Uk Government “wakes up” to Open Source!

Blimey… Here’s a snippet of news out today that I almost missed!

Parliamentarians to discuss Open Source software
The economic impact of Open Source software will be discussed with parliamentarians and senior government officials on Wednesday 12th September at the Westminster eForum, held at the Palace of Westminster. Open Source community leaders Alan Cox, developer of the Linux Kernel, and Mark Taylor, President of the Open Source Consortium, will contrast the popularity of Open Source technologies in industry and with its limited adoption in the public sector.

The article goes on to mention that there will be a Microsoft employee present to support the cause of proprietary software. So that would be:

  • It costs LOADS,
  • You get “locked-in” to one vendor
  • We own your data, not you,
  • We get to sell you more licenses and support contracts than you’ll ever really need or use…

It would be great to be fly on the wall… I’d love to hear what Alan Cox and Mark Taylor could suggest instead of spending approx. £10b on NHS IT systems that never work, or deliver what was expected.

I’d really love to know why it costs SO much to build a big database and a front end? eBay did it with Java, Google did it with MySQL and Linux, it can’t be THAT fucking hard now can it?

About Westminster eForum

The Westminster eForum aims to provide the premier environment where parliamentarians, senior policy advisors, regulators and other decision makers can discuss critical issues, and exchange ideas and information with leaders from industry, responsible interest groups, analysts, academics, journalists and others.

For more information visit the Westminster eForum website.

Sounds like a “Real Gas” that does – – – – Not.

I had a quick look at the website and found the item listed and a link to a page where you can book tickets! Ooooh I thought – that would be fun. However, I think Microsoft must be sponsoring it:

Tickets are £190 plus VAT (£223.25) and include:

  • One delegate place including delegate materials and refreshments; and
  • One PDF copy of the briefing document (including transcripts of the speeches, comments and questions, as well as extra articles submitted by delegates, which is distributed to all attendees approximately seven days after the seminar).

If it was even mildly affordable, I’d have booked it but 200 quid is ridiculous, for a couple of cups of coffee and a pdf of the transcript. Maybe the Government haven’t quite got the idea of Open Source yet.

If anyone knows anyone who does go, or a journalist or someone (Glyn Moody?) gets a concession, please give us a report after the event. I’d love to know how it went and what was discussed.

Update: Just had an confirmation from Glyn – he is on one of the panels so I’m sure there’ll be a good summary of the proceedings on his blog shortly afterwards.

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One Comment

  • Glyn Moody says:

    What? You expect me to participate and report on the proceedings? One thing at a time. I also hope to be too busy bending politicians’ ears to have time to notice what others are doing…

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