[clug] New FedGov policy on open source software

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Tue Feb 1 03:39:17 MST 2011

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On 01/28/2011 09:25 AM, David Howe wrote:
>  An interesting announcement given the recent decision to standardise
> Microsoft's OOXML within the federal government. A cynic might be inclined to
> view this policy as mere window dressing while the real business of milking
> the public purse by Redmond continues.

I suspect this is a bit pessimistic.  The OOXML AGIMO announcement has been
followed up by them by great protests of wanting to do more consultation and
engage with the community.  It can sound a bit calculating but I suspect that
they really do want to work with us - or at least not be so obviously in the
proprietary software camp.

One might posit that they're wanting to go Open Source but they also want to
make sure that there isn't a great outcry from the proprietary software
industry - who would no doubt be crying about all those lost jobs and so
forth.  And there are still many things for which proprietary software is the
only answer (a decent enterprise-grade open source calendaring and meeting
booking solution, for example) - or at least the only current answer.

One thing I'm going to point out to Andrew Leigh in my update email to him is
that, for the price of some of these licenses, the Australian Government could
employ Australian programmers to add and improve whatever features they
wanted.  Want a correct handling of Australian holiday dates?  Program it in.
 Want a complete Macquarie Australian Dictionary for all your offices?
Compile it.  And the result is something that everyone gets to share - not
just customers of that program, not even just Australians, but everyone.

That's got to be good.

BTW, Steve, your lightning talk was excellent and attracted much interest from
people around me at least.

Have fun,

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