Massively purchase proprietary software without any invitations to tender: get sued by your local free software association

As per FACIL‘s press release:

Massive proprietary software purchases without any invitations to tender
FACIL contests government practices in the Superior Court

Montreal, August 28th 2008 – FACIL, a non-profit association, which promotes the collective appropriation of Free Software, contests the Quebec government purchasing methods for software used within public administrations. FACIL has filed a motion before the Quebec Superior Court in order to bring an end to these methods which the association believes not to be in the best interest of the Quebec government, but more importantly, not in accordance with the regulation for supply contracts, construction contracts and service contracts of government departments and public bodies (R.Q. c. A-6.01, r.0.03).

In Quebec, access to public markets is the rule while contracts attribution without invitation to tender is the exception. A public market should be transparent, fair and most importantly, open to all. The solutions as well as the propositions must be evaluated objectively on known and accepted criteria. Furthermore, the regulation implies that public markets have to enhance the local economic development as well as the Quebec technologies.

From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec. These purchases hurt the Free Software suppliers throughout Quebec and are an obstacle to the development of Quebec IT enterprises. FACIL contests these methods as the association believes they are illegal and unacceptable.

A strategic Free Software utilization in public administration could create thousands of jobs as well as a significant decrease in software licensing costs. However, Quebec’s public administration refuses to even consider and evaluate these options.

While most of the developed countries have started, a few years back, migrating their technological infrastructures to Free Software, Quebec’s public administration is far behind. In France, hundreds of thousands of desktops used by civil servants have been migrated. In the Netherlands, the public administration, one of the most modern in the world, has decided to forbid the use of proprietary software in the public sector.

But here in Quebec, despite numerous initiatives, the public administration refuses to communicate and to cooperate. FACIL has decided to bring the matter to court in order for the public market law to be respected.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Friday, August 29th 2008, 10h30 at 7275, Saint-Urbain, Montreal, office 201.

Source: The Board of Directors of FACIL
Contact: Mathieu Lutfy (FACIL President)

I was on the board of directors of FACIL until last year, and I blogged a few months ago about SavoirFaire Linux’s similar initiative.

Apparently this is getting a lot of attention. Hopefully it won’t only be

Also see:


Ubucon San Salvador on Saturday Sept. 6th! Save the date!

I am thrilled to announce El Salvador Ubuntu LoCo Team will be hosting an Ubucon El Salvador next Saturday September 6th!

El Salvador LoCo team logo

I’ll be spending next week in San Salvador and I thought it would be nice to meet some Ubunteros there. I wrote to their mailing list, one thing led to another and *boom* ! Having presented at Ubucons in Seville, New York City and San Francisco before I am really happy to add one to my list ! I am trying to think of any sentence in this post I wouldn’t end with an exclamation mark but I can’t !!!

A few emails and IRC chats were enough to settle on having a round table to discuss Ubuntu’s place in free software, Celvin Rivas will also be presenting about the state of Ubuntu in El Salvador. If there’s enough people interested there’s discussion about having some workshops – gotta love last minute things 🙂

From « Running an Ubucon« :

An Ubucon is a community driven, community organised event that is all about Ubuntu. These events often include a number of speakers, BOF sessions, demos, social events and more, and they are excellent ways to grow the Ubuntu community in your area, and to build an interesting and fun event. Ubucons are different to large Linux expos and conferences in that they are uniquely community focused and driven, and uniquely Ubuntu.


Acer, HP and MSI netbooks seen at Bureau en Gros in Montreal

Netbooks at Bureau en grosToday I went to Bureau en Gros, which is the same as Staples stores in the USA. Think of it as the office supplies and electronics / computing store. Although I knew netbooks were coming « sometime soon » I didn’t expect to see them here in Montreal, particularly at a « mainstream » store like BeG!

I took some pictures, but here are direct links to BeG online catalog:

Update: I am told this guide to install Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire One should be in my post 😉
Update 2: The Aspire One has since gone out of stock and is not even in the catalog anymore!

I find it very interesting they were side by side and had clear tech specs, including operating systems right down to the graphics chipset. I took more detailed pictures, although not very high res as I only had my phone camera at the time. I’ve put them all on Flickr in case anyone is curious. Can’t wait to see any Ubuntu netbook remix machines available in Canadian retail stores!


Linux Developer Network (Beta) Launched

I had the greatest time 2 weeks ago at Linux World Expo 2008 in San Francisco, USA. Although I had the best intentions and wanted to blog just about everything, I just couldn’t get 5 minutes near a keyboard! I’ll be posting some of it over the next few days.

Today while reading Planet Ubuntu and Canonical joining the Linux Foundation I remembered visiting their booth at LWE and seeing Linux Foundation’s new Linux Developer Network (Beta) which just launched.

From the site:

The Linux Developer Network (LDN) is the online community for Linux application developers and independent software vendors who want to start or continue their journey developing applications for the Linux platform. In other words, if you or your company wants to work with Linux, this is the place to be.

The LDN’s goal is to empower developers to target the Linux platform. A platform is only as strong as the applications that run on top of it, and the LDN wants to make sure those developers have everything the need to successfully and cost-effectively target Linux. One of the ways LDN will help developers accomplish this is to help them build portable Linux applications.

LDN is also about giving developers the tools they need to create the best Linux apps possible, no matter which platform developers want to work with. We’ve designed the LDN to be flexible and go where the community wants it to go. Mobile, embedded, driver development, cloud computing–keep an eye out for what’s next in the world of Linux.

Here on LDN you will find in-depth articles, white papers, and howtos that describe the latest practices of Linux development. Blogs from top kernel and application developers help round out the expertise.

It’s not just talent and advice; LDN also offers tools and documentation to determine just how distribution-portable your current application is, and outlines ways to make it more portable. If LSB certification is your goal, then the LSB Software Development Kit is available for new applications, with guidelines and demos available on how to port existing apps to the LSB.

Join Today!

Linux is about the strength of community, so LDN also provides developers with peer-level support, through forums and mailing lists, as well as tips, tricks, and tools to create and discuss the hottest brainstorm ideas in the community. You can even get your own blog started, hosted by LDN!

In fact, community is such a huge part of what LDN is all about, we’ve started the LDN Rewards Program–a way to earn points, gain visibility, and enhance your professional reputation in the Linux community. Get points for posting in the forums, adding to the brainstorms, writing articles–however you want to contribute. Monthly point leaders will be eligible for LDN-exclusive prizes, and top participants will be eligible for trips to Linux Foundation events!