Danie van der Merwe

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  • in reply to: What Git repo to use for hosting open source #3352

    Yes, the last option does give a lot of flexibility, and can be got going immediately with little effort at all. It could serve as a starting point to have a snapshot of what is currently published out there.

    It will also be a useful starting page for others to take stock of, and may be able to get some media attention.

    It also won’t require anyone with existing projects (those that already took initiative) to uproot themselves and move to another project, and does allow them to retain full management over their projects.

    Yes certainly all the other forms of contribution are just as valuable to projects, but it may be difficult to see where say one of our local departments or citizens is say contributing to someone else’s project? If there is some way, we can certainly link to that contribution too eg. SA departments using, say Alfresco ECM, may contribute a patch that allows for SA localisation, or they may make a substantial contribution to updating documentation on that project, even though it is not one of our local projects.

    in reply to: Documents & Resources #2957

    My site above, as well as many of these pages on this site are backed up to the Wayback Machine at The Internet Archives.

    in reply to: Register a nonprofit organisation to Represent this Effort #2769

    Danie’s comment on Draft Constitution:
    Thanks looks good, just:
    * Guild™ can be Open Working Group
    * nominated spelling
    * Consider “money or benefits”
    * Possibly under outcomes also use “promote, support and advise” as implement would indicate doing of the work.

    Yes we could promote more generally but we do need to focus on something specific otherwise we get too broad and are busy with too much.

    in reply to: Register a nonprofit organisation to Represent this Effort #2768

    Draft 1 Constitution from Karl Fischer:

    Mission Statement:
    To promote open standards and open source software within the South African Government
    To see that Open Standards and Open Source Software is widely adopted within all spheres of Government

    This is an Open Working group which any person can join.
    Membership is Free.
    It will not be controlled by any person, entity or private organisation.
    The Guild™ is comprised of people from various sectors in Private Sector and Government, it’s a Public Private partnership.
    The membership is limted to only private individuals and NOT organisations.
    Membership does not imply the individuals employer is represented.

    Steering Team:
    There is a elected steering team that makes stratigic decisions, you can get elected to this team, by submitting a nomication and getting elected in the yearly election.
    The Term is 1 year, and position can only be held by an individual for a maximum of 3 terms

    The Orginzation does not accept any money and does not have a bank account.
    Should anyone accept money on behalf of the orginzation they will be banned from orginzation and their name will be listed on the website.

    – Help Government create and implement widely used Open Standards
    – Help with Open Source Technology Choices
    – Showcase existing Open Source Projects within Government
    – Promote Local Open Source Skills

    in reply to: Proposed discussion points with DTI #2693

    Thanks Llewellyn, yes nothing really new – just all put in one place and will be good to build on this going forward. Also good to have all the points on hand for any discussion – there’s nothing worse than saying later “oh I should have mentioned xyz”. So if we get more info and examples we can add to it here.

    in reply to: List of FOSS Projects and implemented FOSS systems #2545

    Institution: Joe Gqabi District Municipality (Local Govt)
    Submitted by: Llewellyn Gush

    Not all the below systems are fully utilised. eg The mail server, no-one uses the resource allocation function, and only a few use the calendaring function
    We work in a very distributed environment with offices in all our towns (13 towns & 35 office locations). The office a linked back to the Main Office in Barkly East via a local service provider that uses Wireless links. We buy dedicated bandwidth and link in via a VPN on the System.

    Mail Server
    Zimbra Mail server, and calendaring system
    • Mail server utilising IMAP and SSL for SMTP
    • Zimbra web client for webmail
    • Zimbra Web Admin interface
    • Calendaring links to Mozilla Thunderbird

    DRP and Backups / File servers
    Linux as file servers for backups and saving of files
    Owncloud for backups of local computers. Excellent solution
    Financial/HR System backups – Rsync with custom scripts depending on the dbase.
    Cygwin – I mention this as I install it on the Windows servers as I can use rsync/cron for backups. These are also scripted with a custom scripts.

    Alfresco Community version for
    • Document management.
    • Document Sharing
    • Blog
    • Wiki

    Desktop Productivity Suite
    Big exposure to Libreoffice, only use MS office where directly required by eg Finance
    National Treasury are a serious offender in this space as they do not accept OSS solutions AT ALL.

