[Linux-aus] Has M$ bought off the SA Govt ?

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Tue Jul 15 13:03:01 UTC 2003

On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 12:53:05PM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 11:32, Con Zymaris wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 10:37:16AM +0800, Gary Allpike wrote:
> >> http://news.com.au/...
> > Fuller version of article here:
> > http://australianit.news.com.au/...
> AFAICT it's the same article.

ack. correct. I didn't notice the remainder of the news.com.au piece below 
the mega-advert, amid-page ;-)

> > also worth noting is this piece:
> > http://www.zdnet.com.au/...
>     "We want a process that is not based on automatic preferences,"
>     Wendy said.
> Yah, sure, Mike, sure... that's why you're working so hard to make 
> certain that incumbents who just happen to be your biggest members have 
> no particular advantages, isn't it?
> I think the politicians often take their eye off the ball in terms of 
> who's making the choices which are in such deep contention. With Open 
> Source, those choices can be varied right down to the front lines, but 
> if the source is closed - unless the individual packages have made 
> provision for this in the forms of plugins etc, and even then the 
> choices available are often considerably more limited - this field of 
> choice is taken away, reserved to a more general level and higher up 
> the chain of authority, a long way from where the rubber meets the 
> road.
> Another misfocus is on the other aspects of freedom in "Free Software". 
> With Open Source software, software implementations are much less 
> dependent on approval from computer-illiterate finance departments. 
> This one factor can eliminate a lot of cost-raising waste and red tape 
> from government operation.
> I think we need to work hard to broaden the field of enquiry from just 
> "can we see the source" - something pretty abstract and removed from 
> everyday life for Joe Random Politician - to what can we *really* do 
> with this stuff? How much does *this* tie us down in comparison with 
> *this*? What does *this* do to our trade-balance/employment/turnover 
> compared with *this*.

I liked this response to the ZDNet pice:

Fullname:    Rodd Clarkson
Location:   Ringwood East
Occupation:   Programmer


Mike Wendy wants to have his cake and eat it too.  While Mr Wendy says
that ISC "[wants] a process that is not based on automatic preferences",
the ISC is far to willing to turn a blind eye on policy that requires the
use of proprietary software.

Mr Wendy, if a fair playing field is so important to the ISC, then I
challenge you to make a public statement regarding governments that
mandate the use of Microsoft file formats and applications.

Here's a starting point.  The Victorian Government has two policies (The
Standardized Desktop Software Policy [see:  
41~&3=3434+Standard+Desktop+S/ware~] and the Desktop File Exchange Policy

[see: http://mmv.vic.gov.au/ CA256985002E8DB7/All/
41~&3=3535+Desktop+File+Exchange~]) that require the use of Microsoft
software across all Victorian government departments.  This is clearly an
'automatic preference' and as such I'm sure that the ISC would disapprove
of such policy.

I'm sure that if the ISC isn't just being hypocrites then you'll be able
to find plenty of other examples of where governments have policy that
favors one type of software over another.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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