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[libreplanet-discuss] libre software for Berkeley, CA?

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] libre software for Berkeley, CA?
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:32:44 -0700
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Do any readers of this list have experience helping a city,
particularly a mid-sized US city, begin to transition from
proprietary software systems to libre systems?  If so, I would
be grateful to hear your experience and advice.

I live in Berkeley California, and will soon be discussing libre
software with some city officials.  Currently, Berkeley
exclusively uses proprietary software in its offices.  Elected
officials use a corporate email service with poor privacy
policies to keep in contact with constituents.  City Council
meetings and other important meetings are live streamed, but the
format requires recent versions of flash, and the vendor who
provides the streaming service both has poor privacy policies,
and refuses to support formats libre viewers can handle.

Most immediately, I will try to help one elected official adopt
libre, and more privacy-respecting solutions to keeping in
contact with constituents.  I'm not sure what direction to
prioritize beyond that.

Does anyone have related experience or suggestions?


Thomas Lord
Berkeley, CA USA

p.s.: Perhaps of relevant interest is this ordinance from the
Berkeley Municipal Code, adopted in 2011.  It provides both
constraints and support for adapting libre software:

2.06.170 Technology standards.

A.  To provide for the accessibility of electronic information
on the City’s website, the City shall:

1.  Meet or exceed the guidelines for accessibility specified by
the Federal General Services Administration pursuant to Section
508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d) as it may be
amended from time to time.

2.  When feasible within resource constraints, use open,
non-proprietary, standards-based data formats on public facing
information systems. When platform-specific formats must be
used, provide an alternate format or a viewer to consume the
file types.

3.  Make audio and video available for both download and
streaming using open, cross-platform, standards-based formats,
accessible by a broad range of computer operating systems and
portable devices.

4.  When feasible within resource constraints, avoid web content
types that are not compatible across browsers (such as Flash).

5.  Make substantive website changes trackable in an open,
cross-platform, standards-based journal format (such as RSS).

B.  Nothing in this Section shall require programming a computer
to respond to a request for information or to release
information that would violate a licensing agreement or
copyright law. (Ord. 7166-NS § 1 (part), 2011)

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