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

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Wed Jul 16 09:54:02 UTC 2003

On Wed, 16 Jul 2003 09:02, Con Zymaris wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 09:01:47PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
>> On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 12:53:05PM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
>>> 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.

>> I don't think it's worth getting that worked up over this -- free
>> software can compete on features; all we need to ensure is that we
>> get rid of policies that make it impossible to use free software,
>> not to make policies that make it impossible to use proprietary
>> software.

> Concurr.

> Thus the founding principles on what OSV agreed should be the mandate
> call for governments in Australia:

Sort-of concur.

There is no guarantee that you will get what you ask for, so it may be 
tactically correct to ask for just a little more than you want, and let 
your enemies "beat you back" to only what you really need. There is 
also a school of thought which says that the second House is happier if 
you give them something that they can amend before passing.

I'd also like to get nit-picky on how protocols and formats are deemed 
to be "open and documented". I think documentation should include a 
working sample FOSS implementation - or at least that we should ask for 
that, and maybe get beaten back to a working sample implementation.

There are also some big grey areas on how it will be decided when a 
generic specification is appropriate, and when it is more rational to 
specify down to brands and products.

The "multiple sources" idea also has to be run to ground, because there 
are actually such provisions already but they're interpreted to mean 
that the same package can be offered through different ISVs rather than 
(as IMESHO they should be) that different packages may be offered.

The all-pervasive (sigh) Microsoft in particular will argue (have 
argued) that since the vast majority of the money spent on their 
products stays in the country, the "import replacement" argument is 
weakened. In arguing for your third principle, you're going to have to 
address that quite forcefully in order to make any headway.

I do wish we lived in a world where straightforward, no-nonsense, 
starkly contrasting approaches always worked, but we have to play the 
cards we've been dealt.

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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