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

From: Kees Epema
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libre software for Berkeley, CA?
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:31:51 +0000

Hi Thomas,

I have no insights in endorsing free software to mid-sized US city officials, 
however I have tried convincing IT and non-IT managers in Dutch primary 
education, to favor free software over proprietary solutions.

Unfortunately my arguments were rejected, based on the following findings of 
these managers:

1. No ad-hoc professional support for Free Software 
2. Legal issues (What if free software causes data leakage?)
3. Problems finding free-software specialized companies
4. Expecting problems for end-users using free software interfaces 

I have tried to mitigate their concerns by:

1. Handing over a list of specialized free software companies
2. I opposed this argument by stating that proprietary software will always 
reject accusations, and there is no way to verify their arguments on 
data-leakage issues
3. See 1
4. I opposed by pointing that end-users were likely having no trouble when 
buying an iPad or Smartphone, which relies on a complete different interface 
and navigation compared to desktop-pc's or laptops

I am interested in more 'transition' stories!

Kind regards,
Kees Epema

On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:32:44 -0700
Thomas Lord <> wrote:

> 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?
> Thanks,
> -t
> 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)
> _______________________________________________
> libreplanet-discuss mailing list


Kees Epema
Rosa Spierweg 20
9408EV Assen
T: 06 100 66 878

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