[nSLUG] Open Source Desktop Apps

Dennis d'Entremont dennis.dentremont at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 17:04:13 ADT 2009

On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 4:00 PM, Jim Haliburton <jim at on-site.ns.ca> wrote:

> Recently  I was told that a CIO type committee was formed in the provincial
> government IT management.  I have also heard that they have advised the
> politicos that Open Source Software is "not sustainable".  Now I believe
> this
> is plain and simply incorrect.

Of course that is correct. But the Provincial Goverment DOES use open
source. I know that for a fact (as I used to work there). They use SuSE
Linux Enterprise as well as OpenSUSE. They also use the Linux Kernel on many
Novell NetWare installs (In 6.5 it was an option).

On the other hand... They denied me flat out when I tried to convince them
that OpenOffice.org would be a great money saver and would do 90% + of the
word processing that was required. But I was just a lonely tech support guy
at the time so what did I know?

> What I am asking is for this groups help in countering this claim.  I hope
> to
> be able to prepare a bound copy of an alternative position showing the
> sutainability of Open Source.  I want to be able to debunk every myth and
> MS
> FUD that they can present.
> I am seeking your help.
> I would like to have links to documents, case studies, case histories,
> contacts, financial evaluations, first hand reports, and any other
> information.
> I want to edit it and put together a complete dossier to present to the
> government as an alternative to the position taken by this CIO committee.

I'll see if I can dig anything up but I don't think I have anything left
from those days... Although, now that I think of it, I have my books from
some SuSE courses they sent me on.

> Possibly we have an opportunity to make a change with a new government.  If
> it
> takes meeting as a small group to review the material available, I am up
> for
> it.
> I know it is the dog days of summer, but I would like nothing better than
> for
> this CIO committee to come back from vacation and find their position not
> only
> refuted, but overturned.  It has to be a workable, financially viable,
> technically valid paper, showing that their assumptions and beliefs are
> wrong
> and that Open Source is 'right'  and now is the time for change.

The Provincial Government doesn't understand technology very well and some
of the people they have in place who could influence these types of
decisions are the folks who are stuck in the past and don't understand how
far along open source has come.

> The arguments have to include why closed source itself is the unsustainable
> position.  It has to state why the interests of the software companies is
> not
> the interest of the public and taxpayer, and that Open Source is.
> Do we have any interest??

I am interested.

> I want to hear from you.
> Jim Haliburton
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