Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

A new series about the state of open source in government—where it's happening, what it's used for, who's for it and who's against it.

People believe that governments have embraced Linux and open-source software. You might see headlines saying that Linux advocates have made serious inroads in government. Logic dictates that Linux works well and the price is right, so why not?

This year, Oregon and Texas legislators introduced house and senate bills respectively supporting open-source software. Both legislative bills made their way to committee hearings, but the results differed significantly. Oregon's HB 2892 died. In Texas, SB 1579 found favor in the Committee and remains pending due to a walkout by approximately 50 members of the House.

California and Oklahoma also made attempts do some legislative mandating to use open-source software that died quietly. Rhode Island didn't see legislative action, but it did build a Linux portal for the state's rules and regulations database, which received good reviews.

Other states, such as Alabama, attempted grass roots efforts from their Information Service Departments to implement open-source initiatives. Grass roots efforts exist in Iowa, Utah, Hawaii and Louisiana.

We discovered open-source initiatives in city and county government units across the country. Similar to commercial users of Linux, the various local efforts have started at the bottom. One city in a far northwestern state secretly deployed Linux to avoid an entanglement with a local software company. In Texas, Houston looks like a pioneer and has already seen reduced costs and saved taxpayer money.

Depending on your worldview, we could say the Open Source community made important strides or failed miserably in the past year. Regardless, we gained extensive knowledge of our situation in state and local government. This discussion covers specifics of our overall findings.

The Issues

The main thing a government unit considering open-source software wants to know is how it can save money. The people who answer to their constituents need to show cost cutting and a balanced budget.

A level below the legislators and government officials lays a large, permanent bureaucracy. The managers spend time working on technical issues such as reliability, continuity, security and interoperability. At lower levels, people maintain the existing systems with little funding for development. They need solutions they can deploy with little effort that fit seamlessly into their infrastructures.

Interested parties make up the final group with issues. These include advocates and the opposition. Here, I depict the opposition as well funded and organized. The advocates have little organization, financial resources and/or participants.

Saving Money

During the Texas hearing, Senate sponsor John Carona summed up the money situation nicely during the hearing before the Administrative Committee. He addressed the lobbyists making up the opposition and said:

Again, I don't understand why you all are so threatened by this, but from a careful look at the lobbyists in this room that are representing Microsoft, and all of you here representing proprietary software companies which—let's face it, that's where the big money is; it's not in open source, it's in proprietary—it's rather transparent as to why you all feel so threatened by this language. And I'll tell you, this [bill] is innocuous, but next session I'll be on a crusade.

Elected officials and state bureaucracies have little agility in the area of information technology budgets. Meanwhile, lobbyists and the popular press continue to say that open-source software provides little, if any cost savings. Analysts, such as Andrew Binstock of Pacific Data Works LLC, say governments are conservative when it comes to new technology.

Rhode Island became the first state government to implement open-source technology in view of the public. Jim Willis, the special project consultant for the Secretary of State, chose open-source software to implement an on-line rules and regulations database. The implementation used LAMP, which stands for the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and any of three development languages—PHP, Perl or Python.

The state developed the database-driven portal for $40,000. Hardware costs amounted to $6,000. Deployment cost $3,000, and the remaining funds went for overhead and one consultant working only two days a week for four months. The portal runs under Red Hat Linux 7.2 and sits on a Dell PowerEdge server that came with a MySQL database pre-installed. Ninety-five agencies use the portal to submit PDF files with information on rules and regulations to the Secretary of State's office. The database currently holds approximately 1,700 regulations.

______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Texas Walkout

Anonymous's picture

Is this even related to the topic? I thought the walkout was regarding the Rep.'s trying to redraw state house districts to guarntee Republicans majority in the House.

If that's true, the Texas rangers and the state police already have warrants for the Dem.'s to be returned to Austin...

Re: Texas Walkout

Anonymous's picture

Of the 50 or so democrats that went to Oklahoma for a week, several should have been working on getting bills out of committees. They left their jobs and did more than stop a redistricting bill. If I did that on my job, the would have fired me.

They claimed to have done it for redistriciting but they created a situation where a quorum could not be called for a week to ten days.

Mr. Adelstein subsribes to several mailing lists and attempted to influence members of the committee to get the Bill on the floor. I know the committee members got letters and email, but couldn't get a slot to have a vote.

