This has piqued my curiosity. I live in Austin and have worked at TCEQ; they are a strange breed; strange even for Texas bureacrats. I'm wondering if this one could really have come from TCEQ, and if so what Ms. Hunter could be thinking. I think I'll just call her up tomorrow and ask her.

My brother in law has worked for IBM helping government agencies develop Linux solutions, and if there is any issue with government agencies thinking they're banned from using free software, maybe he can shed light...

Now, Austin IS the original land of bureacracy... New York State doesn't even hold a candle to it... and you know that University of Texas at Austin debate over the confederate statues on campus, which campus officials have handled for decades through protracted bureacratic procedure? Well, guess what... EVERYTHING is handled like that here. Sometimes it's deliberate, sometimes not.

So Ms. Hunter understands, open source software is not for purchase, and one doesn't have to acquire a license to use it. Like, would "get used to it" be appropriate?

I wonder if she has this list confused with the developers of GIMP.

Some Linux distributions have some optional or else easily overlooked procedure where you agree to keep the software open source. GIMP's developers would know if they have such a procedure.

I'd be astounded if Texas actually has a law against state agencies using open source or free software... I really don't think so, LOL!!!! But people are so strange here, it's no surprise some government officials may think such a law exists!

The GIMP web site should tell how to contact those developers. But from looking on this site, it comes across that like most things Linux/ open source, GIMP is strictly a community effort. You'd have better luck getting an official response from the owners of Wikipedia... they don't exist. There is no contact information for GIMP's developers, because GIMP's developers are all of us.

GIMP's documentation, including it's "GNU Free Documentation License" are here:

This is an open mailing list where GIMP users share information on how to use the software... this list certainly won't be providing TCEQ with its accessibility information! Certainly not by *June 15, 2015*. Which leads me to wonder exactly what I will find out when I call Ms. Hunter tomorrow, because June 15 was like, eight days ago. Is this a spoof? Maybe by someone who has as little use for TCEQ as I do?

I'm pretty sure GIMP's developers made not attempt to sell GIMP to TCEQ nor even got in touch with them unless TCEQ had reached out to them... and installing the software is a matter of downloading it!

Now, if TCEQ means to sue all open source developers to require them to sell and license their software.... a whole lot of people will be seeing them in court... right after I suspect a whole lot of people take thick old white paint (with black for the eyes) to those confederate statues on the UT Austin campus.

I worked for a large company that runs a big call center in Austin that contracts with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to handle certain welfare services. We used CCleaner to remove cookies and empty browser caches and free up our software. CCleaner is free... unless one chooses to use the pro version, but we weren't using that.. . It was just installed on our computers. Anyone can install and use ccleaner. You don't need a license and you don't have to pay for it. I don't need a license, and the State of Texas doesn't need a license.

I am wondering what Ms. Hunter specifically means by accessibility documentation.... usually accessibility has to do with aids the software might have that would be helpful to people with disabilities. I don't even see how it would apply to GIMP. GIMP is graphics software. As far as I know you need to be able to see well enough to use it and nothing internal to GIMP would help you if you can't... How GIMP might be used with specific adaptive equipment, for example, for people who have trouble using their hands, would be a specific set of questions for the developers. Accessibility is often a very user-specific issue that it's hard to plan in advance for in any case.

Now, Ubuntu, an open source Linux operating system, comes with "accessibility features" I've not even seen in English, or not as usable; the computer will actually read anything at all to you out loud, and that sort of thing! And that's just included with Ubuntu.

I'm going to get back to you all with what I find out when I talk with Ms. Hunter.


-----Original Message----- From: Bill Skaggs
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 9:11 AM
To: Sarah Hunter
Cc: ;
Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] [Gimp-docs] Accessibility documentation request

Dear Ms. Hunter,

GIMP is open source software, available for download by anybody at no
charge, subject to a specific licensing agreement.  That licensing
agreement does not make any warranty of accessibility. If the state of
Texas purchased this software, it was obtained from a third party, not
directly from the GIMP project.  Any responsibility for documenting
accessibility would lie with that third party.

See for more information about the project.

Best regards, Bill Skaggs

(This email is purely informative.  I do not have the right to speak for
the GIMP project.)

On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 2:12 PM, Sarah Hunter <>

 This email is to request appropriate accessibility documentation for
purchases from your company.

Federal and state laws require Texas state agencies to purchase only
accessible electronic and information resources from our vendors. We (the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) are currently reviewing all of
our software purchases and have been unable to locate the required
accessibility documentation for *GIMP.*

Per Texas Administrative Code, appropriate accessibility documentation may
be in the form of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or an
accessible electronic document that addresses the same accessibility
criteria in substantially the same format as a VPAT or equivalent reporting

I have attached an industry-standard VPAT for your convenience. You may also
find the Even Grounds website
<> to be

Please provide the requested information by *June 15th, 2015*. If I can
be of assistance, or if you need additional information, please let me know.

Thank you,

*Sarah Hunter*

*Accessibility Intern | Information Resources Department *

** <>

*512-239-4773 <512-239-4773>*

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