as a
> successful business model example) with its well designed GUI has been
> made free and they are selling training and support for princely sums.
> Everybody has a right to make money.... Don't They? How much is the
> question. The proponent of open source software does make a business
> case before switching to open source and also have to keep in mind the
> longevity of such change.
> Availability of expertise and also cost effectively will be a major
> factor in such decisions. So if anyone is a policy maker who reads this
> email should do more research into such decisions regarding open software.

Indeed. Yes support, training, development, integration are all ways
that foss based businesses earn income. The distinction is that the
technologies are safe to adapt, will not be turned off at the end of
the license period, can be reused freely adapted, customised
regardless of whether the specific firm you hired initially is still

> Also.... each flavour of Unix/Linux is different and some are more
> reliable in some areas than others. This demands careful planning when
> switching and planning its long time support. Each business/organisation
> has different operational procedures and may need different scale of
> reliability and operational flexibility in the operation of its computer
> systems, which will also affect the choice of software used.


> Unfortunately Microsoft has set the path for unreliable and inefficient
> software writing......


> Well, we shall feel this for a long time to come, even in open source software development.

One of the features of open source development is that the code can be
seen. This means it is possible for more people to be able to optimise
and update code improving the overall quality of the technologies.

I think that it is an great to have a political party volunteering to
talk about free software. The Greens and Democrats have been
interested in these technologies.
The Family First Party is looking at the technologies this week.

I think that the DMCA will have an impact on AU developers and systems
integrators across the board and that getting people thinking about
what we are able to do locally with information and technology is the

All the best


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