The call for comment contains this:
“MITA is establishing a framework through which the industry is made aware of Governmentâ€™s preferred technologies. MITA is committed to publish a Technology Outlook and Roadmap on a regular basis. The Agencyâ€™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 Agencyâ€™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 â€œDoes it work?â€ 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.