Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Geneva to migrate to Ubuntu

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase
The original article is in French, but here's a machine translation, courtesy of Babelfish.

Schools: data processing in free software

Appeared on Friday May 22, 2009
Geneva PARTICIPATIVE step - From here at 2013, the computers of the primary education will turn with an operating system GNU/Linux and software .

The Genevese school gradually will migrate towards free software to equip the computers with the teaching body and those of the pupils. As of the autumn, two establishments of the primary education will essuieront the plasters with, in support, a serious support data-processing. Each one of them will be able indeed to count over one half-time of data processing specialist placed at his disposal to operate this change. From here at 2013, the whole of the elementary school should have thus migrated towards free software. After the primary education, since 2010, the Cycle and higher education should couple. With a score of establishments which will have made their data-processing revolution by 2013.
Progressive migration
In light, the operating system Windows XP for and MacOS for Macintosh will be gradually abandoned for free software and open (of which the source code is not locked and property of a multinational). The alternative in software “open source” is currently called Ubuntu. It is used relatively little, contrary after office automation Open Office which already was essential on the DIP [1]. Very complete, it comprises, in addition to a word processing, spreadsheves or what to make a presentation of the Powerpoint type.
Participative step
For the State, the advantages are multiple. “The information managed by the State is a strategic resource of which accessibility by the administration and by the citizens, perenniality and safety can be guaranteed only by the use of open standards and of software whose source code is opened to the public”, can one read in the plan of deployment. The process engaged by the Service school-media (SEM) wants to be participative. The process was carried out in a transparent way, on the public place as of the beginning. Result, five schools expressed interest to be pilot project. “It is of very good omen for the continuation”, is delighted Manuel Grandjean, director of the SEM. The state education is for him a good place to implement this migration. “The work of teacher largely integrates collaboration and the pooling of resources”, notes it. In the credit of 26 franc million voted recently by the Great Council to implement the administration on line, a part will be assigned to the installation of the tools allowing this collaboration.
In Geneva and in the world
A platform is being worked out to make it possible to exchange, for example, of the teaching equipment. What is currently already the case, but within a less ergonomic framework and especially partially reserved for the teaching body. The project of the SEM theoretically envisages the provision of this material“, with very whole planet” according to a creative licence common which guarantees the intellectual property but authorizes any noncommercial use. “One is truly in a defense of the community property”, explains Manuel Grandjean. The idea of the free software is well that of a pooling and a resource sharing. Not to plunder the work of the others. “The State of Geneva contributes actively to this software”, underlines the director of the SEM, “for example, we develop a system of multi-media classroom that any school will be able to then use. And if an establishment of another continent contributes a share there, we will be perhaps taking of this improvement.”
All is not transferable
This passage towards the free software will not be complete. “In certain fields, it is not possible to completely do without Microsoft or of Macintosh”, Mr. Grandjean summarizes. Which? “We are testing a system which will replace the laboratories languages equipped with Revox old men, who are thirty years old. However, in this field, it would seem that Macintosh is the reference. One will not change Ferrari for a 2CV just because it is open source.” The step taken on the level of the DIP lies within a vaster scope, namely a progressive migration of the data processing of the State towards free software. Many data-processing waiters of the cantonal administration turn already with GNU/Linux, the platform most adapted for this data processing managed by professionals. But in the more current uses, the next stages will concern, for example, the generalization of Open Office in all the State. I
SEM: plan of deployment 2009-2013

It looks like they're serious.


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