I attended the "Open Source in US and International Government" talk this morning.
Sadly, they did not mention Canada. I am sure this was not malicious. They just
didn't know about GOSLING and the
great progress they are making.
There were about 40 people at this talk. They heard about OS in the
US Department of Defense from Terry Bollinger. He had the following
analogies or explanations of the various licenses:
|GPL||Schoolhouse - community built, once a schoolhouse,
always a schoolhouse|
In 2002, there was a study on US DoD Open Source use. It was DISA sponsored.
- 251 uses of Open Source
- 115 applications were identified
In addition, Open Source was used for Infrastructure Support, Software development t,
Security, and Research. OpenBSD was being used for Firewalls and
Open Source was proving to permit rapid response to cyber threats.
Terry also mentioned that Open Source ensures that there are no secrets. The
software can be examined and proved to be doing exactly what it claims to be
doing. This is proving to be increasingly important as more and more
governments become wary of what others are doing.
Peter Gallagher, from devIS said that
Open Source use by government is inevitable. He stressed that COTS
(commercial off-the-shelf) is not incompatible with Open Source. A COTS
solution can be Open Source.
Peter mentioned that the US Department of Labor has over 50 websites
which use Open Source. The Department of State has been using Open Source
since 1999. Peter says his company is able to reduce their quotes to clients by
10% because of Open Source use. Government departments are finding the Open
Source licenses very attractive because of the reduced procurement issues and the
lessened of license compliance costs. In addition, once an application
is bought and paid for, it can then be reused by other departments because of
the Open Source license. Reuse reduces costs.
Peter mentioned that what we should be asking the governments for is a level
playing field. Allow Open Source to compete in that environment and it will