Monday, January 15, 2007

Not Ready To Use Open Source?

I was planning to go home when i read this a news from DetikInet saying that the Indonesian government will not be running if they migrate to Open Source right now and decided to write something about it first. It was said by Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Mr. Sofyan Djalil. He noted that there were three reason why :
1. The government's computer needs to be upgraded.
2. Incapable of human resources
3. Driver support for printer

I was laughing when i read this ridiculous reason, because actually we are ready to do that. It's not about technical issues, but about the mentality of the human resources itself. Since the government has also IGOS project and Minister of Research and Technology has said that IGOS is ready to be used, why don't we start using it? It has been developed very well and i don't think all GNU/Linux distribution/application requires high specification for computers (well, some does, but only a few of it) and upgrades can be done partially with the workstation that uses the most critical application comes first. Does an office workstation needs to be upgraded to the state-of-the-art specification just to use GNU/Linux? I don't think so. If they want to use Windows Vista, then it may be correct. Vista does requires high resources. In GNU/Linux, we have plenty of choices about Window Manager. If you don't have too high specification, don't use KDE/GNOME. Use IceWM, Blackbox, FluxBox, XFCE, etc. The same case applies to applications.

Talking about human resources, i think it's about habits. They gets strange feeling when they use Open Source because they never tried that before. When they have started to get a grip on it, everything will come back to normal as before. Let's take an example of the most common application being used in the governments which is office application suite. OpenOffice.org has been proven stable and it's being recommended by many big vendors as it supports for OpenDocument Format (ODF), which has been approved as ISO and IEC International Standard. Munich and Malaysian government has dare to migrate their documents to ODF format, why can't we? How long do we have to wait for standardized national format?

About lack of printer driver in OpenSource, i don't know too much about it, since i never tried to probe printers in my Slackware system, but as far as i know, CUPS project has maintain a lot of drivers for various printers. Buying TurboPrint license is cheaper than having to pay for Windows' license.

If we never start doing things, when do we learn something new? Remember, experience is the best teacher :D

I'm sure there will be a lot of post about this also in the next few days.
Let's just wait and see...

Update (15 January 2007 10:20 AM): Tim Anderson, Information Services Director at the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) highlighted user retraining as a significant cost. Jonathan Oxer, president of Linux Australia, rather ask to move to Linux platform instead of having re-training for new version of Windows. Cited from ZDNet:
"One of the big costs the DET always faces when changing platform is retraining -- because we have 1.2 million users. Traditionally we try to make the new platform look like the old platform as much as possible.

"Clearly some of the changes to the user interface may well be things that users find attractive. In that case we will have to include the cost of implementation and training as part of the [Vista] rollout".

So, what will happen next when Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 comes out? The prices that we should spend on re-training is very very expensive, because it came out with new features, new interfaces, and new complexity. And when people are being accustomed with that, a new big bang version has been released and another re-training should be conducted. Never ending stories...

10 comments:

  1. Mungkin kata kuncinya "Hari ini". Ya gabisalah hari ini. Bulan depan mungkin? Hehe..

    Tapi memang alasannya susah diterima. Perlu upgrade? Emang mau pake komputer secanggih apa? Bukannya itu malah buang-buang duit negara ya? Masalah SDM tinggal dibiasakan dan menerima toleransi saja kalau ada kesalahan sedikit-sedikit.

    Ya, menurut saya sih, lebih baik segera dijalankan aja. Daripada ngomong doang terus. Hehe..

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  2. Obyektif1:11 AM

    Seperti yang bram bilang dan jelas tertulis di artikel tersebut, kata kuncinya adalah "Hari ini". Atau mungkin juga dalam waktu dekat ini.

    Tidak sulit untuk memahaminya bukan?

    Tidak hanya membiasakan untuk menggunakan OpenOffice, tapi tentu juga graphical user interface secara keseluruhan. Butuh pelatihan untuk user, migrasi system, dan bisa jadi butuh tenaga IT administrator baru. Hal ini jelas butuh waktu dan biaya yang tidak sedikit.

    Migrasi sistem itu bukan perkara yang gampang, bisa jadi masih banyak aplikasi yang tidak bisa jalan di Linux, belum ada padanannya. Mau pakai virtualization? Hardware tidak mendukung? Untuk ini butuh perencanaan yang matang. Mau migrasi sebagian? Apa tidak mungkin akan jadi tambah ruwet?

    Intinya, mungkin memang masih belum siap. Itu saja.

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  3. Ini bukan Menkominfo-nya Indonesia, tapi Jubirnya Redmond.

    Jadi tambah aneh kalau Sofyan Djalil ngotot banget sama M$. Ada apa dengan M$ ?

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  4. kalaupun dibilang belum siap, kapan mau siapnya? lha gak ada persiapan sama sekali. Kalo gak salah, dulu pemerintah di Munich pun juga butuh waktu 1 tahun untuk perencanaan sampe akhirnya mereka bener2 migrasi ke Open Source seluruhnya.

    Padahal proyek IGOS sudah dimulai beberapa tahun yang lalu, tapi akhirnya 'dibuang' begitu saja setelah ada rilis baru.

    Nah.. kapan mau siap kalo gak ada yang mau mempersiapkan?

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  5. Sayang sekali orang2 takut duluan untuk menggunakan linux sebelum benar2 memakainya. Saya pernah bertemu dengan bapak yang berusia sekitar 40-an bercerita betapa senangnya dia beralih menggunakan linux. Lancar2 aja koq, katanya. Printer, modem bisa dikenali dengan mudah. Oh iya kami bertemu ketika sama2 mencari update linux di sekretariat KLAS.
    Tentu saja untuk membiasakan penggunaan teknologi perlu dilakukan pelatihan. Dan ini berlaku umum. Memangnya pakai Windows nggak perlu pelatihan?
    Biaya pelatihan untuk linux tentunya besar, tapi coba gandeng universitas sehingga biaya2 tersebut masuk ke kantong universitas negeri sendiri nggak harus menambah kocek perusahaan asing.

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  6. saya malah ketemu dokter yang lagi pengen cobain Linux, bahkan dia pake distro Slackware :D
    kalo dokter yang pekerjaan sehari-harinya aja tidak terlalu banyak menggunakan komputer bisa, kenapa orang2 yang bekerja sehari-hari menggunakan komputer tidak bisa?

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  7. Yang membuatku tertawa adalah alasan "hari ini".

    Maaf Pak Menteri, gak ada orang open-source yang sebodoh itu meminta seluruh s/w jadi open-source dalam sehari. Pasti ada tahapannya lah.

    Yang penting itikad dulu, Pak.
    Abis itu tentukan tahapannya. Target mau berapa bulan ke depan?

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  8. Makanya, pada nulis email ke Sofyan Djalil, kumpulin semua blog soal MOU trus berikan semua data data ke beliau secara jelas. Masalahnya adalah: yang masuk kuping dia kan itu yang dia percaya ( apalagi kalo yang berbisik staff ahli )

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  9. milisdad11:17 AM

    Pak menteri tau gak yaa komen2 kaya gini.....

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  10. semoga aja melihat dan kasih respon juga :D

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