[nSLUG] Open Source Desktop Apps

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 19:45:03 ADT 2009

2009/8/5 Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com>:
> Best idea, IMHO, is to ask everyone to contact their MLA

I wrote the following to my representative.


Hello Mr. Steele,

A rumour has floated around that your government has struck a
committee which claims that the use of free software by the province
is "not sustainable".

This may just be a rumour. However it has prompted me to contact you
to say that, as an IT professional as well as a voter and taxpayer in
your district:

I support the use of free/open source software by government.

Free software is probably less expensive overall (total cost of
ownership), but even if it is not, it is better because:

- money is spent on local IT jobs instead of software licenses from
foreign companies
- free software is more secure, in that bugs are not hidden and never
fixed, and no foreign company is tempted to insert back doors
- free software uses free and open data storage formats, while
proprietary software tends to use proprietary data formats.

In fact, given that the government works for and is funded by me, the
taxpayer, and that most of the data stored by the government is about
me, the citizen, and belongs to all the citizens of Nova Scotia, I
feel entitled to demand that the government avoid using proprietary
software that puts this data into proprietary formats.

Imagine if tomorrow, a proprietary, secret data format in use by the
government today ceases to be readable due to a software error, and
the manufacturer of the software refuses to fix it. Disaster.

Please don't send any more taxpayer money to Microsoft. Use free /
open source software in government.

Thank you for your time,

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