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12.20.09

Hungary Pulls Ahead of the UK in Open Standards Adoption

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flags of Hungary

Summary: Stronger policy in Hungary to facilitate adoption of Free software; mere promises in the UK seen as insufficient

LAST WEEK we wrote about the ongoing transformation of Hungarian ICT. It is no longer about "mixed source" companies like Novell and to a large degree it is also about open standards like ODF (since early in the year). Slashdot has this update which translates an article written in Hungarian and summarises it as follows: “Mandatory Use of Open Standards In Hungary”

“Hungarian Parliament has made the use of open standards mandatory by law in the intercommunication between public administration offices, public utility companies, citizens and voluntarily joining private companies, conducted via the central governmental system. The Open Standards Alliance initiating the amendment aims to promote the spread of monopoly-free markets that foster the development of interchangeable and interoperable products generated by open standards, and, consequently, broad competition markets, regardless of whether the IT systems of interconnecting organizations and individuals use open or closed source software. In the near future, in spite of EU tendencies the Alliance seeks to make its approach – interoperability based on publicly defined open standards – the EU norm under the Hungarian presidency of the European Union in 2011. To that end, it will promote public collaboration – possibly between every interested party, civil and political organization in the European Union. What do you think: what would be the best way to cooperate?”

Over in the UK, Simon Phipps points out that an inquiry leaves much to be desired. Linking to a government department’s written answer and statement, he claims that “this answer makes it clear that although the Labour government may have posted an “action plan” on open source and open standards, it does not expect any “action” on anyone’s part – otherwise it would have a set of metrics in place and a monitoring scheme devised.” Microsoft still has tremendous influence over the British government.

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