[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps?

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Tue Oct 26 02:51:24 UTC 2010

Anthony wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
>> Google Apps.
> Using Google Apps for what?

My understanding is that it would be used for e-mail, calendars, and Google
Docs primarily. When I asked "What are the benefits of using Google Apps for
the Wikimedia Foundation?" in my original post, that's roughly what I was
trying to get at.

John Vandenberg wrote:
> Where was this announced / discussed ?
> Or, how the heck did you find out?? ;-)

I don't think this was announced or discussed anywhere publicly. I figured
foundation-l would provide a reasonable place to discuss the subject.

Robert S. Horning wrote:
> On 10/25/2010 06:22 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
>> Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
>> comparable open source alternatives?
> Give a good example if you are going to suggest that there are
> alternatives.  Open Office, while some excellent "open source" tools,
> aren't comparable.  What else are you suggesting?
> I'm merely ignorant about this, so please tell me if there really is
> something else "out there" that does pretty much what Google Apps do.

Obviously for something like e-mail, there are plenty of hosting and webmail
client alternatives.

I'm not sure I'd call Open Office an alternative here. It's certainly an
alternative for non-web-based document editing, and I'm fairly sure most
Wikimedia employees already use it instead of the Microsoft Office suite.

Which alternatives are available largely depends on what Wikimedia intends
to use Google Apps for (which was one of the questions in my original post).
My biggest concern would be e-mail, personally, though the larger principle
of switching the organization to a closed source system is one that I think
should be examined.

> Google isn't going to be "taking over" the WMF nor is any other group
> going to do that.  The community wouldn't put up with it.

Hmm, I wouldn't be so sure about that. Google has a lot of money and they're
not stupid. I'm sure more than a few contributors would stick around,
especially if Google invested some serious resources.


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