[Linux-aus] Fwd: FYI & Comment - Latest version of Democrat Open Source Bill

Dan Shearer dan at shearer.org
Thu Sep 18 12:21:02 UTC 2003

On Thu, Sep 18, 2003 at 01:38:55PM +1000, Con Zymaris wrote:

> I do believe that some affirmative action is not a bad thing, as the
> entrenched players would otherwise be immovable. Most governments already
> have purchasing policies which not only favour entrenched vendors, they
> _mandate_ these vendors' products.

It isn't so long since Federal and State purchasing documents used to
explicitly state "Intel" when asking for PCs. Thus AMD was excluded.
I've never heard that this was put in place for reasons other than
ignorance. The same sorts of people are in the same sorts of jobs, and I
think FOSS vs The Entrenched is significantly more complicated to
understand than the functionally equivalent AMD vs Intel question.
Naturally, Intel did everything possible to discourage the changes and
AMD lobbied hard for the opposite.

Therefore I think what Con says is correct, and I think any other
approach is poor in comparison. 

Microsoft is very pleased with efforts to create level playing fields,
because they are willing to say that they support open and documented
standards for many things they do. CIFS, Kerberos/LDAP, MS Office OLE
stream format... there is incomplete and misleading documentation
masquerading as "Standards documentation" for each of these and it is
difficult to expect non-technical people to understand why these are
almost useless. Maybe it is better what they do in TDS, which has zero
Microsoft documentation and for which a client implementation is now
available (http://freetds.org.)

Dan Shearer
dan at shearer.org

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