The Hungarian government's resource centre on open source unveiled its new site in mid-November, kicking off the next phase in the centre's activities, focussing on information dissemination. Last week the centre organised its first conference in the capital Budapest, opened by Gábor Fekete, deputy secretary of state. In the next few weeks, the centre's six staffers will be travelling around the country, presenting on the advantages of free and open source in the country's largest cities, Győr, Szeged, Debrecen and Pécs.
These meetings are intended for the IT staff of local public administrations, including courts and municipalities.
The Hungarian E-Governmental Free Software Competence Centre (E-közigazgatási Szabad Szoftver Kompetencia Központ) was set up in May 2012. The staffers have been busy translating documentation and preparing practical studies. The centre's site, for example, now lists 24 short studies, explaining free and open source software, open standards and licences.
Other studies describe free software implementations by many public administrations, including the town of Salgótarján, Szeged - the country's third largest city, the Metropolitan Court in Budapest, the city of Miskolc and the town of Törökbálint.
On the new site, information about European open source success stories are made available in Hungarian. The centre has written on the German cities of Munich and Schwäbisch Hall, Finland's ministry of Justice, the Spanish region of Andalusia. The site also provides reports on public administration where open source implementations failed. The examples include the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the abandoned switch to Linux in Birmingham (UK) and Vienna (Austria).
The resource centre is working on training material. They will soon publish manuals to provide help for programming in QT, basic Linux system administration and the use of Wordpress and LibreOffice.
The centre also aggregates information provided by others. They refer to, for example, a 2012 report by the country's Bureau of Statistics. The agency determines that in 2011, 77 per cent of all companies in the country used an open source web browser, 51 per cent used an open source office suite, and 33 per cent used an open source operating system.