[LACTTE] Re: [Linux-aus] Travel Grant Application

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Tue Jun 15 15:04:01 UTC 2004

Dan Shearer wrote:

> ...  If some respected developer
> with communications cred was attending a GUI conference and in exchange
> for LA funding commits to developing "Making Free GUIs Conform to
> Government Tender Responses" ...

(Perhaps I misunderstand what you're saying here, and if that is the 
case then I appologise.)

There are a couple of points which strike me as pertinent here. Firstly, 
open source in Australia is a lot bigger than just what governments do. 
Governments (at least in this country) are big lumbering conservative 
things which will follow the overall IT trend set out by industry, 
albeit years behind. I have troubles thinking of a time when government 
in this country has led industry.

The federal government is big on Windows -- because that's what industry 
was doing a couple of years ago, and by definition industry must have 
found the most efficient way of doing things because of their profit motive.

The federal government is big on J2EE -- because there are lots of 
trained people because industry started using it years ago.

If you want to convince a government to do something, show them the 
thousands of profitable and successful (are the two the same?) companies 
using open source.

(I might be completely, wrong there. I'm an ex federal public servant, 
and my cynism might be showing).

Additionally, tenders are not rational documents. If Gnome met all the 
requirements of evey tender presented by governments around this 
country, then it would implode into a big mound of conflicting options 
dialogs. One of the ways to have a successful product is to pick a 
target audience and then run as fast as you can at them. Ignore the 
people to the side shouting, as they're probably not your target audience.

Clearly Gnome and KDE have found markets already, and I can't see 
international projects changing what they do for our puny governments.


(Who will go off and have a little rest now)


Michael Still (mikal at stillhq.com) | "All my life I've had one dream,
http://www.stillhq.com            |  to achieve my many goals"
UTC + 11                          |    -- Homer Simpson

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