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Open source tour of Europe: Czech RepublicMatthew Aslett, June 17, 2008 @ 9:23 am ET
To coincide with EURO 2008, I’m embarking on a virtual European tour, taking a quick look at open source policies and deployment projects in the 16 nations that are competing in the tournament.
The Czech Republic team was just three minutes away from qualifying for the knockout stages of EURO 2008 on Sunday before Turkey managed to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win. Publicly available information on Czech open source deployment projects suggests that the country has had rather more luck when it comes to open source.
There was early success in 2001 when Prague began to migrate wholesale to open source software, while in 2003/4 the Vysocina Region deployed two open source-based projects: e-PUSA, the electronic portal of the regional self-governments and KEVIS, the regional registration and information system.
The e-PUSA backoffice portal links Czech regional and local governments to facilitate data sharing and was expanded in 2005 to connect to the then Ministry of Informatics, and the Ministry of Interior (which later subsumed part of the Ministry of Informatics).
2004 also saw the migration of Czech Post to Linux for 4,000 servers at 3,400 post offices across the country, as well as at 12,000 client terminals used by 20,000 employees. Novell’s SUSE Linux got the nod for both server and desktop roll-outs. Other deployment projects include long-term adoption in Ostrava.
Following these projects the then Informatics Minister decided to encourage the use of open source and helped form the OSS Alliance to provide technical analysis, recommendations, cases studies and support services to schools and public administrations.
A survey of open source usage followed, as well as the Open Government 2006 conference and training courses for students in Linux, Mozilla and Thunderbird. Since then, however, news of open source projects has run dry.
As was pointed out in the comments below, Liberix is a Czech non-profit organization set up to support the development, documentation, translation, and distribution of free and open source software.
Additionally, as noted by Kyo in the comments, the Czech Republic recently signed two strategic agreements with Microsoft for software licensing and a proposed security partnership that are designed to save the government CZK 700 million ($42m). Those may well have an impact on future open source deployments.
And another thing:
Red Hat invested 1.3m euros in opening a development centre in Brno in the Czech Republic in 2007. As I pointed out at the time, based on my limited experience of Brno if extraordinarily cheap lager, good food, bizarre desserts, strange tequila shot combinations, friendly locals and a warm welcome is what Red Hat had in mind, then it chose the right place.
As always we welcome your input. If you have examples of open source adoption in the Czech Republic that we’ve overlooked, please leave a comment below. For more stops on the European tour, see this post.
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