The European Commission’s specialist open source unit, OSOR, has finally produced an official version of the procurement guidelines that Rishab Ghosh and colleagues worked on about three years ago.
This is an important document that needs bringing to the attention of local, regional and national government across Europe (and beyond). It provides a possible answer to the key problem preventing implementation of the many policies that at best mandate and at least permit open source software in government applications. The problem has rarely been the political will; it has usually been that the procurement guidelines in place prevent use of open source.
That’s a situation no government employee has wanted to fix because of the toxic power of suppliers who don’t want it fixed (just see what Microsoft did in Massachusetts). So we’ve had pro-open-source policies neutralised by the tired bureaucracy. But now procurement teams everywhere can now pick up this publication and use it. Problem solved!
Very sensible list for those taking Twitter seriously. Following every rule to the letter will take away your edge, though.
Gruber has a full analysis of this, but suffice to say that it may not be smart to pay some guy $5000 for a phone he found in a bar that’s very obviously Apple’s property.
Roy is right – it’s really bad practice for journalists to talk about security and usability issues on Windows as “computer issues” without pointing out they are on Windows. The same journalists call out Mac and Linux issues so they should also name (and shame) Windows when it’s a problem on Windows.
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