From: Crispin Cowan (crispin@private)
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 23:29:36 PDT

  • Next message: Andrew Plato: "RE: CRIME GNU Help IV"

    Andrew Plato wrote:
    >I still don't understand why this legislation is necessary. The State
    >already has the option to consider and use open-source.
    Because commercial software has marketing money to pay for salesmen to 
    push the stuff on civil servents: take people to lunch, drop by with 
    informative pamphlets, present "analysis" showing how some particular 
    commercial solution is just right for some situation.
    Open source software, in contrast, basically just sits there on its 
    merits, with no one to sell it. Only really pro-active civil servants go 
    out of their way to seek out these lower-cost alternative solutions 
    instead of just accepting one of the commercial suitors that show up on 
    their doorstep.
    This bill levels the playing field by forcing civil servants to at least 
    *consider* open source alternatives where such exists. They don't have 
    to choose them, they just have to demonstrate that they considered open 
    source alternatives, and found cause that some proprietary solution is 
    actually better.
    >Before such a law is put on the books, I think these issues (and others)
    >need to be clarified. I think Mr. Starr should hold off on this bill until
    >the ramifications of such legislation can be more appropriately addressed.
    I think that issue was adequately clarified long ago. You can argue "not 
    worth it" or  "I don't care" or "bad for the economy"; those points are 
    all debatable estimations. But you can't argue "what for?"
    On the "bad/good for the economy" front:
        * IMHO open source solutions would save the State government a *lot*
          of money. Money for commercial software is being wasted by State
          govt. merely because the government consumers of IT don't know
          that they could save money by chosing these relatively obscure
        * IMHO, government use of open source software would increase money
          spent on local consultants to do customization, at the expense of
          money spent on commercial licenses which mostly just leave the
          state. So increased use of open source strengthens local
          economies: think globally, act locally.
        * IMHO Oregon's software industry is richer than most in the open
          source sector. In contrast, Washington's economy is clearly
          dominated by Microsoft. So this bill is good for the Oregon
          economy, and bad for the Washington economy. I'm ok with that :)
    Crispin Cowan, Ph.D. 
    Chief Scientist, Immunix

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Jul 30 2003 - 23:45:32 PDT