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CP on Open Source Software in the Canadian Government

The Canadian Press covers the lack of open source software in the Canadian government, with one analyst conceeding that Canada may be underachieving.

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3 Comments

  1. anonymouse says:

    there is almost NO open source software in Canadian Government
    The entire RFP process is geared towards large vendors showing large price tags for hardware and software. Also, without a clear source of support, many open source software products are discarded without even being given an opportunity to compete against features.

    Then there’s the document problem. So many of canadian government’s documents are in closed, proprietary formats that it would be very difficult to move them to something more open.

    lastly, many of the IT people in can gov are staunch MS supporters. Those that aren’t, are pushing Big Blue for their mainframes. Linux doesn’t have much of a chance to gain a toe-hold unless it’s mandated from above and people are forced to retrain.

  2. there is almost no Publicised OSS in GC
    A quick netcraft domain lookup reveals there is quite a lot of OSS running GC web servers. Linux (many variants), bsd/freebsd seem to be quite popular.
    There are a number of internal initiatives where OSS is heavily utilized.
    This stuff just isn’t published because it’s just not that big a deal to the implementers or users. It’s just business.

  3. Re: there is almost…
    I would also suspect that it is heavily dependent on the department, and even the branch within the department. Where I used to work we were a Sun Solaris shop (however, that was about 10 years ago… things may have changed) for the core work and MS for the administration side of the organization.

    I would think that in departments were the primary job is word-smithing (report writing, generating spreadsheets, etc), you’ll find that the primary desktop platform is MS, and they use MS Office. Why, for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Office Suite is pretty ubiquitous. Most places can read and generate Office docs. Secondly, that is the tools that training can be purchased for.

    Certainly Microsoft has done a good job of marketing in that they push TCO as a rationale. Unfortunately, they seem to underestimate the number of Sys Admins that they’ll need on the Windows side (since the user can screw up the platform so easily) and overestimate the TCO of a Unix/Linux platform by assuming that you’ll configure the systems in exactly the same way and need to perform certain operations in exactly the same way.