Vietnam joins Asianux

Vietnam joins Asianux open source alliance

Vietnam joined the Asianux open source alliance last week.  This is definitely good news if you are a fan of open source software in Vietnam such as myself.

From TMCnet:

During the past four years, Vietnam has adopted policies designed to encourage the development and application of OSS, resulting in a total of between 14,000 and 20,000 personal computers using OpenOffice, Firefox, Unikey and other free software.

There seems to be more of an interest in open source software in Hanoi then down here in Saigon.  I hope the Linux users down here can get more active in 2009.  For myself, I know I have introduced about 150-200 students to BSD/Linux and open source software for their first time :-)

Read more of the article here -> http://hdvoice.tmcnet.com/news/2008/12/06/3838095.htm


Comments

  1. Tracy Reed says

    Have you ever found an official pronouncement or legislation or anything regarding these pro-FLOSS policies? I find people saying such policies have been adopted but have been totally unable to prove for fact that it is true. It would seem to lend credibility to promoting FLOSS in Vietnam if you could say Resolution 1234 from the People’s Committee of Whatever says you should use FLOSS. And who in Vietnam is the person responsible for these 14,000 and 20,000 desktops using OpenOffice, Firefox, and Unikey? Sounds like it would be nice to know this person.

  2. Ken says

    Is there any compatibility issue with going with OSS? For example your company is running an OSS but your client is running Microsoft or what not. And then there’s the issue of cost effectiveness. I mean this involves hiring a whole team of programmer or contracting with a OSS provider firm, and then there’s ongoing technical support and maintenance. Would going OSS simplify or complicated a company’s operation? 20,000 in a country of millions isn’t quite very impressive. I know OSS Is great for personal use because everything is customizable, but put it into a corporate environment and it may be a different story.

  3. Tracy Reed says

    These days compatibility issues are rare for all of the basic stuff. OpenOffice can read/write Word/Excel etc. That covers most of it. If anything you might want to have a token Windows box in the office just in case something odd comes up. But if you stick with standard protocols like HTTP and avoid Active Directory (although this can be made to work also, it is a pain) and other proprietary lock-in issues it is no problem.

    Do you have to hire a whole team of programmers or contract with Microsoft to support Windows? If so you can do the same with OSS. But I bet you simply developed in-house Windows skills, right? You can do the same with OSS.

    I have run OSS in corporate environments on many occasions. Check out http://drjays.com They are all OSS with a few Macs. No windows anywhere. All of the employees who process the orders and answer the customer service phones use Linux on their desktops. All of the warehouse workers who fulfill the orders use Linux on their workstations. The handheld barcode scanners they use in their ERP system even run Linux. The web servers are Linux, the phone system is Linux, the database is MySQL on Linux, everything is OSS. And it works great. Interactivate.com is mostly OSS. CuttEdge.com is all Linux as well. I know of many all-Linux or nearly so corporate environments. It works.

    You don’t normally go OSS overnight. You start by going with FireFox and OpenOffice on the Windows desktops. And you migrate the server infrastructure to OSS and get your staff some OSS training either by sending them to classes or hiring a guru to get you started. Then as your people get up to speed you start moving more and more services over to OSS. Desktops going to OSS are usually the last step.

    But it takes someone at the head of the company with some real vision and commitment to pull this off. A few years ago OakWest, a big furniture manufacturer here in San Diego with a couple hundred employees, went to OSS for all of their server infrastructure. Databases, email, file server, firewall, etc. There was the usual hand-wringing and doubting from some staff members who tried to slow things down. But the CTO was committed to the process and understood FOSS and pushed it down their throats. Those who didn’t want to get with the program were told they were welcome to leave. They were dinosaurs and about to become extinct. The company does their manufacturing in Mexico (very nearby San Diego) and is under a lot of pressure from China on price. They need to cut costs anywhere they can to remain competitive. Throwing lots of money at software was not something they could afford.

    In the end everyone decided that OSS wasn’t such a bad thing after all and stuck with it. Now they are nearly Microsoft-Free and saving a lot of money on software licensing, anti-virus, and most important of all: downtime. Their servers run for years now. And they are profitable again. They hope their competitors all run Windows for everything.

    20,000 people using OSS is more than enough to prove it works. Getting people over the fear of trying something different is the key to growing that number. It is amazing how fearful people are of learning something new.

    Either pay the price of migration once now or forever pay Microsoft a lot more.

  4. says

    But it takes someone at the head of the company with some real vision and commitment to pull this off.

    You hit it on the nail Tracy. There is just too many guys at the top who just do not understand technology in general. The guys at the bottom are just too lazy, perhaps complacent, to learn.

  5. Ken says

    Well, I don’t dispute that it does work; in fact, I know that it works more efficiently. The hurdle you’ve mention is true, large corporation would definitely have a very hard time switching to OSS, not from a technical standpoint but in a decisional one. It would really take a lot of convincing at the top and that person at top would need a lot convincing to the bottom. Tell employees they can leave the company isn’t as easy as it sounds; especially, if that employee is a highly productive employee. But like you said, it really takes somoene at the top that has made it his/her mission to go OSS; that in itself is one of the major hurdle. Nonetheless,the biggest hurdle of all is that children are taught from grade with Microsoft software and applications and so it’s difficult to sell someone something they know very little about.

  6. Tracy Reed says

    Children are not the problem. Children are smart and can figure anything out. They adapt to Linux faster than anyone because they have no bias.

    I think we should look at computer education similarly to how we look at reading, writing, and arithmetic: Teach fundamentals. It does not matter what particular operating system you learn on if you learn the basic fundamental ideas. Know what the cpu, disk, memory do, that is just a machine mechanically cranking out computations, that files are organized into directories/folders and that icons and menus are often used to start programs etc. Then you can use Windows, Mac, Linux, or whatever will be the OS of the future. It is the difference in getting a well rounded education that enables you to take on almost any task vs a purely vocational education that trains you to work only in a very specific and menial field and unable to take on anything outside your field.

    In a large sized company it is rare that there is any one employee who is worth more than the years of ongoing license fees and downtime that comes with being a Microsoft shop. In the case of Oak West it was a case of either the employees adapt or leave or the whole company goes out of business.

  7. Ken says

    I guess you misunderstood my point about children using Microsoft in school. My point is that it is instill in people that Microsoft is the norm, these same children is going to grow up and become CEO’s, business owners, and decision makers in companies. This is where going with Microsoft goes into place, humans are creatures of habits, and once they’re used to something, they really don’t want to change. Now, that’s the problem that is present in promoting the use of FOSS, even with the word free on it, it’s not appealing to some people because they simply don’t want to change. However, with hard times coming in the next few years, maybe it’ll be an easier time to promote OSS. I didn’t mean that it’s hard to train employees because they grew up with Microsoft, it’s hard to get those CEO’s who grew up with Microsoft and they are way too comfortable with it to make a change. Also, of course I understand that no one is too invaluable to let go, but as a company you don’t want well trained, well experienced and productive employees to leave for any reason.