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Linux, Unix, and Open Source in Poland


ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
21 Jan 2009 /  #1
During the last several years in Poland, the use of Open Source software and Operating Systems based on Linux / Unix have increased dramatically. Many local city and town governments have already overhauled their systems in favor of Open Source resulting in huge financial savings. Governments in Kraków, Katowice, Jaworzno, £eba, and Mniów can attest to the stability, performance, security, software availability, functionality, and financial savings of Linux / Unix.

Popular annual meetings such as "Meet BSD" and numerous other Linux get togethers attest to the growing popularity of Open Source. It is taking Poland by storm.

An excellent informational and reference oriented website in Poland is "PolishLinux.org". Here you will find many articles, news tidbits, tutorials, and reviews.

I recently attended an IT conference that focused on Open Source in Kraków, which had nice attendance. A fun time was had and the speakers provided some very interesting facts. It's nice to see that Waldemar Pawlak is an advocate of Linux / Unix as well.

What are your experiences with Open Source software and operating systems?

Ela
ukpolska  
21 Jan 2009 /  #2
I thought we had this discussion already in your other post.
Open Source software is great, but there is a reason why it is open source as the majority of the software around just tries to copy what is all ready out there.

There are the dedicated developers who want to keep the software open for all but they do this mainly as a hobby, but time and time again a few dollars waved in front of them has tempted many of them to sell their products to major players.

This will continue as developers would rather have money in their pocket than sit around poor.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Jan 2009 /  #3
One of my students has just written a book on Linux applications. Should you experience any technical problems, please let me know and I can refer you to him. I'm not so familiar with it myself. The PF member, Greg, is getting ever better at it. He is 'the leader'.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
21 Jan 2009 /  #4
I thought we had this discussion already in your other post.

The discussion of Linux on the other topic entitled, "Beware When Buying a Computer in Poland" was actually offtopic. I wanted to dedicate a thread specifically to Linux, Unix, and Open Source in Poland without being offtopic. There is so much more to talk about regarding this subject.

One of my students has just written a book on Linux applications. Should you experience any technical problems, please let me know and I can refer you to him.

That's great! Please ask him to contribute some remarks here about his views of Linux in Poland. I really would like to hear what he has to say. :-)

Computer Science / Information technology was a double major of mine along with Law during my undergraduate and graduate studies at University. I almost went into programming C++ / Java before I decided Law was my true ambition. Software copyright and legal issues relating to it are a specialty of mine.

While on the topic of Linux, please take a look at this must-read article in today's "New York Times" (Technology Section) entitled, "French Lawmakers Hope to Inspire Linux Revolution". It pertains to Poland and all of Europe.

Several excerpts:

- "If the French National Assembly gets its way, the open-source Linux operating system will take over the governments of Europe, seizing on a weak economy to displace Windows."

- "The French Parliament should save about 500,000 euros over the next five years, thanks to the low price of Ubuntu -- free -- and have lower management costs. Linux tends to have fewer security issues than Windows, for example."

- "With economic woes sweeping through Europe, Mr. Salles believes France can offer a cheaper model for other countries to follow."

Ela :-)
time means 5 | 1,309  
21 Jan 2009 /  #5
French National Assembly gets its way

probably more to do with microsoft being a non-french company.

ela two questions

1, is bill gates the anti-christ?

2, are you single?
ukpolska  
21 Jan 2009 /  #6
Just out of interest Ela, what kind of person in your eyes uses Linux because out of the professional I know and that's quite a few, I can only think of one IT in a University that uses it.

I know many people including myself that have dabbled with it, I even had it duel-booting on my system, but I took it off simply because I just didn't use it.

Now I am testing the new windows 7, which I have to say far outstrips anything that Linux can produce 'at the moment'.

The days of Linux and Open Source software passing themselves off as the righteous little man squaring up to the goliath of Microsoft are way gone, as they have jumped into the commercialism bed with many of the large players.

pcpro.co.uk/features/222588/has-opensource-sold-out.html

The Open-Source rich list

Mozilla Corporation
$1.5 to $4 billion - according to Wall Street
Makes its money from: its homepage and search bar deal with Google

Red Hat
$3.83 billion - the company's market cap
Makes its money from: providing support, training and integration to companies running its Enterprise Linux software

MySQL AB
$1billion - the sum Sun paid for the company in January

Zimbra
$375million - the price Yahoo paid for the company in 2007
The list goes on and on....

A favourite of mine is the case of Meedio, one of the best open source media centre software out there, and they sold their soul to yahoo who remarketed it as Yahoo GoTV. Pablo Pissanetzky the owner of the software made a tidy sum out of this. However, I still have it on my system, as it's a damn good media centre.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
22 Jan 2009 /  #7
1, is bill gates the anti-christ?

