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.
Sounds like I was fortunate to miss Romania’s borefest with France and although the draw is a good result for Romania, the country is likely to struggle to progress beyond the group stages.
When it comes to open source adoption, Romania is also well behind some of it European neighbours, although given the socio-political changes that have taken place in Eastern Europe in the last 20 years it is no surprise that the maturity of the IT industry in many countries is well behind what we see in Western Europe and the US.
Romania has come along way since the fall of Ceausescu’s government, as this overview of open source adoption indicates, but widespread adoption remains limited due to the market for – or adoption of -personal computers and broadband Internet services still being in its early stages (please see the comments section below for further explanation).
In that regard there is huge opportunity for open source software in countries like Romania to drive local industry. There is vibrant grassroots support for open source in the country, and the ROSI initiative was formed in 2006 to unite local groups and promote open source. ROSI has organized the eLiberatica event, which this year attracted some of the biggest names in the industry to Bucharest.
Despite the grassroots support, large scale open source adoption projects are relatively thin on the ground. An open source library system has been created for managing administration of public libraries and was funded by both the Romanian and Italian governments. Meanwhile eLearning vendor Timsoft has created an open source e-learning project in cooperation with the Politehnica University in Timisoara and the University of Helsinki.
SocrateOpen is a Romanian ERP/CRM software package based on Compiere.
And another thing:
If Romania isn’t already twinned with Vancouver it probably should be. eLiberata organizers Lucian Savluk and Zak Greant are both based in Vancouver, while the family of Mozilla Messaging CEO, Vancouver resident, and eLiberata speaker this year, David Ascher, hail from North of the Bucharest. This and other great facts can be found here.
As always we welcome your input. If you have examples of open source adoption in Romania that we’ve overlooked, please leave a comment below. For more stops on the European tour, see this post.