EFFAustin also worked to get the Bill out of committee as did several LUGS in Texas. The Texas Speaker of The House just took the highest priority issues that had immediate budget ramifications and used the time he had left to get those passed.

Re: Texas Walkout

Anonymous's picture

If I did that on my job, the would have fired me.

Therein lies the difference. If you did it you would lose your job. If they didn't do it, many more of them would have lost their jobs.

It is a classic political power struggle.

Re: Texas Walkout

Anonymous's picture

In fact, I expect them to lose their jobs.

What people don't understand about Texas is that it is and always has been a conservative state. The labels may have changed from Democrat to Republican, but not the issues.

The state needs redistricitng because the representatives in certain districts are left wing pinko commie socialists as far as Texans are concerned. That was the issue.

The redistricting did not apply to those democrats, it applied to Congressional districts, so their jobs were not in jeopardy.

Here's the deal, state politics are very different than federal politics. Texans are very libertarian in they want less government, thus the legislature meets only every two years.

Heh, I grew up in Texas and I can tell you the Texas Legislature is made up of lay people not business people.

What those guys did is unforgiveable and knowing the districts they represent, they won't be back again.

Re: Texas Walkout

Anonymous's picture

Though not very clearly written, I think that Mr. Adelstein was trying to make the point that the Democrats walkout had the effect of holding up all pending bills, including SB 1579. According to CNN, you are correct in believing the walkout was due to the redistricting proposal.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I work in a Mid sized County Government IT Office, When I first came here There were several Windows Servers running the show, with a few Red Hat 7.2 servers for web and DNS, Working as an Open Source Proponent, we have managed to remove/plan to remove al but one windows box and replace them all with debian boxes. We run much more stable and quite a bit less expensive. there is still a bit of work to go, but we have proven the OpenSource/Linux Model to work in our situation.

Go Open Source.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

tcopeland's picture

Here's some open source usage in the Federal govt:

CougaarForge

All running on Linux/Apache/Postgres/GForge. Great stuff!

Yours,

Tom

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I too, would love to see more information, on what you have done.

Simontek
www.simontek.net
~Together as a Team, We can do it.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I would be interested in hearing more about this project. Might I recommend a white paper on the subject or at the very least a through case history.

Thank you

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

AdamBa's picture

FYI, the Open Data Format Initiative site has some commentary on various open source laws. Look on the right under the "Open Source in Government" section.

- adam

What about the rest of the world ?

Anonymous's picture

Somebody pls make a research of the situsion in Europe. Good progress I think.

Re: What about the rest of the world ?

Anonymous's picture

I think that Europe could certainly show the way, but would the USA be allowed to follow? America has the best politicians that money can buy and the Open Source movement generally doesn't have the required funds. In Europe politicians go to jail for corruption.

Re: What about the rest of the world ?

Anonymous's picture

oh, I forgot USA owns the world, NOT!, look, the whole world does not revolve around americans.

n Europe politicians go to jail for corruption.
Yeah and in America, they just bomb emm....

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (OK, a whole lot more than the next guy). But I don't think legislating manditory OSS use is the right answer. Governments don't have legislation that forbids them from buying solid gold fire hydrants, but they aren't foolish enough to waste money that way. As Microsoft licensing looks more like gold hydrants (and leaky ones at that) and as more public sector OSS projects succeed, state and local governments will start to notice.
Rather than focusing on legislating OSS use, perhaps we should lobby for a state funded task force to aid state agencies and local governments in a transition to open source. Rather than mandating from the top down, build the success from the bottom up. We should build up OSS integration consulting organizations that can competetively bid on government projects.
From the legislative point of view, I would watchdog for legisltion that forbids OSS, or shuts it out via lack of proprietary interoperability. (Like the state implementing a system that would force localities use .NET and Passport to interface with state agencies.)

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

As a it person in state civil service for 18 years, I can say that
main reason , OSS is not adopted in states is due to Microsofts marketing and demographic targeting for their product. Just as it targets the pointy heads in the private sector, so it does in the
public sector.

The fact is that while government department leaders are usually quite compentent in their own field, they usually know about as much about quality software as a typical 6 year-old kid. Microsoft spends millions to convince the people that approve the purchases that their products are of the highest quality, that every computer must be rebooted several times a day, that all of the information mined from your computer and from your internet usage is only to serve your needs better and the non-techie type eat it all up.