He's an exceptional innovator and businessman who came out with a great idea at the right time.

2, are you single?

Yes, I'm single with a 'good friend'.

Just out of interest Ela, what kind of person in your eyes uses Linux...

People in all walks of life regardless of status or education.

windows 7, which I have to say far outstrips anything that Linux can produce 'at the moment'.

MS Windows XP / Vista / 7, the operating itself, doesn't function better than Linux. It's bloated, doesn't come with an effective firewall, cannot be used on older PCs, constantly requires patches and fixes, and a new version comes out every several years. What it does have going for it are the many professional applications and games that are produced for it. There is big money involved due to MS being a for profit enterprise. Linux products are free, produced by both voluntary and for profit programmers. Take Canonical for instance. They program Ubuntu, which is totally free. However, they make their money by servicing it via customer assistance. Redhat, has their Enterprise Linux which you must pay for (Centos Linux is a free clone of Redhat Enterprise), and they produce Fedora Linux, which is free. Mozilla's Firefox and MySQL are still 'free' to download. That's what counts. Interesting article though.
ukpolska  
22 Jan 2009 /  #8
Have you tested windows 7?
sausage 19 | 777  
22 Jan 2009 /  #9
Does it come with IE8 as standard?
ukpolska  
22 Jan 2009 /  #10
Yes, but to be honest I don't use it as I use firefox and google chrome, although I would say there have been vast improvements in IE8.
Lotnik767 3 | 145  
22 Jan 2009 /  #11
Linux is a good software to know, it's much better then Windows!! At the beginning it was weird getting to know it but after some time working with it I got good at it, it uses different icons and files but I would recommend it to people and you could down load it for free to your standard PC. The school I went to for Engineering started teaching students Linux!!
sausage 19 | 777  
22 Jan 2009 /  #12
although I would say there have been vast improvements in IE8

No doubt, it was a bit buggy last time I tried it.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
22 Jan 2009 /  #13
Same here. I never use it at all now, I prefer other browsers.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
22 Jan 2009 /  #14
Have you tested windows 7?

Yes, at my friend's home recently. We tested OpenSuse Linux and MS Windows 7 on both an older AMD 1 GHz and a newer Intel Dual Core 2.6 GHz PC. Linux resulted in a much faster Operating system on both machines. The result doesn't surprise me.

I use Mozilla Firefox 3 on my computer systems. On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, KDE 4.2 will be coming out. That should be good.

The school I went to for Engineering started teaching students Linux!!

In Poland or the USA? That's great! :-)
szarlotka 8 | 2,208  
22 Jan 2009 /  #15
as they have jumped into the commercialism bed

It's just a maturing of Linux really. Big corporations trust Linux variations to run multi server applications but need the support to be readily available so the likes of Red Hat produce enterprise editions and charge for it. The cost of ownership is still less than the old mainframe/Unix models. For individuals and SMEs it is a cheap way of computing but for the big boys you don't want to rely upon your friendly device driver writing geek being sober enough to fix your problems. Still a way to go for open source RDBMS offerings in my view.
ukpolska  
22 Jan 2009 /  #16
I do take your points here; however, will I be giving up Windows for Linux? Certainly not. The inability to work with Word markup, problems with connecting to other OS machines, and difficulty in installing and updating software will mean that I'll be using Windows for the foreseeable future as I have no other choice for my translating company. :)
szarlotka 8 | 2,208  
22 Jan 2009 /  #17
The inability to work with Word markup,

To paraphrase an American president - "Its all about the applications stupid". IT history is littered with superior products that failed because the apps were better on other platforms. Ingres was far superior to Oracle as an RDBMS but Oracle produced application development tools and had superior marketing so they won. From a techncial viewpoint Windows has always been relatively poor but apps and amrketing will win.
ukpolska  
22 Jan 2009 /  #19
edit,,,
sausage 19 | 777  
22 Jan 2009 /  #20
Total cost of ownership of a piece of software includes the cost of the time taken to learn it. In the UK the man-hour cost of training may not make a switch to "free" software as viable as somewhere like Poland.
szarlotka 8 | 2,208  
22 Jan 2009 /  #21
szarlotka, you may live in a world where you have the luxury to play with systems in your bedroom, but in the real world, at least in my profession Linux is totally impractical. Most translators if not all use CAT tools, which are all designed for MS. When Linux pays some interest to the industry then and only then I will take a look at it.

Nice attack but read my post again. I was agreeing with you.