    ClearOS Community edition
    • Firewall – Iptables
    ◦ Incoming/Ougoing
    ◦ Custom Firewall rules
    ◦ Port forwarding
    ◦ OpenVPN – Remote access for service provider support, and Management. Excellent solution
    ◦ Snort – Intrusion detection
    • Squid proxy
    • Dansguardian – URL Scanning

    Network/Device Monitoring
    Used Nagios until the server loaded with this crashed. Have to check the current status of device monitoring and decide what to use and then setup new server.

    Have KVM initialised on some of my servers. Very impressive in my space. Won’t be investing in any more VMWare licenses unless there is no option.

    • Joomla
    • WordPress

    Web Enabled Applications
    These applications are built on the LAPP stack
    • Linux
    • Apache
    • Postgres/PostGIS
    • PHP/Javascript/Java
    The Applications themselves are not OSS as they are owned by the developer who has chosen not to opensource them. There are however no license fees payable going forward. The functionality is as below. All the modules are interlinked where the functionality is required.
    • Incident Management system/Customer Care
    • Asset Management (Full system Grap and MSCOA compliant)
    ◦ Asset details – engineering
    ◦ Asset Details – financial
    ◦ Asset Details ownership
    ◦ Asset Detail – Location
    ◦ Job cards
    ▪ Job costing
    ▪ Personnel used
    ▪ Plant used
    ▪ Asset Replacements/Condition assessment etc
    ▪ Documents relating to each
    • PostGIS/Mapserver OSS GIS solution linked to every function that requires a spatial location. QGIS used for updating/editing etc any records directly in the Dbase if required. Locations can also be modified from within the system
    • Project Management – incidentally done for National Treasury to track their projects, Modified for Municipal requirement
    • Fleet management
    ◦ Reminders of license renewal
    ◦ Trip authority
    ◦ Fuel usage
    • Mobile interface for every one of the above modules. This also serves to make asset verification easier as a Bluetooth scanner can be linked to a device and the asset is verified in the system live.

    Hardware Re-Purposing

    As a Municipality money is in short supply. I have reloaded all my ancient laptops (XP based mostly, some Win 7) with Linux Mint. The users that get these are usually technical personnel. Their needs are Email, Internet, Basic spreadsheets and Documents.

    My technical staff always ask. Why is it that when a person gets a Linux laptop do we never see them again…… They almost never break. Beyond the familiarisation required to know how to find the apps in the menu’s they are never seen until the laptop finally breaks down.

    in reply to: Implementation suggestions #2502

    Yes desktop is more visible and actually less impact.

    Some server side changes may not be difficult eg.OpenText ECM currently running on Windows servers can run on Linux, so could be swapped out. But yes if an enterprise Linux (paid) is opted for there are extra costs.

    We also need to give guidance to Depts for new installations and provide options. So many default to expensive options that vendors suggest, without being aware.

    Making me realise how much work there probably is to be done. We really need a proper gov standing committee on OSS and to re-establish a proper FOSS project like was mandated in SITA years ago.

    in reply to: Implementation suggestions #2498

    Agreed, we essentially need to take stock of all proprietary software running and suggest alternatives for testing that can be presented.

    We must just agree on the aims: do we do server side first, desktop OS, or end user apps with a view to readying the OS for change. Windows 7 support coming to and end means Microsoft has gov in a never ending spiral of payment and change.

    But yes this list will provide a checklist of what must be tackled. I’m just thinking also about how broad we tackle this: A product across all Depts, or do a specific Dept first and migrate them for all products.

    Obsidian Systems has done at least one survey across Gov and may also have some good inputs regarding change.

    in reply to: Custom Distro vs Localised Fork vs Enterprise Distro? #2496

    OK good idea – yes we split it into:
    1. Server side – enterprise if needed/certified for apps being hosted on per app basis. General application hosting could standardise on whatever is most broadly used in SA gov (survey needed).
    2. Desktop OS – we could certainly standardise on what is felt to be a well-supported non-enterprise distro as we (within gov and across our local industry) will skill up on it. Thing is we should ideally not have a different flavour distro for each Dept as we need to standardise on expertise, support, driver tweaking, etc. We’ll probably also need input from local companies such as Obsidian Systems, LSD, etc who do this type of work. If there is already experience in our local industry, we need that input.

    in reply to: Custom Distro vs Localised Fork vs Enterprise Distro? #2489

    Yes true and that is another fundamental question we need to answer…

    Do we go enterprise supported distro because if so there may not be much customisation apart from the standard image, and yes there would be a cost to roll it out across government? Less than Windows, but we lose the maximisation of savings.