The countries that have OSS legislation are wise to insist that the source code be made available to their experts as proof that the code is free of any clandestine functions that may be used to remotely access sensitive data on the computer.

Microsoft has a track record of deceptive practices, and has pushed versions of windows on other countries that require connection electronically to Microsoft's servers to be usable. It even requires Microsoft's permission to add or change hardware. With the announcement by Microsoft that its future direction is toward a subscription based system, where the actual control of the content on the computer will be orchestrated by Microsoft, they have good reason to be concerned.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Microsoft was put into business by being the US Department of Defense Mandated OS. The proposal here is to open up and allow another one so that there is competition.
Many States have administrators who are not doing what is in the best interest of their job. Rather they get Kick backs and all sorts of other fun things from their MS type sales reps. The process being considered here is nothing more than telling these people to get back to work and consider what is best.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

the oregon bill only forced agencies to CONSIDER an open source solution - it never FORCED them to choose an open source solution. the bills author had the belief that when a fat contract proprietary system was compared to a reasonable and competitive open source solution the choice would be obvious. if the more expensive solution WAS selected it would be scrutinized by the tax payers here in oregon (not a happy group right now). interestingly enough the house leader (minnis) a conservative republican who preaches smaller, leaner government but then kills a bill that would have brought MORE accountablility in this area - i guess that shows you where her bread is buttered.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

The oregon bill does everything except blatantly state that only open source software is to be used. Considering the hurdles it proposed only for licensed software, it is obvious that the bills' authors were not so much concerned with a fair and balanced software solution decision than with undermining so-called big business and proprietary systems. No mention was made in the bill of accountability concerning the costs that would be incurred by changing existing infrastructure and training people with new OSS systems. The bill amounted to nothing more than affirmative action for open source.

Rep. Minnis made the right choice by stopping the bill. What we need now is a bill introduced that would guarantee equal consideration for both oss and proprietary systems, without the bias that either side is necessarily the wrong choice.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Better still - a bill needs to be introduced that requires data presented by the government be accessible without the additional burden/cost of a specific proprietary client to their constituents. My biggest issue with government datasources in general is that some "wonk" always builds them with some proprietary tool that requires me to buy and/or acquire additional software for my computer to access it. The way it is done now, the government is actually selling software to me for these proprietary companies - in effect taxing me again for a service I have already paid for. That is truly the real crime in government not using open source and/or embracing OSS philosophy.
Don't look to Oregon for leadership in embracing OSS - I've been here a long time now and as far as I can tell, the legislature is full of incompetence and/or corruption - they dont manage their expenses, they just raise taxes (with huge loopholes for their corporate "friends" - something like 65 corporations in Oregon each paid $10 in taxes - while the state went broke).... THE OREGON LEGISLATURE DOES NOT REPRESENT ITS CONSTITUENCY....

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Gold fire hydrants don't have massive marketing budgets and high-powered lobbying campaigns. There is no level playing field between OSS and proprietary software. The free market is a myth. We need to stop praying to the "invisible hand."
Also, gold fire hydrants would have to be installed out in the streets where people who inherently understand fire hydrants could see and realize their money was being wasted. IT is largely invisible to the end users and the general public has little understanding of the relative merits of OSS versus proprietary technology. That allows lobbies to get their lap-dogs in the legislatures to do their bidding.
Ending corporate personhood would solve it simply and quickly.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

"From the legislative point of view, I would watchdog for legisltion that forbids OSS, or shuts it out via lack of proprietary interoperability. (Like the state implementing a system that would force localities use .NET and Passport to interface with state agencies.)"

I am an affiliate clinical faculty member at the University of South Florida medical school, and I am shocked at the extent to which the use of Windows and MS Office is mandated by the university. All students must own a laptop with Windows and Office installed. When entering students show up, their computers are examined and configured by university personnel. Faculty are required to give lectures as MS Powerpoint presentations. The university gives no technical support for non-Microsoft OSes or applications.

Recall that Florida was one of the states pursuing the anti-trust case against Microsoft even after the DOJ settlement. Doesn't it seem strange that a state university is so deeply in the pockets of a corporation convicted of multiple anti-trust violations?

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Recall that Florida was one of the states pursuing the anti-trust case against Microsoft even after the DOJ settlement. Doesn't it seem strange that a state university is so deeply in the pockets of a corporation convicted of multiple anti-trust violations?