As for the bedroom bit it made me chuckle. My technical background is in the development of OS (MVS), TP Monitors (CICS) and RDMBS (lead designer of the optimiser for DB2). As for Linux I am currently running a programme that has approximately 40 servers (web, app, database, authentication, Directory Services, FTP etc) running Red Hat. In the general purpose server world Linux has come of age. In your market the apps you need are not supported. Which is what I was saying.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
22 Jan 2009 /  #22
Now, President Obama wants the US government to go Open Source, according to the article "Calls for open source government" in yesterday's (Wednesday, January 21, 2009) 'BBC News'.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7841486.stm

Excerpts:

- "The secret to a more secure and cost effective government is through open source technologies and products."

- "The government ought to mandate open source products based on open source reference implementations to improve security, get higher quality software, lower costs, higher reliability - all the benefits that come with open software."

So, the governments of the USA, Vietnam, France, City of Mannheim - Germany, Cities of Kraków, Katowice, Jaworzno - Poland, and many more have made or are in the process of making the move to Open Source. Really amazing. I think you'll see the local government of Warszawa doing it soon.
MyPolonia - | 13  
22 Jan 2009 /  #23
there is a reason why it is open source as the majority of the software around just tries to copy what is all ready out there.

Every body copies everybody, Macintosh copied GUI (Graphical User Interface) from Xerox labs. Xerox did not have enough vision to see what they had, and they allowed Macintish to use it. Than Windows jumped on the band wagon and made their own version of GUI.

And what is Windows NT but a copy of what BSD/ Linux were already able to do for servers before NT came out?

And if the Open Souce is copying other software, why was Xerox labs back in 70's was using UNIX to develop heir GUI on? Why did Macintish switch their OS and all OsX are based on BSD. And why did Micro$oft use BSD on their most used site "Hotmail"? Because NT did not have enough power to handle amount of traffic that Hotmail generates. Not untill recently did they swich to mostly Micro$oft code, but still not 100%

And there is a reason why 90% of internet servers are BSD / Linux based; power, reliability, security. And that is something that Micro$oft tries to copy.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
23 Jan 2009 /  #24
And if the Open Souce is copying other software, why was Xerox labs back in 70's was using UNIX to develop heir GUI on? Why did Macintish switch their OS and all OsX are based on BSD. And why did Micro$oft use BSD on their most used site "Hotmail"?

Excellent facts and all accurate. Unix (Which is OS-X, BSD, FreeBSD, Linux) preceded Microsoft. OS-X is indeed based on BSD (Unix) and Linux is nothing more than a modified clone of Unix. It all started with Unix. So, yes, who is copying who?

Here is a timeline, to be more specific:

--------------------------------------------------

- 1960's: Unix operating system was conceived and implemented

- 1970: Unix operating system first released.

- 1977 to 1995: Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, sometimes called Berkeley Unix) is the Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group of the University of California, Berkeley.

- 1980 to 1996: Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system, built on technologies developed at NeXT and during Apple's purchase of the company.

- 1984: The GNU Project, started by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" made entirely of free software.

- 1985: Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

- 1991: While attending the University of Helsinki, Linux Torvalds began to work on a non-commercial replacement for MINIX, a Unix-like system, which would eventually become the Linux kernel. For all intensive purposes, Linux and Minix are derived from Unix.

- 1996: The first official release of FreeBSD (a Unix-like system) 1.0.

--------------------------------------------------

It all started with Unix in the 1960's. BSD, OS-X, Linux, and FreeBSD are all derived from Unix. Microsoft came into the picture later.

Poland and Polish programmers are playing a vital role in the further development of Unix / Linux. If you go to The Linux Kernel Archives web page where the latest and greatest Kernel's are updated and released to the public, take a look at the release notes and you will see many Polish programmers making contributions to it. They also have contributed to numerous Open Source softare projects (KDE, Kexi, Mplayer, etc) and continue to do so.

The inability to work with Word markup, problems with connecting to other OS machines, and difficulty in installing and updating software will mean that I'll be using Windows for the foreseeable future as I have no other choice for my translating company. :)

Ukpolska, have you looked into using the popular and free (GPL - Open Source) translation memory (CAT) tool called "omegat.org"?

- "OmegaT is a free translation memory application written in Java. It is a tool intended for professional translators."

The OmegaT web site is in 17 langages, including Polish and English.

I performed a search on 'Google" for professoinal English / Polish translators, and almost every one of them listed in the search results indicate the use and knowledge of "OmegaT" in their credentials. It seems to me, it must be an excellent program, and free. This wouldn't be useful for and save your translation company money?

You mentioned an "inability to work with Word markup". Here is what I found in the OmegaT manual:

- "Note that OmegaT does not support the Microsoft Office 97-2003 binary file format directly. The user who needs to handle MS Office files will find it helpful to convert them using Open Office free software; the files can can then be saved in a Microsoft format, if desired, after the translation is finished."

