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

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Wed Jul 16 10:10:02 UTC 2003

On Wed, Jul 16, 2003 at 09:58:52AM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> 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.

Asking for only a few judiciously selected requirements, with clear intent
and clear language, shouldn't be so much a problem. I guess it would have
been great to have the SA Democrat's ear prior to his tabling the proposed

> 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.

I see no problem is seeking open, fully document and inter-operable
document standards. To whit, I give you the best example:


> 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.

Once again, clear wording and meainging: "multiple, independent software 
development vendors". This cannot be construed as City Software, Harris 
Tech and Tech Pacific reselling Microsoft.

> 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.

We're working on this topic. The best guesstimate figure I have fixed to
date is that Australia is running an annual $3 billion trade defecit in
software.  Methodology and details to be finalysed.

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

More information about the linux-aus mailing list