Assault on FOSS bill

A reader of my Technopinoy blog commented that Dik Pascual assaulted on Teddy Casino’s Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) bill.

While Philippine Computer Society’s position, I feel, is valid, Dik Pascual’s take on open-source is scathing to say the least. Has he used any open source software at all? It appears not.

More on my views at Technopinoy.

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  • I think that some of his arguments are valid though, and that if we ever push through with a nationwide “reboot”, we would have to look at examples set by other countries like Brazil.

    I personally use Open Office at home, but where I work we had to switch back to MS Office because…welll I’m not sure exactly, but there were some issues with OpenOffice interacting with Visio I think.

    Open source software is great and good, but again, much caution should be used before plunging into it.

    Hell, why do we even bother? unless there’s a way to make money off of this there’s no way that government’s gonna push through with it. 😛

  • Fleeb

    Though some of his points are valid…

    “The only thing free is the software. The sponsors imagine a situation where software is donated to the government by benevolent souls who had labored to create such technical and intellectual property but do not want or need anything in return.”

    Tanga! These open source software are already there. It is not to be donated.

    “But will professional programmers be willing to create software, then give them away for free and renounce all rights to have a say when these are rewritten and redistributed?”

    Does this guy even research at all? Who said about renouncing the rights? There is a difference between the rights to the code and the rights to use. Another thing, has this guy ever went to sourceforge and freshmeat to realize what he said?

    For the Microsoft side: of course that’s their own PR.

  • SubXer0

    Ryan,
    It’s not “to make money off of this”.

    It’s the government’s savings. Windows XP Home costs P4,890, Office 2003 costs P13,570 and Windows 2003 Server costs P50,000.

    Now multiply that with all the computers the government has, that will cost hundreds and hundreds of million pesos.

    Supposing we use Bayanihan Linux and OpenOffice
    now, imagine the savings that could also be used for the calamity victims, or build roads and bridges, or feed the hungry, or…

    Read more on FOSS bill commentaries.

  • Fleeb

    “Free/open source: Not confusing, its benefits are clear”

    http://business.inq7.net/money/topstories/view_article.php?article_id=36605

    —–

    “French parliament dumping Windows for Linux”

    France’s gendarmes and Ministry of Culture and Communication have done it, and now members of the country’s parliament are about to switch to open source.

    Starting in June 2007, PCs in French deputes’ offices will be equipped with a Linux operating system and open-source productivity software.

    The project, backed by parliament members Richard Cazenave and Bernard Carayon of the Union for a Popular Movement party, will see 1,154 French parliamentary workstations running on Linux, with OpenOffice.org productivity software, the Firefox Web browser and an open-source e-mail client.

    A spokesperson for the parliament’s administration said a decision as to the choice of Linux distribution and e-mail client hasn’t yet been made. Currently, some of the parliament’s servers have been running Linux, with Apache Web servers and the Mambo content management system.

    The project was the subject of a study by technology services company Atos Origin, whose conclusions convinced the French National Assembly to make the switch.

    “The study showed that open-source software will from now on offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs (members of parliament) and will allow us to make substantial savings despite the associated migration and training costs,” the parliament said.

    Open-source supporters have welcomed the decision. Benoît Sibaud, president of April, the association for the research into and promotion of open-source computing, said the decision to migrate to open source will enable the French parliament to have greater control over its information technology without depending on any one vendor and to make better use of public money.

    This will be the first case of a French public institution switching its PCs to a Linux operating system. Previous open-source initiatives concerned servers, as was the case with the Minstry of Agriculture, and with OpenOffice and Firefox, which were adopted by France’s gendarmerie.

  • My thoughts on it: some of the people in government would probably lobby for it because they have already thought of ways to make money off it.

    Ideally though, the financial savings would be good in the long run though right now, there would have to be investments made in terms of training people to use the software. That’s where it might prove to be difficult at first. As I have written before, it might take quite a while before people actually get it into their minds that FOSS is not just about the cost of the software but also becoming open to the idea that software are tools and we don’t have to be locked into particular tools (like MS stuff), that we actually have choices.

  • lurk3r

    “but where I work we had to switch back to MS Office because…welll I’m not sure exactly, but there were some issues with OpenOffice interacting with Visio I think.”

    One rule for doing business is to lock-in your customers. Visio works well with MS Office because they are a “family”. MS Office & Visio doesn’t support–AFAIK–open format. Does MS office able to read/write .odts? Of course products of same “family” are expected to work seamlessly. Will dominant software products adopt to open standards? I don’t think so. My option would be, Open Office and Draw or Dia.