Linux News Today: After Ditching Microsoft, the City of Munich Is Now an Open Source Contributor
The city of Munich became famous in the open source community by ditching its dependency on Microsoft products and adopting open source. This, in turn, is having a secondary effect on the community because the developers working with the city are now contributing code back.
Munich is pretty much the poster boy for a city administration that successfully moves from Windows and Microsoft Office to Linux counterpart, and shows that it can be done and that it saves a lot of money in the process.
The move wasn’t easy to make, and the city had to battle a powerful lobby, which is still making moves this day. The transition to Linux took many years, but in the end it was worth it. The city administration reported millions of dollars in savings and people have finally managed to get accustomed to the changes.
Munich is now an open source contributor
The fact that such a big city administration moved to Linux systems and open source apps had another effect. Developers who are working for the city need to make adjustments to the source code of whatever they are using, to fit their needs, and those changes are fed back into the open source community, especially Debian.
“The city of Munich is a major contributor to free and open source projects, sending bugfixes to upstream developers, making available software solutions and sharing best practices and technical information. In August, Munich IT staff members shared the city’s accomplishments with the community of Debian developers, one of the main free software distributions,” reads a report on joinup.ec.europa.eu, which is the official website of the European Commission.
For example, Jan-Marek Glogowski, one of the members of the city’s Linux Client development team, has contributed 96 patches to LibreOffice and all of them have been included in the latest 5.0 version that was just released.
This is clearly only the beginning and Munich is not the only city out there that does this. In the coming years, more and more developers that are working for city administrations will contribute to the open source projects that are in use, making them grow even more.