Wow. That's really odd. When I buy computers, even if they're preloaded with Windows, I make sure they are Linux friendly. Assuming that the purchasing authority isn't specifying linux in the first place...and like you, I work for a large state university...FSU.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

" I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (OK, a whole lot more than the next guy)."
Perhaps,...perhaps you do!

" Governments don't have legislation that forbids them from buying solid gold fire hydrants, but they aren't foolish enough to waste money that way. As Microsoft licensing looks more like gold hydrants (and leaky ones at that) and as more public sector OSS projects succeed, state and local governments will start to notice."
AntiTrust: Most governments think as you do. They donot believe they have to tell people not to buy solid gold fire hydrants,..but, $5,000 for an Air Force toilet seat,...$50.00 for an ordinary claw hammer???? OMB ( Office of Management and Budget) for the US Government already knows that Open Source is an excellent value and a rock solid performer but, proprietary software has deep lobbying pockets and logic and common sense need a solid foundation of cover-your-ass-with paper legislation to help lifetime bureacrats do the right thing.

"Rather than focusing on legislating OSS use, perhaps we should lobby for a state funded task force to aid state agencies and local governments in a transition to open source. Rather than mandating from the top down, build the success from the bottom up. We should build up OSS integration consulting organizations that can competetively bid on government projects."
If you ignore the rat he will not take the cheese??! Proprietary software will use its money to buy the votes, to influence campaigns and elections, to dissuade contra-prevalent thought. All open source has is its inherent low total cost of ownership. A fact that makes politicians look good AFTER they have been elected. Something they need to assure re-election by a constituency that has supreme power to sweep aside special interest groups and their money,...no,.. hit the legislatures with all your might and with all the facts,..not with all the Fat! As for a lobby for Open Source,..using state funds,..with all, ALL states running major income/budget deficits and embracing the most draconian cuts many of them have ever faced,..hummmm.That would not be logical Mr. Spock.

" From the legislative point of view, I would watchdog for legisltion that forbids OSS, or shuts it out via lack of proprietary interoperability. (Like the state implementing a system that would force localities use .NET and Passport to interface with state agencies.)"
Frankly,...SCO and MicroSnot must first make open source a poorer, most inferior product when compared to their own products,...nothing to worry about there. Then ' fineprint' poorly understood terms into their EULA and subscriptions that lock the customers into software hell.They will claim " proprietary interoperability " issues, regardless of whatever open source does. It is a good thing open source is not a movement of any one country!!!

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

This may be a bit too idealistic. I understand the way that state governments work, as I am directly "in the gears" of those organizations on a regular basis. The need to force state government agencies to at least LOOK at open source solutions is obvious. To give you an example: a large northeastern state recently did not even bother to LOOK at the open-source alternative for an open-source solution to a ~$1.0 million contract for a component in their upcoming voicemail system upgrade. A large, three-lettered company came in and essentially squashed any opposition before it reached the table - it became essentially sole-sourced. By legislating that departments review all alternatives, we truly "level the playing field" and remove the hasty and hidden deals that so often result in boondoggles for the state and the users.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I'm on a state support project as a contractor. Originally, Linux was scheduled for the server room. When the state found out, they refused to pay for the much cheaper equipment and software and insisted on paying for HPUX servers plus Windows 2K servers. I think the difference in price was about $200,000.

Your tax dollars at work, if you live in that north-eastern state. (Ethics for keeping client secrets (OK, traceable client secrets) prevent me from naming names and the specific project...sorry fellow tax payers.)

The next state I'm going to did not force the issue, so most if not all the servers will be Linux based.

(Speaking as a former sysadmin, the more I talk to the site admin, the more I admire him. Hard working guy.)

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Glad to see that Alabama isn't last in everything.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Being from Alabama and quite aware of where we stand on most things, I think you might like a bit more info.
Alabama has the second highest budget for Roadway building and repair at about $6 Billion if falls just behind California at $6.5 Billion. (#1 per capita... Alabama)
Alabama is not 49/50 or last in almost anything. In Education it ranks about 16. In Actual Funding for schools it ranks #1 in the states per student. (Note it has 2 budgets rather than one as other states)
In technology it passed California who gets the press years ago. It is way ahead in Computers and in many other technologies
In heavy industry it has more than Georgia, Florida and Tennessee combined.
It has the second largest forrest on earth. (Only Ga [State]is larger and is larger than any other nation) It has 12% of US Hydroelectric Generation. It also contributes more per capita than any other US State to our National Defense in terms of people

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Why do you run a Linux site on PHP-Nuke who is in violation of the GPL by placing additional restrictions on the end user? On top of that, the developer has removed all his forums and ability to post comments for his entire site in order to censor people to this fact.