This extra step, converting file formats between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice 3 for OmegaT isn't worth the financial savings? Now, here is something else I found: The current version, "Beta version 2.0.0 update 1" (from their website), directly supports MS Office 2007 file formats. Most likely, in a short time, that 'beta' will turn into a 'stable' version.

So, OmegaT, OpenOffice 3, Java, and Linux are free. What is missing and what can't OmegaT do for your translation work? Please give me some specific example if possible, and I will try to assist you with it. In fact, I'm going to install OmegaT right now, learn it well, and test it out for myself. You can then give me a specific issue that you encounter, and I will test it with OmegaT once I learn how to use it. We can run parallel tests with the same data if you wish.

OmegaT works on all OS platforms, including Linux, Unix, Windows, and Os-X. Sounds like a very good piece of software, and almost all professional translators that I saw listed in Google, use or have knowledge of OmegaT.
ukpolska  
23 Jan 2009 /  #25
Thanks Ela, but I will have to kindly decline as almost all translators use SDL TRADOS in Poland and I cannot dictate to translators who have been using these tools for years to suddenly change to something as they perceive as inferior and VERY rarely used. In fact before you mentioned this program I had never heard of it in eight years of working here.
enkidu 7 | 623  
24 Jan 2009 /  #26
Open source software if Free only if your own time is totally worthless.
And I know what I am talking about.
[haven't seen a Window for a last few years]
#######
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
24 Jan 2009 /  #27
Now I am testing the new windows 7, which I have to say far outstrips anything that Linux can produce 'at the moment'.

Could you throw in some examples?

The inability to work with Word markup, problems with connecting to other OS machines, and difficulty in installing and updating software will mean that I'll be using Windows for the foreseeable future as I have no other choice for my translating company. :)

What are you talking about?
It's not Linux which has any kind of problems connecting to other OS'es. It's the other OS'es whose owners make everything possible to make that connectivity impractical.

Still, I use Linux at work in various capacities on a few servers. You use it too. Likely in your router and godknows what other devices. Not to mention this forum and google, and heck, most of the Internet in general.

Open source software if Free only if your own time is totally worthless.

It is obvious that you are confusing the idea of open source with $0.00.
ukpolska  
25 Jan 2009 /  #28
Still, I use Linux at work in various capacities on a few servers. You use it too. Likely in your router and godknows what other devices. Not to mention this forum and google, and heck, most of the Internet in general.

I will agree with this, and as I said before in another posting on this subject Linux was primarily designed for servers and in this function it is outstanding, but as a mainstream OS it just doesn't cut it.

It's not Linux which has any kind of problems connecting to other OS'es. It's the other OS'es whose owners make everything possible to make that connectivity impractical.

Still, the fact remains that it is a problem in connecting Linux networks with Vista ask any IT worker, it's a bloody nightmare. And saying "It's the other OS'es whose owners make everything possible to make that connectivity impractical", is nonsense because I thought the whole idea of Linux was its flexibility in innovation.

Linux's biggest Achilles heel is software installation and updating. Installing some software is simple, but installing others is so baffling as to be nearly incomprehensible. The same holds true for updates; I ultimately gave up on even trying to update OpenOffice.org.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
25 Jan 2009 /  #29
Still, the fact remains that it is a problem in connecting Linux networks with Vista ask any IT worker

I am one. No issues with connecting Vista to Linux and the other way around. The only issue in this scenario there is Vista is not an OS suitable for business. I still buy WinXP for those who need windows.

nonsense because I thought the whole idea of Linux was its flexibility in innovation.

It is and if you know how Linux developed and then how and what MS "borrowed" from it you know your statements are false. Also, if you only knew the amount of effort MS put into killing Linux. Every time Linux developers knock down all the new hurdles MS is throwing in, they face new challenges. The most serious aren't technical at all. Some of the best minds work on Linux development. The biggest problems is MS's legalese.

Moreover, what has been Linux's nature since the very start (modular kernel) is only now about to be use by MS. Windows is a huge blob of unwieldy code that even MS admits is just to hard to manage and maintain. Hence Vista and Windows 7 is MS's following in Linux's footsteps.

I won't go into the very internet standards. Luckily they failed and the Internet is still not controlled by them.
ukpolska  
25 Jan 2009 /  #30
I am one. No issues with connecting Vista to Linux and the other way around. The only issue in this scenario there is Vista is not an OS suitable for business. I still buy WinXP for those who need windows.

I find that very surprising and I have to bow to your expertise, however I am just going on our IT's at the University that I work with and friends who are TPSA employees.

And I fully support that Vista is a big huge pile of dog poo that was just rushed out for financial reasons; however, I will never change my opinion on Linux which I have tried but detest as a OS, but that is my opinion, and we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

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