[clug] Your Best arguments please

Christopher Yeoh cyeoh at samba.org
Sat Aug 9 12:36:22 EST 2003

At 2003/8/8 14:08+1000  Martin Pool writes:
> On 21 Aug 2003, Carl Jackson <carl at videohost.com.au> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> > 
> >     I'm currently corresponding with an ACT MLA about OSS legislation
> > and the MLA has challenged me with the article at the link below .  I
> > would appreciate the input of the list Brains Trust on the best
> > counter-arguments.  Any and all opinions welcome.  Give it your best -
> > there is a vote hanging in the balance here...
> Much as I like open source software, I think is far more important
> issue for governments is open standards.  It is more easy to
> accomplish; it is something to which existing suppliers cannot
> reasonably object; and it leaves the way open to adopting open source
> in the future.

I like to push open standards, but in practice requiring only open
standards and not open source can lead to difficulties. For example,
where there is only one implementation of a standard, there is often
little ability to verify that it follows the standard. A few years
down the line you may end up locked into the vendor implementation
when you realise that what was documented isn't actually what is
implemented. Open source has the advantage that at least in the end
you have the source code which makes it easier to reverse engineer the

Also, some clarification is probbably needed as to what qualifies as
an "open standard". Is something like Java an open standard? Is a
specification that is patent encumbered an open standard?

While we're talking about standards I'll sneak in a little advert for
the LSB :-)

Defense Information Systems Agency Adopts LSB as Standards Requirement

cyeoh at samba.org

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