[TriLUG] White House response to FOSS petition?
mamiano at nc.rr.com
Fri Feb 3 13:16:22 EST 2012
I'm sure there at least a few contractors amenable to open source licenses on this list.
That might be a place to start.
OTOH, there are a bunch of hoops to go through in order to even get onto an authorized procurement list, at any particular level of government.
That narrows the field quite a bit since programmers are notoriously a lazy lot; I for one despise bureaucratic paperwork.
ps. might be another purpose for a software cu, to fund support.
On Feb 2, 2012, at 5:18 PM, Jeremy Davis wrote:
> I think in many cases people are unaware of open source solutions when they
> purchase software for the govt. I have seen expensive license purchases
> where an open source solution would have been a much better choice. It
> would be nice to see a requirement that before purchasing software an open
> source solution be considered. If they chose not to use open source then an
> explanation be required. I would especially like to see more open source in
> the education system so the kids grow up familiar with it. Personally, it
> bothers me that the vast majority of our tax dollars are being funneled
> into 1 lucky software company when it comes to software.
> This brings to mind, where would a govt agency begin to look for open
> source contractors? If anyone knows of a reputable website or a resource
> that lists open source solution providers that would be suitable for govt
> contracts, please let me know.
> On Feb 2, 2012 1:45 PM, "Mitchell Amiano" <mamiano at nc.rr.com> wrote:
>> I don't think a long drawn out political argument would be productive, but
>> IMHO given the timing, framing of FOSS vs the National Debt, and negative
>> language, and the insignificance of software costs with respect to spending
>> deficits, this gives the appearance of an attempt at demonized a class of
>> business person and creating a distraction. That disparaging language is
>> not something I could get on board with as a public policy stance. Having
>> an unelected authoritarian official establishing a seat of control over
>> such activities within the federal government is also a bad path to take,
>> whatever the ostensible good-will that is being expressed, although I can
>> appreciate why someone else might sign the petition.
>> The federal government already chartered POSIX to ensure open systems and
>> portability among their acquired platforms, and for better or worse courts
>> took the teeth off that standard in the Coast Guard case. I know open
>> systems aren't the same as FOSS, but it isn't as if the federal government
>> hasn't tried to head down that road before in a big way. It was my
>> impression that many departments and agencies already used FOSS. What is
>> stopping them now from incorporating FOSS more?
>> At a policy level, I've wondered if a more recognition of the cultural
>> phenomena of Foundations and other support organizations is needed, to
>> formalize their value to society with respect to intellectual property. I
>> can imaging some institutions emerging, like software credit unions, where
>> companies and individuals participate as shareholders and clients and the
>> assets are design artifacts, platforms, and tool chains.
>> On Feb 2, 2012, at 1:17 AM, Kevin Hunter wrote:
>>> Hullo List,
>>> This whitehouse.gov petition caught my eye before I was able to push
>> the delete key on a recent list email. While I'm generally and
>> philosophically a proponent of FOSS, I also consider myself a pragmatist:
>> sometimes the existing FOSS solutions just don't cut it, if they even
>> exist. While I'm personally willing to put up with its myriad
>> shortcomings, perhaps because the philosopher in me believes it's the right
>> thing to do long-term, or because I have the (potentially necessary)
>> technical know-how, often FOSS solutions just don't or won't work for "most
>> people" (for various reasons, right or wrong).
>>> To me, a government supporting (through use, needs, developers, paid
>> support, etc.) FOSS is a sexy prospect. The aforementioned
>> "philosophically right thing long-term" suggests that only good can come of
>> something like this because FOSS generally lacks development funding, large
>> enough user-bases to beget cost-effective support/training, advertising
>> dollars, and is, by it's very nature, difficult -- if not impossible -- to
>>> On the other hand, the cynic in me wonders just how much governments
>> rely on various backdoors only afforded them because software vendors have
>> closed-source software.
>>> Then the realist in me looked at a few US budgets. It is unfortunate
>> that the poster's argument for FOSS in government hinges on "lower[ing] the
>> national debt": my readings suggest that software costs barely register
>> when compared against larger costs, like the cost of an employee.
>>> All this is to say that I'm curious what an official White House
>> response to this petition would look like. I'm happy that someone brought
>> it up (potentially to the national stage), and I hope it gets some
>> attention, but I doubt any action will be taken.
>>> Would anyone else be interested in a response?
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