An Open Position Paper on
FOSS/OSS AND HOUSE BILL 1716
December 24, 2008
8layer and Open Source.
Technology is nothing without the right people implementing such.
For our Team, 8layer Technologies, Inc., Open Source is not just a Technology. It is our Philosophy, it is a way of life. Each and every 8lien eats, drinks, and breathes Open Source.
We do believe that FOSS/OSS is for the people who are innovative and resourceful, for those who want to build, share and gain on the benefits of FOSS/OSS. It is for organizations that have a higher discernment on what is better, useful and advantageous.
We strongly believe that the ability to realize the benefits of FOSS/OSS is on the other hand only for those who have the vision far reaching for growth, development, self-reliance -- never on dependence for those things or technology that will impede improvement given the access and liberty to do so.
Most importantly, FOSS/OSS is for those who regard human capital and innovation as the more relevant aspect and ingredient of bringing to fore alleviation of poverty, growth and economic sustainability in the long run.
FOSS/OSS may not be for everybody. Not for the selfish and the spendthrift, not for the poor-willed and the faint-hearted, not for the Asyong Aksayas, Baroks and Juan Tamads.
On House Bill 1716
We believe on preparing systems and mandating for Government and Public Schools the implementation of solutions adhering to Open Standards.
We firmly believe that Government needs to mandate policies on Government IT Purchasing/Spending. On Bidding procedures, item description for bids should define and illustrate functionalities, features and utilities, NOT Brands.
We believe that use of FOSS will eventually make users understand more the technology and its benefits as our own experience and cases serve as valid and living testimonies.
We believe that forward thinking and innovative institutions and companies should encourage use of FOSS/OSS as real and sincere IT Enablers.
But we also believe that we need more open minds and more dedicated result-driven and hard workers to make FOSS/OSS work. FOSS/OSS is ready and is in its prime time, it is just waiting to be taken advantaged of.
On Freedom and On Choice for Government Use of Resources
The manipulation and “abuse of the use” of the term Freedom and Choice is a perturbing concern on the issue of this particular Bill.
FOSS or free software is not necessarily free of charge (not on the price) but you become “free” when you know how to make use of it and take advantage of its benefits.
Advocating freedom of choice on technology platform without other considerations apart from just Government having the free will thus not imposing what technology to use so as not to infringe on rights to exercise freedom of choice is rather a wild card.
It's Really a Matter of Choice
It is therefore our challenge as a nation, and as thinking individuals to determine where lies the greater good for the majority.
If we are so much bothered and concerned on the infringement of our choices and freedom because the benefits of using FOSS/ OSS far better outrun/ outnumber the advantages of using proprietary then let's not use FOSS/OSS.
If we are more of a proud race to be free or of having “freedom” per se to have a seeming choice on which technology platform for government and students to use and this is the prime benefit and criteria over others, then let us not support this cause and bill.
If freedom of “choice” is more important over savings, over knowledge, over empowerment, over enablement, over non-dependence on imported technology, over alleviating ignorance and poverty... then let's not help improve this House Bill 1716 just so we can “exercise” our freedom of choice...
But freedom on what, which and where? ... To purchase IT Solutions and Products without regulation? To use IT funds however government wishes? To stay dependent on technology that will increase budget spending over time? To proliferate ignorance and corruption?
Now, we have a choice.
24 Dec 2008