Timeline of open source in U.S. government

I’ve written a few times about FLOSS and GNU/Linux in US government. A clearer picture than snapshots or particular events is revealed in this video from RedHat. It shows first the DoE and years later DoD accepting FLOSS as COTS (Consumer Of The Shelf) software. DoE began using FLOSS rather freely but DoD anguished over the matter for years before publicly stating the obvious, FLOSS is good software. Meanwhile the Whitehouse adopted FLOSS for its website. No hesitation remains.

It is remarkable how different US governments see FLOSS compared to European governments. In Europe there is a whole network set up to facilitate, educate, promote adoption, and sharing of FLOSS. This could even become a campaign issue in the present election. After all, both major parties are keen to balance the budget and to reduce waste. Out of the $5billion IT budget, FLOSS could probably take a good chunk out of $1billion of the deficit. There are feedback effects too, although reducing staff might not go well with present concerns about unemployment.

Meanwhile, Canada still hasn’t published its policy on FLOSS after calling for public comment, which I and many others gave. We could use a little more efficiency in government, too.

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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One Response to Timeline of open source in U.S. government

  1. kozmcrae says:

    I think you were right Robert when you said 2013 will be the year of Not Microsoft. Too bad. The rise of FLOSS does not have to mean the fall of Microsoft. They just want too much control. The new economics of IT don’t work that way any more.

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