Does Linux Journal now support censorship and GPL misuse?

Debian dropped PHP-Nuke, why haven't you?

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

The version they are using is not in violation of the GPL.

Go troll somewhere else.

PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

This issue is about Francisco Burzi (FB), the main developer of PHP-Nuke, who has a bizzare requirement that users post a copyright notice on every page generated by PHP-Nuke. This copyright notice claims:

Web site engine's code is Copyright

Re: PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

The copyright-notice at the bottom of the PHP-Nuke pages are a *variable* within the configuration. Just change that variable to whatever you want. The GPL allows this.

Would you like Apache and all its modules to put lines on all your webpages or sendmail on all emails? I don't.
I removed the PHP-Copyright my website, but it's still in the meta-tags, so interested webmasters can find out where to go.

Re: PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

The copyright-notice at the bottom of the PHP-Nuke pages are a *variable* within the configuration. Just change that variable to whatever you want. The GPL allows this.

Wrong. There is a line for the footer in the configuration, but the copyright notice is hard-coded along with a comment to "NOT CHANGE THE FOLLOWING LINE" which contains the copyright notice. Yes it is technically a variable ($copyright, I think) but FB is very specific that you may not change it and it must appear on every page PHP-Nuke displays.

Would you like Apache and all its modules to put lines on all your webpages or sendmail on all emails? I don't.
I removed the PHP-Copyright my website, but it's still in the meta-tags, so interested webmasters can find out where to go.

Technically, you're in violation of FB's "license" which puts additional restrictions on the GPL if you edited or removed that copyright notice in PHP-Nuke. Or possibly, FB is in violation of the GPL by putting that restriction in there.

It's not really clear.

Re: PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

So don't change the following line

add $copyright = ""; after it.

Re: PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

This is why the public thinks FSF people are complete nut cases. Please discuss this on IRC. Yuck!

Re: PHP-Nuke and GPL...offtopic but anyway... background info

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for background. Since that notice isn't on the bottom of this page, SSC appears to be taking the 'correct' position: it's GPL'd, so any claim of such requirements is silly and to be ignored, while using what the public has built for the public good.

Off topic

Anonymous's picture

Try and stay with us...

The Linux world is far more than RMS's politics. If PHP-Nuke works for LJ they have every right to use it. Debian is not the sole arbiter of what is right with the Linux movement.

Censorship? Come back when you have done as much for getting the word out as the folks at LJ.

Now back to the actual topic...

Background..offtopic... but anyway..

Anonymous's picture

If this double-posts, sorry. Here's a background on this issue..

----

This issue is about Francisco Burzi (FB), the main developer of PHP-Nuke, who has a bizzare requirement that users post a copyright notice on every page generated by PHP-Nuke. This copyright notice claims:

Web site engine's code is Copyright

Re: Background..offtopic... but anyway..

Anonymous's picture

Well if what this guy Francisco is asking for is a violation of the GPL in some way just ignore him. If he doesn't like it make him pay his lawyers to come do something about it.

I really don't see what the big deal is though. I mean if he wrote the code then he holds the copyright to it. Asking for credit where it is due is only fair. I'm not a lawyer but neither am I aware of any provision of the GPL that restricts developers from requiring copyright notices on their products. Now if he's trying to forbid other users who may alter or improve PHP-Nuke from claiming credit for their changes then that is another issue.

I really do think that some people just LOVE to have an excuse to ***** moan and complain. If it isn't KDE's use of QT, or GPL vs. BSD, it's how we're all supposed to say "GNU/Linux" because if we don't RMS will get his feelings hurt. I suspect the reason why these people ***** so much is because they lack the ability to contribute actual code to anything and so instead they contribute the only thing they can: grief. I'd better shut up now or else one of them is sure to sic an IP attorney on me for violating their patent on whining.

Re: Off topic

Anonymous's picture

Yes, we should support people like Francisco who violate the GPL, the core license for the majority of GNU/Linux software.

