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[News] Mostly Cosmetic Changes to UK Free Software Policy Leads to Backlash

  • Subject: [News] Mostly Cosmetic Changes to UK Free Software Policy Leads to Backlash
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 03:44:36 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

UK Government upgrades Open Source policy

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK Government has revised its 2009 Open 
| Source strategy and will now require 
| suppliers to show they have considered open 
| source. Although the government says that 
| the new strategy documentPDF "does not 
| represent a wholesale change to Open Source 
| Open Standards Reuse Strategy" they have 
| taken account of feedback from 
| writetoreply.org.


UK.gov tweaks open source policy small print

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK government has rejigged its open 
| source and open standards software 
| procurement policy, following pressure from 
| OSS vendors last autumn.
| Early last year the Cabinet Office revised 
| its rules on public sector open source 
| software purchases, but many OSS players 
| complained that the policy amendments 
| didnât go far enough.


A âRefreshedâ ICT Strategy for Government?

,----[ Quote ]
| Clearly, much of this is just words, words, 
| words, as someone once said. Moreover, the 
| time scales are depressingly long: 2015 is 
| a generation away in technology terms. 
| Still, the fact that open source is 
| mentioned explicitly in the ways described 
| above, and that there is a growing 
| understanding of the problems it faces, 
| gives me some slight hope that one day we 
| might even start seeing free software being 
| widely used by the UK government. 


Government plans to overhaul computing system

,----[ Quote ]
| The government's planning to overhaul its 
| entire computing system, focussing on open 
| source software and cloud computing.


Open source vendors underwhelmed by government's ICT plans

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK government's stance on open source 
| is meaningless without any significant 
| means of enforcement. That's the view of 
| the open source community which has 
| bemoaned the lack of teeth in guidelines 
| issued this week.
| Although there was a broad welcome for the 
| new Cabinet Office strategy document, 
| particularly the passages affirming the 
| support for open source, several commented 
| that there was a need to go further.


The government and open source - all talk and no action

,----[ Quote ]
| The Cabinet Office seems to have got its PR 
| strategy all wrong. The period leading up 
| to the launch of the iPad would have been a 
| perfect day to have buried bad news #169;Jo 
| Moore but the new ICT strategy seems to be 
| something to celebrate: a move that saves 
| money, cuts carbon emissions, sets out a 
| cloud computing policy and offers more to 
| the open source community should be 
| trumpeted loud and clear on a day free from 
| any other distractions.
| [...]
| So, if we accept that public procurement 
| should be more loaded in favour of open 
| source software, what can be done about it? 
| Should we adopt a policy like Hungary's 
| where 20 percent of public procurement has 
| to be open source? (although the open 
| source community in Hungary is not entirely 
| convinced it should be a poster-boy for 
| European open source adoption) Should we 
| adopt a policy like the Netherlands where 
| open source has to be adopted, all other 
| factors being equal? Or should it like 
| France where there's no set policy but open 
| source has taken off to such an extent that 
| 96 percent of public sector bodies are now 
| using it.


Public sector open source body needed

,----[ Quote ]
| The governmentâs revamped open source 
| procurement policy will continue to lack 
| teeth unless a single body is made 
| accountable for enforcement, a member of 
| the open source community have warned.
| The measures, which have taken a total of 
| five years to overhaul, are intended to 
| promote open standards and encourage the 
| reuse of software.



Transparency against malpractic

,----[ Quote ]
| As a result of my new enthusiasm to 'get out more' I found myself listening
| to a detailed and balanced 'non-advocacy' presentation from a respected OSS
| Watch staffer.
| He explained patiently how open source licencing worked and how it differed
| from proprietary licences. But what he did say whilst looking for an everyday
| resonance to make his points accessible to a non-geek audience, and which
| really sharpened every-one's attention, was that proprietary software was
| built on secret code whereas open source software had transparent code.
| Proprietary software IS composed of secret code. You can't read it, you don't
| know what it does (other than what you can see it do), you don't know how it
| does it and you can't change it.

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