That sounds like removing the "F" from FOSS or should I say, that is a
bazaar inside a cathedral. :)
Seriously now, IMHO, as an FOSS contributor and a commercial software
developer that uses FOSS, I believe that there is a complicated process
of getting to the point to embrace a FOSS initiative and that statement
does not help it at all. Where are the decisions made, in public
e-mail-lists or in a cabinet? What about election and cabinet change?
I am not saying that a government agency can't be the incubator of a
*F*OSS, there are numerous successful example out there, but the
governance of the project matter a lot. "If you love your OSS project
set it free".
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
Sorry for the inflamatory subject heading. I'm hoping to get a few bites
with my fishing...
I'm currently reviewing a high level government strategy paper (in
draft) and intend submitting a formal response.
I'd like to see some discussion on the subject by my respected
colleagues prior to making the submission.
The gist of the comment in the draft strategy is something like:
"Open Source approaches to software development will be most effective
if some form of central authority undertakes the role of verifying
contributions and providing quality control."
My initial reaction and response to this is something like:
"This is a misreading of how Open Source works.
Successful Open Source Projects typically have software of superior
quality. This is usually due to there being many developers who have
access to the software for QA purposes.
Any attempt to impose a central authority from outside of Open Source
projects would be rebuffed vigorously and result in a probably
irrepairable relationship between that party and the project(s) involved.
The most successful centralised Open Source authority is probably the
Apache Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) which is behind a wide range
of projects including the Apache Web Server, probably the most widely
used Web Server on the Internet. The Foundation pioneered the concept of
'Meritocracy', where people earn respect and are given greater
responsibility for projects based on their past contributions and
'merit'. The Foundation grew from within the Project. It was not imposed
on the Project. They have developed an enviable reputation for spawning,
incubating and fostering robust Open Source Projects that routinely
produce high quality software.
Nearly two years ago, an organisation called the Open Source Geospatial
Foundation (OSGEO, http://www.osgeo.org/) was formed based on the
Apache ethos, to provide similar support for Open Source Spatial
applications. They currently have a number of prominent spatial projects
in Incubation with a number of other equally capable projects waiting
for the next vacancy for incubation."
OK, over to you. I'm interested in all points of view on this issue.
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