Who is the Best Candidate for the Open Source Community?

This is the question posed by Will Hurley of BMC. After chatting with him today about life, the upcoming elections, and the open source community in general, I decided that I am pretty curious about how to answer that question myself.

I encourage everyone to throw their 2 cents in, vote in the poll, and join the discussion. What do we think the candidates need to know about open source? Here's your chance to tell them (and the rest of us).

From whurley's blog:

Have any of the 2008 candidates ever even heard the words 'open' and
'source' used together in a sentence?

My guess is probably not, which is sad. Think about the current issues
around patent reform. Does open source play a role? If so, shouldn't
the candidates have some basic knowledge of open source?


The poll will be open until 11:59am Tuesday the 12th, and we'll post the results shortly thereafter.


Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit


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Thanks for posting this!

whurley's picture

Hey Katherine,

Thanks for posting this! Hopefully we can get a large number (100k plus) of people to share their opinion on this. As with all “open source”, the code to the poll is available on my website for anyone who wants to take it.

Thanks again for helping drive interest in this!



Anonymous's picture

Can we to establish a basic set of criteria to measure the Best Candidate for the Open Source Community?

1. View on software patents.





How can you know?

Anonymous's picture

Without agreed upon criteria, do you decide on a promise, a fact, emotion, gut feeling, party lines ?

The future of open source would be better served with solid facts and a historic track record.

Could the Linux Journal send an "Open Letter" to the canidates to see if and how they respond?

Where is ...

tkondziola's picture

Where is Ron Paul?????????????????


Ron Paul?

Mark Cahill's picture

We've been saying that for the past three months. I think he dropped out... :)

Hillary Clinton is using Drupal (kind of)

Anonymous's picture


Well, her supporters are using Drupal.

After Howard Dean, it seems that Drupal has found it's place in U.S. politics. Check out also the Draft Obama website http://www.draftobama.org -- Drupal. Any other political sites using open CMSes?

Mitt Romney/ ODF, OLPC, LinSpire's CEO, Fair Use Policy

Jamie Lees's picture

After doing some research I found that Mitt Romney supported the One-Hundred dollar laptop project in September 2005, after filing education reform Legislation.

Picture of him with the Laptop

He also has Linspire's CEO Kevin Carmony helping on his Campaign. It also seems Romney knows a little bit about the Fair use Policy after Fox started telling candidates they could not use footage of theirs for the campaign videos,Romney said under the Fair Use of there site that his Campaign can use the videos of himself for his Advertisements.

Source to the Info on Romney vs Fox.

Also Governor Romney in Massachusetts appointed Louis Gutierrez for implementing the ODF policy.

Plus his views on the Economy and how business can grow in America and lowering taxes on business, and helping the economy get started again could help the growth of small Linux companies and business who support and rely on Linux.

Just a little research I pulled up that I hope would help some undecided voters that have not voted yet.

- James

Economics is the issue

Phil Hughes's picture

Having now lived in third world countries for over six years I have come to realize two things:

  1. The United States of America is not the center of the universe
  2. When push comes to shove, economics determines the future of Open Source Software

As the US continues its addiction to expensive things (from Microsoft software to personal vehicles for everyone to cocaine) I continue to see it slip behind on the "reality index". That is, being able to tell your neighbor that you just "bought a new widget" is more important than doing the sane thing.

On the other hand, where I have lived, Microsoft continues to promote Linux and Open Source software. How? Well, in Nicaragua, all software and, well, virtually all intellectual property is free. Need a music CD or a DVD? You can buy it on the street for $1-$2. The same goes for software. But, two things push people to Open Source.

First, as each new verison of Windoze requires more and more computer, people look for alternatives that will run on what they have. That may mean Linux on older hardware or in business and government, adding a server and turning old workstations into thin clients.

The other reason is the "Microsoft Police". As Microsoft moves in to enforce intellectual property laws, people are forced to look for an affordable alternative. I saw this happening in Costa Rica with Microsoft lawyers working hand-in-hand with the OIJ, the Costa Rican equivalent of the FBI.

Now, I am not suggesting that change is motivated by theft. The real issue is inertia. If everyone runs Microsoft software, it's a done deal. But, as people and companies are forced to change (and I suggest this is virtually all economic), inertia builds for the alternatives.

Ok, back to government and, in particular, the US government. I remember talking to Ralph Nader and one of his staffers at a UNIX conference many years ago. The US government had been switching a bunch of systems from UNIX to Windoze 95, I believe. I pointed them at a law that said the US gov. had to buy POSIX-compliant software. They put it on their list to investigate. Ever hear about it? See any change? Nope. Inertia and big money killed any possible change.

So, bottom line, I am not going to look for a politician that can help promote good over evil. When people stop looking for a politician to solve their problems and start a bit of activism on their own, we will see changes. Or, as some activist said all so many years ago, "Don't vote. It only encourages them."

Phil Hughes

Where is Ron Paul?

texnofobix's picture

He hasn't dropped out yet!

Right, Ron Paul is all about

Josiah's picture

Right, Ron Paul is all about freedom. Getting the government's hands out of the mess. Taking away the powers that they have usurped and putting it all back where it belongs. Sounds like open-source to me! Get the big orgs hands out of it cause they're messing it up and give it back to the people!

Barack Obama, would definitely be the best.

warner's picture

Obama is the Best.

JD's picture

I believe Obama is the best candidate to support open-source for one reason. He seems to be the candidate for web issues and tech-related stuff. Obama is the only candidate with a good website, his own Facebook page (run by the campaign), his own Myspace (run by the man himself i believe) and his own Twitter account. Also, instead of going to a PAC or AT&T or Verizon or SBC/Bell to figure out what his internet policies should be, he want to Lawrence Lessig, the creator of the Creative Commons license.

Oh, wake up JD and everyone

George P. Burdell's picture

Oh, wake up JD and everyone else. If a candidate really believed and supported open source, he would remove government for the equation, not add it liberally like Obama wants to do. The very reason that open source works is because there is no one to stick there nose in and place controls or "support" for it. Go back and read how we got the telephone mess that we have now. The government and ATT decided that everyone had a right to universal access to the phone, so they stuck a deal where ATT would promise that, and in return get a government backed monopoly. The same thing is happening now, but this time with the internet. I do not know about you guys, but I do not want the internet turning into the phone system, but that is what is going to happen if Obama et al, have their way.

Oh, and Obama has pretty websites, oh please!

Barack runs php, nuff said

Michael Hazzard's picture

It says a a lot about their philosophy when their personal site runs open source..

Open the source of health care please Barack.

Hilary runs Microsoft


Barack! =Apache

Anonymous's picture

hey, Barack's web site is hosted using Apache. nuff said. ((::


Anonymous's picture

Was that supposed to be interpreted as "Barack != Apache" or something closer to "Barack == Apache!" (with the exclamation point used as in English)?

The comment text indicated the second one, while the subject suggests the first.

Just felt like nitpicking, I guess. Sorry.


Travis Jeffery's picture

Ron Paul should be on there.