USA, Get On With It. Just Go FLOSS.

“When agencies procure custom-developed source code, however, they do not necessarily make their new code (source code or code) broadly available for Federal Government-wide reuse. Even when agencies are in a position to make their source code available on a Government-wide basis, they do not make such code available to other agencies in a consistent manner. In some cases, agencies may even have difficulty establishing that the software was produced in the performance of a Federal Government contract. These challenges may result in duplicative acquisitions for substantially similar code and an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. This policy seeks to address these challenges by ensuring that new custom-developed Federal source code be made broadly available for reuse across the Federal Government.”
 
See Federal Source Code Policy
Come on, USA. You know you want it. Go Free/Libre Open Source Software. It makes sense. It saves a lot of money. It’s easier/simpler/faster. Just do it. Why limit yourself to 20% of “custom” software? You can have it all, not just 20% and not just custom software.

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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6 Responses to USA, Get On With It. Just Go FLOSS.

  1. oiaohm says:

    I personally like to name my variables with 3 letter codes, or failing that, the names of pornstars and muscle cars. I also like to make creative use of whitespace. I also like to use lots of nested ifdefs.
    kurkosdr you just listed a stack of items that can get your source code declared obfuscated by manual means by a court of law if any of that stuff has adversely effected readability of code. Basically defined obfuscated term in courts is insanely broad. Then the courts question if it accidental or deliberate obfuscated code. When people go to uni and other places they are taught to make clean well written code to keep themselves out of legal hell of having their code accused of being obfuscated in a court of law when it should not be kurkosdr.

    To many people thing obfuscated is about running some tool or something else over source code this is not the case. Poorly styled and constructed source code is obfuscated source code in courts of laws eyes.

  2. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr
    In software development, manual obfuscation is the deliberate act of creating obfuscated code, i.e. source or machine code that is difficult for humans to understand.
    In the first sentence of the wikipedia page that is the define legal system use “.i.e. source or machine code that is difficult for humans to understand” Is the source code difficult for humans to understand. If it is the source code is classed as obfuscated by law. As I said the legal system just goes super broad.

    In legal cases you normally see the term “deliberately obfuscated source
    code” to separate from “accidental obfuscated source code” because you are poor at coding you can make accidental obfuscated source code. You can technically be punished for both.

    So far 8 different countries courts around the world including USA and Germany have referred to first line of the wikipedia as define for obfuscated source code. That is why I included the link to the wikipedia kurkosdr. The courts have declared source code and documentation with source code as separate things. So you could have a mountain of documentation explain what every part of the code does but if none of it is in the source code the source code could still be called obfuscated in a court of law if the source code or the dissembled machine is hard to read compared to what it could have been. So in one way the legal define is broad in another way its massively restrictive.

    Care to share it with us?
    Basically I did share it with you. Should have been clearer that it was first sentence from wikipedia and that has been used in many jurisdictions. So its kinda foolish to think it undefined now.

  3. kurkosdr says:

    There is legal define of obfuscated source code kurkosdr and it broad.

    Care to share it with us?

  4. oiaohm says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obfuscation_%28software%29
    In fact, it is impossible to produce a legal definition of “obfuscated source code” that will not include some of the GNU backend and GCC code. If you have a legal definition of “obfuscated source code”, please share it.
    There is legal define of obfuscated source code kurkosdr and it broad. Lot of cases is simpler and better to mandate formally documented.

    Source code that is too hard because it doing actions that are not required, not commented, not using clear naming of variables in a court of law can be called obfuscated source code. Basically anything that effected readability adversely of your source code can make it classed as obfuscated source code in a court of law. Please note court of law separates source code files and documentation files as two different things. Unfortunately items like git/svm/… tracked changes and changelogs are classed as documentation.

    This is a major hurdle towards “imposing” FOSS via legal means. All you ‘ll get is pristine-quality obfuscated sludge of source code. RedHat is doing it too!
    By law Redhat does not make obfuscated source code. Redhat makes at worst under documented source code. What Redhat does is why you would mandate formally documented not just not obfuscated. Because removing items like change logs is removing documentation not altering source code so is technically not obfuscating action.

    kurkosdr the fact you did not know the law means you should not have commented the way you did.

  5. kurkosdr says:

    If a “policy seeks to address these challenges by ensuring that new custom-developed Federal source code be made broadly available for reuse across the Federal Government” actually existed, how are they going to legally mandate it?

    More specifically, how are they going to differentiate “source code” from “obfuscated source code”.

    See, there is no legal, concrete definition of what is “obfuscated”. I personally like to name my variables with 3 letter codes, or failing that, the names of pornstars and muscle cars. I also like to make creative use of whitespace. I also like to use lots of nested ifdefs.

    In fact, it is impossible to produce a legal definition of “obfuscated source code” that will not include some of the GNU backend and GCC code. If you have a legal definition of “obfuscated source code”, please share it.

    This is a major hurdle towards “imposing” FOSS via legal means. All you ‘ll get is pristine-quality obfuscated sludge of source code. RedHat is doing it too!

  6. dougman says:

    Does going with FLOSS incur the wrath of Sharia law?

    Here is an example of people just wanting to listen to music and a bunch of ingrates wreck the function.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJMv_XPmvfQ

    Coming soon to a town near you in Canada.

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