Massachusetts and Open Source in Government

Tuesday, January 06 2004 @ 10:27 AM EST

Contributed by: PJ

The Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray writes somewhat breathlessly about Massachusetts maybe deciding to use open source instead of proprietary software. I venture to guess, after reading the article, that he doesn't use Linux. He also has not been following the Linux in government story as closely as Groklaw, I'm guessing:

"This is no idle threat. Texas, Oregon, and Delaware are talking about going open source. Overseas, one of Australia's six states has passed legislation mandating the use of open-source code and similar plans are popping up from Peru to China.

"It's a long way from here to the death of traditional software. But if one state or nation succeeds in switching, it sends a message to every other government and large business -- this open-source stuff is for real."

China already made the decision to go Linux. And there is no reason both proprietary and free/open source software can't coexist, unless you believe that given an open cell door the world will run screaming away from Microsoft and other proprietary vendors. If you believe that, it should tell you something right there. Here is South Africa's level-playing-field strategy, which has been endorsed by the Center of Open Source and Government, just to show Bray another option.

Bray is right about one thing, though. Things are heating up and interest in Linux is global.