When Damien Clochard from the French/European Community of PostgreSQL posted this message in the Advocacy list of PostgreSQL, I could not believe my eyes. I felt like years of promotion of PostgreSQL in Europe by the community finally received a first important recognition among the public sector.
As European citizen, I have always believed that public administrations throughout Europe should use open source software and promote its development in ICT contexts, favouring the growth of local enterprises and know-how/education over licensing costs.
September 19 2012 could be an important date for the PostgreSQL community as well as the open-source/free software communities in general. The relevance of this letter from the French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is extremely high from an advocacy point of view.
Maybe I am just dreaming or simply call me a fool, but I wish this could be a small “French Revolution” for the ICT sector, that, starting from Paris, spreads all over Europe.
As Italian citizen, I hope the Italian Government piggy-backs the French government on this, starting from the unconcluded works of the “Commissione Nazionale per il Software Open Source nella PA” (National Commission for Open Source Software in the Public Administration).
In Macro-Economy terms, this could be an important step towards the reduction of public expenditures and – consequently – debt, as well as an incentive for local entrepreneurship. I just hope that politicians and public managers can see that.
Can you imagine if only a tiny bit of proprietary database licenses costs could be diverted to open source investements and developments of new features of PostgreSQL core?
Finally, I would like to thank all the French and French speaking contributors (including official documentation translators) that, throughout the years, have made this possible, and I hope we could all follow your example.