[nSLUG] local ns e-govt and oss???

Miles Thompson milesthompson at ns.sympatico.ca
Thu Feb 17 14:22:24 AST 2005

At 11:21 AM 2/17/2005, you wrote:
>Thanks for the input, Miles.
>Miles Thompson wrote:
>>They'll all swear they're cash-strapped, but check their expenditures and 
>>where they have surpluses buried.
>That'll probably change, at least somewhat, now that they've switched to 
>full accrual accounting. It is a fact, too, that much expenditure, <snip>
>But, putting the political aside, momentarily...Would you support an 
>administrative initiative towards unix-based municipal egovernment? I 
>notice Microsoft is retaliating, claiming that in the end, Unix will cost 
>more than proprietary setups. We have to be dubious about that 
>counterclaim, for sure.
>Do you think citizens would reap more benefits than incurred costs? 
>Politics aside.

Yes, I'd support that, and of course there are transition costs. I'd wager 
the MSFT argument for staying with Windows is that it's a familiar 
environment and people know how to work within it. This Linux stuff is 
strange and intimidating, and be prepared for high costs of retraining.

They are looking, of course, at what would be a v. high cost of switching 
everything over in a lump; any transition is likely to be gradual, and that 
would be their greatest fear.

And of course there are legacy apps, written for the Windows environment, 
which cannot be migrated. Of course MSFT helps with this by periodically 
obsoleting whole chunks of its technology. Example? It's not a smooth 
transition from Vb to VB.NET, and if one wants to (or has to) move from DAO 
to ADO (let's rearrange the letters but kill backwards compatibility) there 
massive code changes are required.

Regards - Miles

>>Cheers - Miles
>>At 06:40 AM 2/17/2005, you wrote:
>>>NSLUG Pundits,
>>>I'm doing a policy paper which will explore the idea of municipal 
>>>egovernment in NS looking at open source software (oss), perhaps as a 
>>>pilot project. If report looks plausible, I'll submit it to Service Nova 
>>>Scotia and Municipal Relations and Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
>>>Any opinions, comments, guffaws, sneers, cheers?
>>>Risking one more step, let's say, hypothetically they went for it. Would 
>>>anyone in the Linux community ever consider donating some experience to 
>>>say, a small, cash-strapped municipality? Perhaps in the form of a 
>>>consulting committee or some such other vehicle? The idea here is 
>>>citizen-engagement and citizen consultation. I know it's a tough sell. 
>>>Cynicism and mistrust rules the era. On the other hand, the oss 
>>>community does have the some features of 'community-minded' people. Just 
>>>trying to get a feel for possible reaction to such a suggestion.
>>>Declaring my interest: If there's any hint of a supportive community 
>>>lurking in the background, it would give my argument more persuasive 
>>>force. And, of course, I really do think there's reasons to explore this 
>>>egovernment option.
>>>Input heartily welcomed!
>>>(the immigrant postponing Debian install until piled up schoolwork 
>>>complete...early April)
>>>nSLUG mailing list
>>>nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
>>nSLUG mailing list
>>nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
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>nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca


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