FLOSS Preference – non-Free Software To Be The Exception in Malta

The call for comment contains this:
“MITA is establishing a framework through which the industry is made aware of Government’s preferred technologies. MITA is committed to publish a Technology Outlook and Roadmap on a regular basis. The Agency’s posture of embracing the application of open standards and technologies as a matter of policy as well as a generic guideline for all technology-related decisions, making proprietary technologies an exception, is important. This is coupled with the smart consideration for open source applications and systems which will widen the Agency’s scope towards harnessing benefits for largescale public implementations”

The document is rife with references to things I like in IT like re-use and efficiency. Lock-in to monopoly is not associated with either of thse things. The result will be better IT for the money with all the good benefits of FLOSS: interoperability, openness, performance and freedom to use IT the best way possible. Having restrictions placed by EULA or lack of interoperability is going the way of the dinosaur. It’s about time. More governments should adopt such policies.

This is about what I proposed to the Canadian Government a while back (2009)-
“After the normal “Does it work?” kinds of criteria that should be applied to all information technology systems and software, all software used or considered for use by the government should be categorized into FREE and NON-Free Software and preference given to Free Software because of the unique benefits to the government. In particular, widely used Free Software should be considered suitable for a fast-track in acquisitions because millions of installations may already be tested and performing well. Examples of Free Software that should be considered a commodity like sheets of paper or pens:

  • OpenOffice.org[OO] office suite which has more than 100 million installations
  • Apache[Apache] web server which runs about 2/3 of the Internet
  • MySQL[MySQL] database which is widely used with PHP to provide dynamic web sites
  • PHP scripts which run on Apache web servers to provide instant commodity/generic social networking sites
  • language processors such as C, C+, PHP, Perl and Python
  • GNU/Linux operating system which runs most of the web and is used on about 10% of desktop computers.”


All governments and businesses and organizations should have such policies to make the world a better place.

see Malta Information Technology – Information Systems Framework.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to FLOSS Preference – non-Free Software To Be The Exception in Malta

  1. kozmcrae says:

    schmodme wrote:

    “Care to back that up with a reference?”

    Care to remember next time it’s mentioned?

  2. schodme wrote, “Care to back that up with a reference?”

    Sure, http://www.openoffice.org/marketing/marketing_bouncer.html

    That’s just downloads, not counting installations as part of a distro which is significant. I used to use OpenOffice.org in schools and install a bunch of copies from a single download. Do the maths. Conversely, find a number for M$’s office suite. At their prices, I doubt it’s on many PCs outside of business. Consumers can write letters and such with other software. They don’t need M$’s office suite. That makes OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice serious competitors in terms of PCs/seats/users even if the users are different people.

  3. schmodme says:

    OpenOffice.org[OO] office suite which has more than 100 million installations

    Care to back that up with a reference?

  4. kozmcrae says:

    These migrations to open source and proclamations to consider open source are just the ones we hear about. There must be many more we don’t hear about. Who wants a visit from Steve Ballmer? It’s much better to just keep it local. No need to rattle Microsoft’s cage.

  5. Thorsten Rahn says:

    MITA is establishing a framework through which the industry is made aware of Government’s preferred technologies.

    Translated into plain old English, this means: the industry won’t give a crap.

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