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[vox-outreach] Draft of comment paper to submit at CPR (was: [Fwd]Warning CPR provisions for OpenSource under attack)
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[vox-outreach] Draft of comment paper to submit at CPR (was: [Fwd]Warning CPR provisions for OpenSource under attack)



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Here is draft 2.

På söndag, 26 september 2004, skrev joseph estevao arruda:
> On Sun, 2004-09-26 at 14:40, Henry House wrote:
> > Here is my presentation; please rip it to shreds! ;-)

I am here today to show my support for recommendation SO10 of the CPR
Report, which is titled, "Explore Open Source Alternatives".

This recommendation asks the state to consider software solutions that are
open-source in cases where open-source products show a better
cost-effectiveness and meet the technical and usability requirements of the
state.

Open-Source has already clearly shown a superior capability for backend
areas*, such as mail & web services, the Internet's domain-name system, and
high-level computing for scientific research. The number of applications for
regular users has grown immensely over the years as well, and now includes
adequate and sometimes superior alternatives** for major office programs such
as word processing, graphics, analytical tools, and even web browsing***. All
of these areas were until recently believed to be exclusively owned by
proprietary closed-software vendors.

(Joe notes:)
> * make sure you have a list of examples for this should they ask.  In
> the case of web/mail, let's face it we have Apache marketshare to tout,
> the very use of DNS, and for cluster computing you have IBMs latest
> ASCII behemoth, various large clusters (i.e. 'The Wall' at Brookhaven
> National Lab, as well as various cluster environments at SLAC, the
> Stanford Linear Accelerator).
> 
> ** If asked you can mention not just OpenOffice, but its Sun-backed Star
> Office sister, instead of GIMP, mention Cinepaint (which sounds nicer
> and is the more 'successful' of the two in that it has backing by major
> film houses for production-level work), and things like the R-Project
> for government statisticians/analysts who are doing mathematics, and of
> course things like Evolution and GAIM. 
> 
> ***. Remember just recently there was some kind of announcement on /.
> that Mozilla had jumped from low single digit to low double digit
> marketshare.  This has friegtening implications that Firefox may be a
> real contender in lieu of all the 'setbacks' that IE has had as of late.

Alternatives to Microsoft Windows, such as Linux, the BSD system, and 
Sun's flagship operating system, Solaris, are industry-tested platforms
that are used as a mission-critical part of major
industry players like IBM, HP, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Google, Yahoo,
E-Trade, Apple, Pixar and many others; as well as government entities such as various National Laboratories,
the NOAA, the DoD, NSA*, NASA, the DOE, FAA and large government
contractors like Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and MITRE.

These companies and agencies all use open-source software because it is
reliable and the most cost-effective tool for the job.

An alternative to Microsoft Office, such as OpenOffice, is part of a 
normal business day at Verizon and backed by Sun Microsystems, and it's 
in use in many public schools and even in some government entities such 
as the City of Austin, Texas. 

I wish also to mention the database program PostgreSQL, which was written at
UC Berkeley. 

These are only a small sample of the many open-source programs that are
available out there today, many of which are solid foundations that make up
the Internet and run the majority of our Universities and corporate
environments. We use open-source software everyday, when we run web searches
through Google, when we write e-mails through Yahoo, and when we order books
from amazon.com.  It's time to bring much of these time-tested and proven
programs into our State, where they will serve us well and provide savings
that can be passed to the taxpayer.

> Remember the audience we are addressing is a group of bureaucrats and
> most-likely mostly non-technical.  They want high-level ideas that
> relate to the problem set they are seeking to 'solve'.  Their perpetual
> problem is the electorate :P
 
In fact, some forward-thinking state departments, like the Franchise Tax
Board, are alreading using open-source software and saving millions.

Areas where open-source software excels are resistance to viruses and
hackers, flexibility. and support. Many enterprise-ready open-source
products are available from multiple vendors, which means that the state can
get multiple bids to keep costs down. Companies that offer open-source
products include big names like IBM, HP, Sun, and Red Hat.

Lastly, I wish to note that Open-source software can be used in combination
with proprietary software to combine the strengths of both where
appropriate. For example, state agencies could save money by running Linux
on their database servers instead of Microsoft Windows while continuing to
use their existing Oracle databases.

(I am just dropping the paragraphs below. They seem weak and they are
redundant with the preceding paragraphs.)
> > I'm not saying we should use open-source software everywhere. However I *am* saying we
> > should use them where appropriate, and we should open up our state to this
> > possibility by considering open-source software when we need to purchase new software.
> > For example, the state could save money by running its Oracle database servers
> > on Linux instead of running them on Windows.
> > 
> > It never hurts to consider open-source software.  That's what recommendation SO10
> > says, that we should explore such programs for use. And in this challenging
> > time is vital that we explore new possibilities. 

> DO NOT USE "free" if possible.  Use 'open-source' as consistently as
> possible. You want to imprint into their little heads that 'open-source'
> (which has a vague but non-offensive tone) means = viable option. "Free"
> has too much baggage (and is vague in potential 'you get what you pay
> for' stigmas) you don't want to carry around and have to explain for the
> remainder of the day. 

Agreed. Using 'free' could be a trap leading us to being pigeonholed as
RMS-type extremists.

- -- 
Henry House
Please don't send me HTML mail! My mail system will reject it.
The unintelligible text that may follow is a digital signature.
See <http://hajhouse.org/pgp> to find out how to use it.
My OpenPGP key: <http://hajhouse.org/hajhouse.asc>.

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