Saturday, August 13, 2005

Kirby @ Free Geek

On invitation through a FreeGeek email list, I attended a presentation by Ying Ki Kowg, PhD, PMP from the Department of Human Services within the State of Oregon. His office is overseeing a large contract between Oregon and various vendors who are adapting a solution already developed for the State of Oklahoma.

My take: Oregon will end up with the resulting source code on its list of assets, and so might in theory open source what it's buying. Another state could start out that much further along. Any federal or state project involving the procurement of source code is logically a contributor to our growing pool of assets, given who ultimately picks up the tab (we the people) -- unless, that is, there's something inherently not open about the process being coded (e.g. it's a weapon, not a voting machine).

If government buys software, and doesn't release the source, the public is entitled to know why (national security improves when many eyes see in, and fewer bugs go undetected -- an important function of journalism if/when the press is really free). Naturally, if contributing source back to the community is built in as a business requirement, then the project will be run a little differently, e.g. state-approved licensing requirements may change.

Speaking of FreeGeek, Ron Braithwaite and family are back in PDX, having failed to gain entry to Canada for the purpose of starting a new life, new school, and work on CareWheels of Canada (Ron's pet project). Their paperwork was not in order. New quarters have been secured, and the 25' U-Haul has been unloaded, the mission aborted.

Tomorrow: 38 miles on my bicycle, over all 10 bridges in Bridge City (aka Portland). Read more on that later in Bizmo Diaries (captain's log).

Related threads: [1][2][3][4]