As for censorship, it is not LJ that is censoring, it is PHP-Nuke/Francisco who has done so to try and hide the fact that he is in violation of the GPL.

Sorry, but a Linux mag should not be using software developed by someone who tramples on the community.

Re: Off topic

Anonymous's picture

Since when does Linux stand for free software? Linux Journal is a Journal about the OS called Linux and the products which run on it (which also includes closed source products) and is as such agnostic about political issues like licensing. And rightly so. They should be able to run whatever they want without someone demanding them to change something for whatever reason. If they have to do that they would have to use different software every week.

Besides that, have you considered the cost of such a change? This isn't just a homebuild site. To change the software used would require for them to change everything that is depending on it. Would you like to be responsible for doing this? Make a copy of their site, change the underlying CMS and create a new one fully compliant to your wishes and fully working the same as the current site without any omissions. Offer this to them free of charge (since you're so gung-ho about it).

Remember KDE and its political issue of Qt licensing? It worked out didn't it? The PHP-Nuke thing will also be solved in due time.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I know this probably goes without saying, but consider the internal, cultural opposition. Government employees aren't opposed to Open Source specifically, but to ANY change.

Having worked for the city of Philadelphia once, I can say that municipalities and governments don't often hire the most motivated or intellectually curious people. Free and Open Source Software often requires a genuine interest and real understanding of computer science, and you'll often see that the people most in need of its savings and benefits will be the last to adopt it.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, I remember one meeting I attended that a vendor was pitching ColdFusion on a *nix platform, and the two people most responsible for the site listened for 45 minutes and said no thanks without even a look at a sample site. Just like the old days, you'll never get fired (quickly) for "choosing" ASP, like not getting fired for choosing IBM.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Nice going, mate. Now I can't forward this URL to my prospective clients in my city's government. You know, being gratuitously rude has consequences.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Just forward the link with "nocomments" selected:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?thold=0&mode=nocomments&order=0&...

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

You poor pathetic dweeb. What if he'd posted his comment AFTER you forwarded the URL ?

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I know this probably goes without saying, but consider the internal, cultural opposition. Government employees aren't opposed to Open Source specifically, but to ANY change.

That did not appear to be the case in Oregon.

According to published testimony, the administrative staff had specific objections to the reporting requirements in the bill. (That is, they had to justify any choice of non-OSS solutions in writing.) They wanted a specific reasonable amendment to delete that requirement, and it looked like they got it before the whole thing was killed by Speaker Minnis.

Staff didn't kill this. It was the conservative ideology of the Speaker, and some lobbying that skillfully exploited it, that did the bill in.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Conservatism has NOTHING to do with what software the government uses. ZERO.

Look up the definition and then try again.

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

The literal definition of Conservatism has EVERYTHING to do with how an individual or a group uses resources.

In the case of Conservatism, the group would refuse to change from the resource they are already using. They wish to "conserve" the patterns of the past. With software, that means proprietary solutions.

When given another, newer alternative, they react against it. That's how we get the term "reactionary".

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

Well, okay, my use of the word "conservative" was a bit of a shortcut, and I sacrificed accuracy for brevity. I really did consider not using that word just to avoid this sort of confusion. I was going to say "Republican" instead, but that seemed like it'd be worse. :)

In this case, I used "conservative" as shorthand for someone who favors businesses' rights over citizens' rights, likes strong criminal penalties and weak civil penalties, practices social darwinism, is anti-government, anti-labor, anti-tax, anti-environment, anti-liberty, and reactionary. I'd call her pro-market, but she recognizes only markets of money, not markets of ideas. She steadfastly observes the modern version of the golden rule; that is, "He who has the gold, makes the rules."

And no, I'm not tarring all conservatives or Republicans with this brush. I am referring to this particular person. (Although it happens that the Oregon Republican caucus has chosen her as their leader, so the shoe might possibly fit more feet.) If you can suggest a better label for what I've described, I'll be happy to use it in the future... If it's printable in a family newspaper, that is. :)

Re: Linux Access in State and Local Government, Part I

Anonymous's picture

I wasn't specifically referring to the content of the article.

I was saying that in addition to the lobbying, there are plenty of other stumbling blocks. Perhaps the author will discuss them in the next part of the series.

Webinar
One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Webinar
Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix