Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Where Open Source fits in New Zealand

NZ Open Source Society president Dave Lane is a frequent and articulate promoter of his cause. He can also be a scathing critic of proprietary software.

In keeping with the Open Source philosophy, his presentation from this year’s ITX conference is online.

You can read the slides, or hit the S key to see the slides and his speaker notes.

Lane’s presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You can copy, adapt and share the work to your heart’s content so long as you credit the author.

It’s well worth a read if you need a crash course in Open Source. It also works as a refresher.

Lane starts with a tidy definition of Open Standards (The original version. Of this post said this was a definition of Open Source, my error):

“Well-defined technical specs available at no cost online, created via a transparent process, by multiple parties, with no royalties, no discrimination, and extensible via a well-defined process.”

Later he says:
We don’t want to mandate open source software. That would be counter productive.

This is a good point. Other countries have mandated open source software in the past. It hasn’t always been successful. Better to create the right climate to let software flourish than to dictate what people use.

Also, once you start dictating software choices, the whole business becomes open to commerical capture from the team with the best lobbying.

Not only that, there are times when proprietary software is the best tool for a specific job and should be left in place.

More important, mandatory Open Source runs against the whole idea of openness. Instead of making user’s decisions for them, it is better to put rules in place so they can make their own choice, the best choice without being constrained.

All we want is a level playing field for software, based on mandated compliance with open standards, as you would expect in just about every other marketplace.

The commercial world often has a better understanding of this than government.
Open source software will succeed on its own merits, just as it has on the web — which is perhaps the aspect of the digital world most dominated by open standards, but it’s already dominated the mobile world, the cloud, the supercomputer and the emerging Internet of Things.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction… These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Barriers Facing Female Politicians

On the current evidence though, voters are less likely to regard a female politician as ‘likeable’ than a male one, and – even worse – this perception tends to become a barrier that only female candidates in the main, have to face. More>>

The Detail: Britain's Trump Is Now Its Prime Minister

Guardian journalist James Murray says Boris Johnson wears the hat that works, depending on what he’s trying to achieve. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaversaries: 20 Years Of The Scoop Information Ecosystem

Scoop celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. To celebrate, we are offering 20% off all ScoopPro subscriptions, including the newly launched ScoopPro Citizen service for Citizen readers. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog