Linux in Government: The Government Open Code Collaborative
The Collaborative should accept contributions of open-source software from vendors who have implemented existing solutions. In other words, open up the repository to people who have products that governments need and cannot afford. Secondly, let the vendors build a business plan around the GOCC repository.
For example, if I have a project such as the LibraryofTexas.org, let the vendor who already has open-sourced the project contribute the software. If a small town in Alabama wants to deploy it and has the manpower, they would do it themselves.
However, if a city such as Cleveland wants to deploy the software and would rather hire the originator of the product to install it and train people, then the originator could charge for their services. The contributor gets his software exposed on what could become the largest government software repository in the world. That exposure would provide vendors with an incentive to contribute, because they have a chance to increase their install base.
The alternative to having vendors contribute and provide services is to wait. GOCC.gov can wait for everybody in government to learn Linux and then do everything themselves. By the time that happens, though, we won't need computers any more. We'll have evolved into cyber-beings and telepaths.
Tom Adelstein lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Yvonne, and works as a Linux and open-source software consultant locally and nationally. He's the co-author of the book Exploring the JDS Linux Desktop, published by O'Reilly and Associates. Tom has written numerous articles on Linux technical and marketing issues as a guest editor for a variety of publications. His latest venture has him working as the webmaster of JDSHelp.org.
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