[CLUG-chat] Government's commitment to FLOSS???
walter at translate.org.za
Mon Jun 21 17:31:50 SAST 2010
Op 21/06/2010 15:03, het Riaan Nolan geskryf:
> Let me define "get real" ... Ubuntu was born right here in South Africa, the
> "Google of Linux" in my opinion, yet government are to thick to even
IMHO, a reference to Ubuntu (and its South African origins) is quite OT
here. Ubuntu, specifically, is unrelated to the government's open source
As Karl Fischer summarised it for me, their policy states that open
source solutions should be used for new developments unless a better
proprietary solution exists.
Firstly, notice that "open source solutions" is used, because the policy
does not simply refer to software used, but also standards (as specified
in the MIOS ). The most important part, though, is that the policy is
applicable to *new* development. This is understandable, as it is
impractical (and would be VERY costly) to replace its entire
infrastructure with open source alternatives. What they are probably
doing at the moment is claiming that Microsoft/proprietary solutions are
"better", for whatever reason(s) and/or definition of "better".
The case of the IEC site was also mentioned. As I understand it the
reason for the success for open source in that case was that it was
claimed that the site (and the IEC by implication) discriminates against
people without IE (which it did, of course) and is therefore
unconstitutional. In the context of democratic elections (and thus
democracy) it is a hypocrisy, which warrented the media attention the
case received. Nevermind the reported cost involved, but I digress...
The interesting part is that the government's OSS policy (and MIOS) did
not really come into play there. This shows (to me, at least) that the
policy is not followed and/or not taken seriously/into account in all
government departments - other departments are doing great, though.
In this case CIPRO is guilty of the same discrimination. Plain and
simple. It's also a new development and should therefore at least be
implemented using open standards, if not also using OSS.
Not being anything remotely associated with a lawyer, I cannot speak as
to the actions you can (legally) take, but I hope this would (at least)
lead to stern conversation with or letter to the person/people
responsible or the appropriate minister.
Walter Leibbrandt Software Developer
* Ubuntu PPA for Translate Toolkit and Virtaal
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