Maria Winslow

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Top Stories by Maria Winslow

When people hear that open source software is often free and overall cheaper than proprietary solutions, they're intrigued. But how much cheaper is another question. What other costs are involved? This article examines the budgetary impact of migrating corporate desktops to open source solutions. This is one of many areas where open source can positively impact IT budgets. Classifying Desktops The first step in evaluating the license savings on the desktop is to determine which desktops in your organization are candidates for migrating to Linux, OpenOffice, or both. Step One: Inventory and Distribution Do a complete inventory of desktop applications in your organization. Be sure to interview users directly, since some may be dependent on Windows-specific applications that the IT department neither knows about nor supports. Once you have an accurate inventory of deskto... (more)

State Government Leads the Way with LAMP

Jim Willis, director of e-Government Services for the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State, was a consultant for the state when he implemented an online database using open source tools. The ability to use open source technologies was a condition of his hiring, and the state has benefited as a result of his leadership. Putting Linux in Plain ViewThe first project Willis undertook was an online rules and regulations database available to the public and other government agencies. It was the proof that open source tools could deliver value for less. The whole project was de... (more)

How to Keep Your Options Open

Some organizations will find that they are able to make wide use of open source software, while others will find only limited suitable migration candidates. Some of the discrepancy will be due to differences across industries. Industries that tend to make conservative technology decisions, for example, are likely to have more legacy systems that are difficult to migrate. But even within the same industries, technical managers will find a range of potential migration scenarios. The differences in experience will depend on the platform-neutrality of the applications in use. Those ... (more)

Dipping Your Toes in Open Source

My philosophy about adopting Open Source software is to give realistic advice for IT directors faced with the prospect of sorting out this new wave of technologies and business models. It can certainly be a daunting task. It's one thing for a home enthusiast to try out the latest cutting-edge software on a machine that doesn't really have to do much more than collect e-mail, but it's another thing entirely to commit to a production system. Part of the problem is that there's so much Open Source software to choose from, and it's all in varying stages of development. Literally hundr... (more)

Maria Winslow's Practical Open Source Blog - Does Open Source Java Matter?

Maria Winslow's Practical Open Source Blog There is a lot of open source activity currently surrounding Java, from JBoss and Geronimo (open source app servers) to MyFaces (an open source web application framework - think Struts but better) to Spring (an open source application framework). And now Harmony, an open source Java implementation, is in incubator status at the Apache Software Foundation. IBM and Intel have both made contributions toward the project. The Harmony project mission (from the website): -  Create a compatible, independent implementation of J2SE 5 under the Apa... (more)