On Mon, 2004-05-03 at 15:46, James McCarthy wrote:
> well then it might be an idea to have some way where the whole ilug can
> work together to provide a single statement for events such as these.
> put the research into it, good phrasing and then reply.
We must congratulate her for making the decision that open standards are
the way forward. We must also concede that open source is not
necessarily equal to open standards. However, the WS-I standards that
she wants to use are not open standards either (AFAIK). They are system
interfaces drawn up a consortium of private companies who agree to
licence their copyright (and American software patents) to other members
of the consortium.
We should point out that open standards are standards that are set by
some standards body. Reputable bodies are the w3c, ANSI, IEEE and
ECMA. We should also point out that these standards are available for
everyone (including Irish/European SME's) to implement. We should also
give examples of these standards (IP, TCP, HTTP, C, C#, CORBA...).
We should point out that the free and open source software community
does recognise the need for standards. That we are the driving force
behind word processor document standardisation (Oasis) and several
web-services standards (eg. XML-RPC).
We should ask her about the standards and software that she needs
developed for this project. If we receive details on said software we
could provide Free and Open Source software to meet her exacting
Lastly we should thank her for considering free and open source
software. Remind her that we are here to answer any queries that she
has about GNU/Linux and free and open source software in general.
I don't think we can argue this one on price. Every study on TCO etc..
is conducted by a marketing driod. The aforementioned droids rarely
know what they are talking about (but I'd like a few on our side). If
the project is implemented with _real_ open standards we (here) all know
that Free and open source software will win at the end of the day.
Unfortunately this may be another case of the Irish government playing
lip service to open standards. The classic example is any Irish
government website (www.cev.ie for example [even though they're our
friends now]) always has a page on how they support people with
disability by implementing the WAI (web accessibility guidelines), but
when you look at the page source it's infested with anti-WAI tr's and
td's in places they shouldn't be.
The Irish government simply don't know technology (evidence: evoting,
WS-I "standards", WAI breakage on web pages, word documents). We've a
long road ahead of us to educate them.
Aidan Delaney email: adelaney at cs.may.ie
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