Open Source Government

from the a-compromise dept

There's been a debate raging over the last few months concerning some proposals made to various governments that they should only use open source software. Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors (though, mainly Microsoft) are vehemently campaigning against such things through a group called the Initiative for Software Choice. The Open Source crowd has been fighting amongst itself over whether or not they support the idea of laws that force open source on governments. Through all the fighting and yelling, along comes Bruce Perens with a perfectly reasonable solution that will probably upset everyone involved. Instead of requiring open source software, Perens suggests that government require open standards for things like file formats - so that no single vendor can get locked in. Once data is in a proprietary format, then it becomes nearly impossible to get out of it. It's a reasonable solution, but who knows if it'll go anywhere.
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