back to article Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament. The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting definition of popular

    Not all parliamentary moves in the Netherlands have proved so popular. Earlier this week, the state's Senate passed a strict net neutrality position that would bar preferential internet traffic completely. The local T-Mobile office has already said it will sue over the rules, and industry associations are up in arms.

    I'm sure large corporations like those would agree that the net neutrality provisions are unpopular (within they cosy club). I would suggest that what the 17 million people living there think is probably a better measure of their popularity, though.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Interesting definition of popular

      Many of those 17 million don't understand the first thing about net neutrality and want their "free" netflix.

      Not understanding how zero-rating can affect competition and pricing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change because of the change?

    I'm a big advocate of open source software because I believe that it's much safer and more transparent than software which comes with risks of hidden agenda's. And it can work. Take a look at foundations such as the FreeBSD foundation (personal favorite), the Free Software foundation and Apache (to name three).

    However...

    I'm not much in favor of governments setting out rules to use open source software merely because it's open source software. Get the software which is right for the job and which does the job best. If that is an open source solution: brilliant! But if the current environment can also support the new standards then please don't start changing stuff merely because of the change.

    Because I can only shudder at the thought of the massive amounts of tax money which will go down the drain with that.

    Such stories always remind me of that German city counsel which was determined to remove all Microsoft influence and switch everything onto Linux and open source software. They lasted for 3 or 4 years, completely exhausted their budget (even went over it) and eventually switched back again. Partly because of costs (read: because of total mismanagement).

    Pick open source software because it's the best candidate for the job, not just because it's open source software.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Change because of the change?

      Pick open source software because it's the best candidate for the job, not just because it's open source software.

      This is not about Open Source software, this is about open file formats. It's about preventing lock-in to any one vendor's products, and about allowing users to pick the best candidate for the job.

      If you actually like Microsoft Office you can use it -- MS Office has had support for Open Document formats since Office 2010. The point is that with these new rules you don't have to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Change because of the change?

      If we allow proprietary formats, Open Source software is locked out.

      It we *require only* open formats, Open Source and Closed Source software can both be used.

      And then we can "Pick open source software [if] it's the best candidate for the job".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Change because of the change?

        Does it allow for propriety when the open source equivalent is utter crap or non-existent?

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Change because of the change?

          Does it allow for propriety

          Oh dear, another of the orthographically challenged chimes in… ;-)

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Change because of the change?

      Such stories always remind me of that German city counsel…

      I suspect you mean Munich but probably not their counsel. So you can get off your hobbyhorse and check a dictionary!

      Anyway this is a different situation: this isn't about open source per se but open formats. Technically Office OpenXML is an open format but, as someone who knows it intimately, I'd much rather work with ODF. As might even the engineers at Microsoft. A couple of years ago I preferred working with OpenOffice but I think Microsoft has recently got its arse in gear and dropped some of the stupider UX stuff and Office 2016 is currently the best of the bunch. Especially when it comes to the mobile versions.

      However, as I generally produce stuff programatically I'm dependent upon the file format remaining open.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: German city coucil

      That get trotted out time and time again, mostly because a new mayor complained in 2014. However I see no news of any actual change back, For example the time line here cover that (with some references to check up on):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux#Timeline

      Also you have a chicken and egg problem, if everyone is using something like docx which is not-quite-standard you have compatibility issues (a bit like MS has with differing versions of Word but to a smaller degree). By mandating odt standard you get an impetus to improve behaviour both in LibreOffice and MS Office (which can do odt, it just bitches about it to discourage its use).

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Change because of the change?

      Perhaps you could provide a link to how Munich switched back to Windows. But you are a troll and you won't mention Munich because then commentards could check you claims, and that would spoil your trolling. Munich is doing fine and saving money.There was a long term goal and some at Microsoft are still disturbed about Munich.

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Change because of the change?

      @ShelLuser, had a look at your previous comments just now and perhaps I had no good reason for calling you a troll, but then again what prevented you from entering "limux" into the search engine of your choice as the saying goes.

      So here we go on the state of Limux in Munich.

      http://www.ocsmag.com/2015/08/24/no-munich-is-not-considering-ditching-linux-and-going-back-to-windows/

      Quite a project indeed and I am not surprised at the amount of "politics" around it. The state of things in the video.

      And on TechRepublic we find this.

      http://www.techrepublic.com/article/after-three-years-of-linux-munich-reveals-draft-of-crunch-report-that-could-decide-its-open-source/

      "Across the council there are about 20,000 Linux-based PCs used by staff alongside about 4,163 Windows-based PCs, with Windows generally used where line of business software cannot run on anything else."........

      " The staggered nature of updates to client PCs is reflected in the spread of operating system versions used by the council. The most up to date clients run LiMux 5.x, based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is run on about 45 percent of machines, 32 percent run version 4.1 and 23 percent run version 4.0.

      Of the Windows machines, about 77 percent run Windows 7, nine percent run Windows XP / Vista and 14 percent run Windows 2000. The report gives the impression that managing Windows clients is more difficult because of the extent to which the configuration of each machine and installed software varies between departments, as well as processes for managing Windows machines being less well-established."

      It does require guts to pull a project like this and I wish the town I live in had some of that. Also note how much Munich has contributed to LibreOffice.

  3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Communications v comms

    > Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament.

    I read 'communications' to means 'comms' and thought: "Surely they can't have any Token Ring and DECnet left to replace?"

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