    Other option is a free distro that “we” establish as standard distro for SA gov (something with broad support like Ubuntu, CentOS, OpenSuse, etc). We could have ourselves and local industry build up expertise and support capability on it. But there are downsides like it won’t have enterprise support when needed, and it won’t be certified to run SAP and some other enterprise software.

    Or do we separate server side (maybe needing enterprise support) from desktop installs – probably a good idea to separate. Separating servers and desktops gives u more flexibility. The two areas are probably two different strategies to tackle.

    in reply to: ArchiMate #2480

    Response to Tender no: RFB 2040/ 2019: Enterprise architecture toolset for SAPS on 6 Dec 2019:

    Hi Lesley, I note this tender is advertised but would like to point out that going to tender could possibly miss out on far more cost effect effective and free and open source (no annual license renewals or restrictions) products such as ArchiMate or similar toolsets. Thinking back to the recent events for SA Police when they were held to ransom around their forensics system by the external provider, I would think they would be very interested in rather using an enterprise open source tool which is not only free of cost and procurement, but has no license restrictions in its use.

    ArchiMate is a tool provided by the Open Group who also runs the various TOGAF courses that most departments of SA government attend. There was a move, within SITA as well as government, to try to standardise on the use of ArchiMate for SA government for the above reasons.

    It would be a great pity if SAPS were again locked into an expensive proprietary product set. This could be the opportunity for SITA to take this requirement up a notch and look at it transversally for SA government.

    The approach for SA gov, SAPS, or SITA to procure an open source tool would involve two steps:

    1. A methodology to evaluate suitable free toolsets on the market without bidding. If a suitable tool is found then you go to step 2. If not, then an open bid is advertised knowing there was no suitable open source tool available.

    2. Use of a contract such as contract 1183 to select a local service provider to install, configure and support the toolset if no internal resources are available.

    SA gov’s open source policy approved by National Cabinet is still in force for procurement by SA government – see https://foss.oss.gov.za/?p=2373.

    From https://www.archimatetool.com – “The ArchiMate® modelling language is an open and independent Enterprise Architecture standard that supports the description, analysis and visualisation of architecture within and across business domains. ArchiMate is one of the open standards hosted by The Open Group® and is fully aligned with TOGAF®. ArchiMate aids stakeholders in assessing the impact of design choices and changes.”

    I’m hoping the above could save time, costs, and prevent any vendor lock in.

    Danie van der Merwe

    in reply to: The to access wordprocessor, spreadsheet and presentations docs #2473

    Just to give context to the current investment in Microsoft Office licenses – from http://www.brainstormmag.co.za/c-suite/14717-the-man-who-would-save-sita there is this statement: “There are about 100 000 Office 365 licences across government, and while this isn’t a wasted investment, he does foresee a conversation about whether government departments should continue to invest in the Office platform”.

    One could make the assumption that the bulk are on the Microsoft Gov Enterprise Agreement pricing to arrive at a rough figure.

    in reply to: List of FOSS Projects and implemented FOSS systems #2469

    Institution: Armscor

    ERP: iDempiere
    Helpdesk: iTop

    in reply to: Custom Distro vs Localised Fork vs Enterprise Distro? #2468

    From Prince Sebapu: What about we then fork Fedora, considering we have you in case we want consultation services especially on some proprietary that ships with RH when we happen come across needs to simulate mainframe etc

    in reply to: Custom Distro vs Localised Fork vs Enterprise Distro? #2467

    From Aslam Raffee: I maybe considered biased (I work for a Linux distro) but I honestly think that having your own distro is not the best way to spend your energy, much better to localize a well supported distro. I have been there, implented Impi linux at Dept science

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)