[clug] What sort of OSS legislation would you like to see

Doug.Palmer at csiro.au Doug.Palmer at csiro.au
Mon Aug 11 09:58:32 EST 2003

> From: Martijn van Oosterhout [mailto:kleptog at svana.org] 

> I'd be in favour of initially skipping "open source" and 
> focussing on "open formats". It's a much easier sell with 
> much more obvious benefits. There is such thing as too much 
> regulation.

That's my general feeling, as well. You can also make a strong case that it
is the government's duty to keep documents and information in an open
format, on FOI, archiving and 30-year rule grounds.

What formats the government accepts (for submissions, etc.) is another
interesting question. Openness would demand acceptance of anything up to
hieroglyphics on the side of a cow, let alone Word documents. You could
probably make a case for only accepting formats than can be converted into
open formats.

> IMHO, you don't want to force it down people. That just gets 
> people offside. Better start simple and obvious and work your way up.

If I was running, say, a national park, rather than an IT department,
nothing would poison my relationship with OSS more than being forced to
accept something that doesn't fit my needs and budget.

Besides which, if people are sure of OSS, it should be a natural contender
under open standards.

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