Canadian Gov RFI on FOSS
bjonkman at sobac.com
Sat Feb 7 20:26:08 UTC 2009
In my experience with Municipal government, it takes many years and
hundreds of thousands of dollars to research, discuss, evaluate and
acquire RFI, RFQ and RPPs for something like backup software or an e-
mail system, but this is never done with desktop operating systems.
Instead, the research &c. is done for desktop hardware, which comes
already bundled with a de facto standard OS. Same for office suite
software -- Different software is not discussed, only different
suppliers of the same, de facto standard office suite.
Don't underestimate the importance of this RFI. That the Federal
government even recognizes an alternative to bundled and proprietary
systems is a major step forward.
(MERX isn't used by the municipalities that I'm familiar with, so
there may be smaller municipal or provincial governments that have
requested input on FLOSS, but it has escaped my attention).
>From a quick glance at the overview, this RFI concentrates on
Free/Gratis, not Free/Libre. Proprietary, closed software available
at no cost (ie. IE) is part of the target here. Fortunately, one of
the first questions asks whether the RFI's definition is an
appropriate one (hint: the answer is "No").
Prof. Nash's Wiki  appears to be an excellent launch point for a
response, but Canonical needs to provide its own response as well. Is
there something already in progress?
-- -- -- --
Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com> http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services Voice: +1-519-669-0388
6 James Street, Elmira ON Canada N3B 1L5 Cel: +1-519-635-9413
Software --- Office & Business Automation --- Consulting
On 7 Feb 2009 at 7:57 John Gill <ubuntu-ca at lists.ubuntu.com> wrote
about "Re: Canadian Gov RFI on FOSS[...]"
>Actually, IE7 is a good example to use to highlight the difference between
>free and open software. Like you say, the government does not think twice
>about installing IE7 -- so strange they need an RFI on free software.
>If free is the only criteria they are concerned about in this case, then
>really they should just treat it like all the other software they purchase,
>except that the price is a bit lower ;)
>It was a bit disappointing to see the wording of the RFI, but a good
>opportunity for some education.
>2009/2/6 Daniel Robitaille <daniel.robitaille at mail.mcgill.ca>
>> mcr at simtone.net wrote:
>> > Also be aware that the RFI does not say open source.
>> > It says, "No cost Licensed Software", so it would include, for
>> > instance IE7.
>> My experience with the federal government is that they know really well
>> how to obtain, install, and use IE7. I don't think they need a RFI for
>> this :)
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