Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

These are not the sources we're looking for

A few comments I made a couple of weeks ago where brought to the fore again this week. The comments related to getting OpenSource applications used within a corporate environment, or lack thereof. A prime example of this happened just yesterday. I'm in the middle of documenting a few things for some work I've completed on a validated system. Following the old adage of a picture paints a thousand words I needed to insert a diagram. My desktop in the office is win2k, installed with the default SMS deployed desktop. Unfortunately there is a lack of diagram software and the process to get stuff installed is so convoluted, I'd be filling in requisition forms and trying to get the necessary access to use the ordering software till Christmas... 2010. I installed Dia, knocked out my diagram, export to jpeg, insert, job done. Or so I thought.

“This is a validated document,” says Mr Document Reviewer, “we need access to the original format”

Before I venture any further I have to point out that I am a contracted resource for company B. Company B is the outsourcing provider for company A. On my contracted days I work onsite at an office in company A. With me so far? Well, there are politics here, who pays for what, who is responsible for this, who's job is that. The usual corporate quagmire sucking in the productive time and spewing out endless, senseless debates about the most trivial things.

“Well”, I tell the reviewer, “the original diagram was done with Dia and it is available on the file server”

Immediately there are a flurry of emails being bantered around. Which is the approved tool for diagrams? Company B doesn't mind, a diagram is a diagram is a diagram and if they are footing the software bill then free is good. It is a completely different story from company A. “Visio is the tool that is used and you should only use this tool”. The diagrams should be embedded and not inserted as images. Post architect review they say that the application is very good, it would do everything they need, well put together but.... and this but is bigger than the rear end of a blue whale with an over-eating disorder. But... it may disappear from the scene and we'd be left with all our documents in that format with nothing to edit them with. At this point I threw in my tuppence worth. I remarked that by taking the source longevity was assured. The return argument reverted to cost support in that case. Hmmm, I reply, 70 odd quid a pop for Visio, times by what? 1000+ users? 70k? For this version, plus upgrades and maintenance? Now compare that to free and open with the benefit that you can tailor it to your specific needs, in a programming language in which most of your in-house developers are fluent? How can it disappear? Plus, if this was developed in-house you would support it till eternity, you have the source, same thing don't you think? The reply made me give up.

It's not Microsoft and our preferred supplier of this kind of software is Microsoft. It's the company standard.

Company standard indeed.

And that was for one application that works very well at its assigned job. More than capable.

It is going to be a long battle and a major uphill struggle to get OpenSource into the big corps no matter how polished the application is.

Instead I used my energies elsewhere, screaming at the TV screen as Russia scored the second and england were scattered after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I sat in dismay and waited the inevitable text message coming from my other half, visiting her parents in Moscow.

Look, feel the source.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: These are not the sources we're looking for

They prefer Microsoft? Makes some sense; paleontologists have suggested that many dinosaurs ran herds. Looks like they still do.

It's just the Peter principle

Thanks for your observations about "the corporate quagmire". I recently stormed out of a Foss project when the navel-gazing interfered repeatedly with progress in actually getting something done. Now that was a quagmire. The problem is not related to software, it's about human incompetence a.k.a the Peter principle.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 17.10: What’s New? [Video]

It’s Artful Aardvark arrival day today (no, really!) and to mark the occasion we’ve made our first video in 3 years! Prime your eyeballs and pop in some earbuds as we (try to) bring you up to speed on what’s new in Ubuntu 17.10. At a smidgen over 3 minutes long we think our video is perfect for watching on your commute; when you’re bleary eyed in bed; or when you get the tl;dr feels thinking about our fuller, longer, and far wordier Ubuntu 17.10 review (due out shortly). Read more

Radeon Linux Gaming Performance: Ubuntu 17.04 vs. Ubuntu 17.10

With Ubuntu 17.10 set to ship tomorrow that features just not an upgraded Linux kernel and Mesa 3D stack but also transitions from Unity 7 + X.Org to GNOME Shell + Wayland, here are some comparison gaming benchmarks on a few different AMD Radeon graphics cards. Ubuntu 17.04 shipped six months ago with Linux 4.10 and Mesa 17.0.7 as the main graphics components for open-source driver users while now with Ubuntu 17.10 is the Linux 4.13 kernel and Mesa 17.2.2. The six months of improvements to Mesa alone are massive for Intel and Radeon users with the RADV/ANV Vulkan drivers maturing much over this time (17.10 still doesn't ship with the Vulkan drivers, but are just a sudo apt install mesa-vulkan-drivers away) as well as many performance improvements and new extensions for the growing number of bundled OpenGL drivers. If you read Phoronix daily, you should already be well versed on the many Mesa accomplishments over this time span. Read more

Linux on Galaxy is Samsung's most impressive DeX app yet

Alongside the Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung also introduced DeX to the world this past February. DeX is Samsung's vision for the future of desktop computing, and while it still has a way to go before it's truly useful or practical for everyone, Linux on Galaxy is a new app that Samsung hopes will make DeX more appealing to developers. Samsung announced Linux on Galaxy at its developer conference on October 18, and although the app is still in a trial phase, it already sounds pretty impressive. Read more Also: Samsung unveils 'Linux on Galaxy' for DeX -- run Fedora and Ubuntu on your Note8?

Skylake embedded computer has a thin 1U profile

Advantech has expanded its line of fanless, barebone EPC computers with a 43mm high “EPC-T1232” system based on a Skylake U-series thin Mini-ITX board. In August, Advantech launched its Linux-ready AIMB-232 thin Mini-ITX SBC featuring 6th Gen “Skylake” U-Series CPUs. Now it has followed up with an EPC-T1232 barebone computer based on the SBC, or specifically, the AIMB-T12325W-00Y0E model. Like the SBC, the EPC-T1232 has a low profile, measuring 250 x 210 x 43mm. Read more