ZDNet Australia: Open Source for Government: More than Just Free Beer

[ Thanks to Con
for this link. ]

While much of Andrew’s thesis can be quickly dismissed and
countered, which I will do below, he is right on a couple of
points. The thoughts expressed here have had a multi-year gestation
period, reaching a degree of cogency only in recent months, when a
multitude of events, including the statement of intent to consider
widespread deployments of open source technologies by close to 40
countries around the world, including the whole European Union, as
well as an attempt (led my Microsoft no less) to stymie this
brewing stampede, have caused me to consider this more

“In his piece ‘Free source or free beer?’ Andrew rhetorically
asks if it’s a good idea to opt for the cheapest technology (i.e.,
the one with no licence fee costs) to which he doesn’t render a
complete response. I’ll provide an answer in lieu of his, with the
following rumination: the freedom from price of any software should
not be the most significant aspect for the selection of software.
What is of absolute importance is a combination of open and
inter-operable formats, APIs and standards, along with transparency
of software. What’s at stake is not merely or primarily a
discontinuity of commercial interests. It’s far more

“The core concept here is that government functions differently
to commerce, and rightly so. Open government is good

Complete Story

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis