Weblog:   The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Subject:   What about the quality of the software purchased by the government
Date:   2002-08-16 17:05:19
From:   korwin
Response to: What about the quality of the software purchased by the government

>1) How do you propose that a determination of
>compliance with quality standards be made?
>A set of black-box tests by the government?
>A bare assertion from the vendor?

Combination of these. Set of base tests that do not require knowledge of the internal work of the product, liability assertion from the vendor with penalties for non-compliance and requirement of the design of sensitive parts, like encoding algorithms.

>Ford is not permitted to disallow Ford
>owners from lending their vehicles to friends.

Lending your Ford to your friend is fair use. But can you lend a copy of your Ford to your friend?

Red Hat Network Basic service level: $60/year per system subscription. Err, if the OS is free and open source, how exactly will they maintain "per system". If i lend my RedHat copy to a friend, is he entitled to the support as well? Or is it tied to the first installation i did? How is this different from buying Windows XP for $200, besides being little bit cheaper, which might not be true, because with XP there is no time limit for the support and the updates.
The only difference is - if i want to thinker with my RedHat installation, i could do it. I could also (with the proper technological knowledge) even resolve my issue by my own. I couldn't do this with XP. And that is big difference if i had the time to invest in this process and the desire to learn everything inside it. But if i don't and want to use my computer right out of box and just enjoy it - well, i have to pay either Microsoft or RedHat. And honestly, for now Microsoft provides more value for the money.