Weblog:   The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Subject:   Level Playing Field but don't force Open Source.
Date:   2002-08-17 07:12:55
From:   jsotack
To try to impose your decisions or views regarding buying decision I feel is elitism. How is it that the authors of the California Bill know better how to satisfy orgainizational IT needs than that orgainisations IT department?

Some of the concerns addressed directly by open source are likley already addressed as follows:

1. Limiting Spending: This is done by top level budgets. The decision maker of an orgainization should decide where to put their dollors. In some cases open source may make sense. In others it may not. To train people with new applicaton is either directly expensive (training classes or work hour spent attending) or indirectly (using time for self training).

2. Information security: Security of personal information is a legitimate concern, but I believe it is enough to require orgainizations that keep personal data to protect it, and have penalties for failing to do so. The means of protecting it should be up to the orgainization.

3. Information Distribution: Another legitamate concern of government might be distributing information (possibly in editable form) in formats that can be viewed without purchasing commercial SW. You don't have to mandate open source, only that distributed public information be distributed in an open format, or possibly in a format for which a free viewer exists.

And what about availability of applications. Saying you can use only open source, or only closed source for that matter, limits the available applications.

I like and use open source. I also like and use closed source commercial SW. Each has its place and should survive on its own merrits.

Noboty forces me to buy SW for my home computer. If you don't like Windows, you can use MAC OS. If you don't like either of those, you can use Linux. I use Linux asnd Window for different purposes. If I am doing development or learning, I prefer Linux. For education / gaming for my kids, its Windows 98 SE.

I trust the market where people decide for at the lowest levels what the best solution is from their prespsective.

In general, each will succeed to the degree that it satisfies customer needs.