Ashley Sheridan wrote:
I've not had any personal experience with the public sector, but I have
heard stories from those who have. By all accounts, it seems that most
of the public sector is still stuck in the dark ages with regards to
technology, which could go some way to explaining the abysmal failure
rate of public sector projects! Open source in this sector would be a
perfect solution in most cases, but it's shunned because of fear of the
unknown and worry that anything free is worth the money paid for it.

I'm doing quite a bit more work in public sector these days. Recently ne department finally did away with IE6 and moved to IE7. Here's what I had to do to accomodate this gotcha:


See, that was tough. Why was it so hard? Because I developed for Firefox/Opera and touched up for IE6, 7, 8 since these are inevitable paths of evolution in the public sector.

Open source presents several problems for Government; however, many of these issues are being addressed. It's just that the wheels of bureaucracy move slowly --Patience wins the day. Some of these issues are licensing schemes. The Government has difficulty with licenses such as the GPL due to their viral nature. Additionally, due to the MS stranglehold on so much of industry... most of the skillset within Government leans heavily towards Microsoft products and systems. Then there's the FUD that's been injected into society over the years purporting Linux to be inferior. Now just to offer some info on what I've had the joy (sorrow sometimes :) of encountering/recommending so far within various scenarios (Government, Councils, Task Forces, etc):

PHP :)
Feng Office (formerly OpenGoo)
InterJinn (mostly used for gluing applications together these days)

There's a world of customization out there, being able to jump into any codebase and start creating modules, extensions, skins, or outright modify the core (when necessary) is an extreme plus. It also helps to have security clearance :) Within these scenarios, browsers are usually Internet Explorer or Firefox. IE is the predominant choice, but in some cases users have been able to push for Firefox.

Application and Templating Framework for PHP

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