The campaign Free Software PDF Readers, launched by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) in 2009, has achieved notable results at institutional levels:
- In Germany, national parties gave statements in favour of free PDF readers and the German Government itself has recommended the usage of our text snippet in their migration guide (de). FSFE’s coordinator for Germany, Max Mehl, covers it in more detail on his blog.
- In the EU: the European Parliament directly asked the European Commission what were the reasons for advertising a specific software and which steps were taken to solve this problem.
This campaign was based on three core principles we support at FSFE:
- Neutrality: Public institutions should not engage in advertising
- Freedom: Public institutions should not ask citizens to use non-Free Software
- Open Standards: The versions of the PDF format which are Open Standards can be implemented by all PDF readers
Today, 6 years later since the campaign launch, I would check which was the state of the adoption of Free Software PDF readers by Italian Regional Public Administration.
Data collected are just rough figures because the are banally extracted searching for the string
adobe reader into various Regional’s domain names.
|Results N.||Italian Region||Search string|
|2||Molise||site:*regione.molise.it adobe reader|
|5||Liguria||site:*regione.liguria.it adobe reader|
|8||Umbria||site:*regione.umbria.it adobe reader|
|13||Toscana||site:*regione.toscana.it adobe reader|
|16||Valle d'Aosta||site:*regione.vda.it adobe reader|
|19||Marche||site:*regione.marche.it adobe reader|
|22||Abruzzo||site:*regione.abruzzo.it adobe reader|
|26||Sardegna||site:*regione.sardegna.it adobe reader|
|30||Calabria||site:*regione.calabria.it adobe reader|
|35||Piemonte||site:*regione.piemonte.it adobe reader|
|36||Basilicata||site:*regione.basilicata.it adobe reader|
|37||Puglia||site:*regione.puglia.it adobe reader|
|44||Lazio||site:*regione.lazio.it adobe reader|
|47||Lombardia||site:*regione.lombardia.it adobe reader|
|49||Veneto||site:*regione.veneto.it adobe reader|
|60||Campania||site:*regione.campania.it adobe reader|
|62||Sicilia||site:*regione.sicilia.it adobe reader|
|86||Friuli-Venezia Giulia||site:*regione.fvg.it adobe reader|
|89||Emilia-Romagna||site:*regione.emilia-romagna.it adobe reader|
|771||Trentino-Alto Adige||site:*regione.taa.it adobe reader|
Another rough figures data is the comparing of the google search results of
"adobe reader" OR "acrobat reader" OR "adobe acrobat reader" (in red in the graphic) and
"lettore PDF libero" (in green in the graphic), still on regional domains, for example like:
site:*regione.abruzzo.it "adobe reader" OR "acrobat reader" OR "adobe acrobat reader"
site:*regione.abruzzo.it "lettore PDF libero"
In The Future
In the future Italian Regions could greatly demonstrate their interest in neutrality, freedom end open standards, if they committed:
- to place side by side the current proprietary PDF readers' advertising with the equivalent Free Software PDF readers, by a link like “Download Free Software PDF readers” and with buttons and icons available at PDFreaders.org’s graphics section
- to recommend in their web content production guidelines, and in their web application design guidelines, an appropriate section about how to support Free Software PDF readers, motivationally explaining the eventual support for proprietary PDF readers
- to consider adding in their web content production training courses an appropriate situation focused on how to support Free Software PDF readers, motivationally explaining the eventual support for proprietary PDF readers
Interested Regions, and people who work in them, are invited to contact me (I will not share your e-mail address with anyone else) communicating any progress for example about:
- the reduction of the
adobe readerstring’s occurrences (or other proprietary PDF readers' string) on their web sites
- web addresses where guidelines, recommendations, etc…, were published
in order to publish an update to this post.