I think publically funded systems should be made open source. For example, systems like ticket systems, voting systems, hospital systems, law enforcement systems, and probably lots more, should be developed as open source projects. This is a good idea because:
- It avoids vendor lock in.
- For systems paid by tax money, it gives any tax payer the control to evaluate what is being created, and even take part if they like.
- It allows countries, governments or states to cooperate and collaborate in creating and maintaining solutions that are similar or the same in many countries.
- It allows for interoperability between systems in different countries
- Systems developed for use in one or more countries can later be reused by other countries, including developing countries.
- Parts of systems can be branched to separate libraries, allowing for reuse in multiple systems.
- If development is sponsored by one or more countries, there is great opportunity for companies to earn well on both development and support of these systems, many which will be complex.
I believe these arguments make a strong case for changing the way publically funded systems are developed. I'd be happy to hear arguments for why this would be a bad idea. But this is unlikely to ever happen unless it is made a requirement by the public.
posted at: 16:11 | path: /2009/05/31 | permanent link to this entry
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posted at: 03:02 | path: /2009/05/31 | permanent link to this entry