On Sunday 02 April 2006 22:18 Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> To 'return a favour' back to this financial contributer, the city could
> employ many dozens (if not hundreds) of paid Open Source developers who
> would extend the software (e.g. self-tailoring) and make the fruits of it
> publicly available.
Consider our old friend Munich, for example. They have been struggling
because they need to convert what - 150? - of their own applications from
Windows to Linux. On first sight, the same obstacle is in the way of every
German city trying to do the same .... but is it?
My guess is that when Munich has done, the next German city is much easier,
and the few after that very much easier...... I can see no reason why
Munich would wish/need to keep its experience or its code to itself. Why
would it? The people who would benefit most from it would be.... other
Similarly Bristol, on a much smaller scale. There's is only a transition
from MS Office to StarOffice, but they are making their experiences and
advice available to all other councils, and they themselves are now looking
at other OSS.
Similarly schools. Whether it be schools in the U.K. adopting Linux thin
clients, or schools in Indiana providing "A computer per student", why
should they hold back? Their experience, and any code, will no doubt go
into the pot.
Educational software? As it is developed (within/by educational
depts/establishments), why should it not be distributed? Who benefits from
it, other than other educational establishments? - and if everybody puts
into the pot, the pot actually gets bigger. This isn't like a stew pot,
where you can only take the volume that's put in. It's a software pot,
with zero replication cost! Thus, if somebody puts a carrot in, somebody a
potato, somebody a bit of meat, *everybody* can take out as many carrots,
as many potatoes and as much meat as they want. It's a strange "model",
isn't it? It's just like The Magic Porridge Pot!
Finally, one thing that we rarely touch on. We accept that (re. desktops at
least) Linux is currently used by a very small proportion of people.
How do you like the theory that the number of contributers is approximately
proportional to the number of users? If that's true (and it only needs to
be part-way true), it's a case of "You ain't seen nothing yet"! As all
those councils, police forces, tax departments, schools, universities, etc.
come into the fold, they don't just bring their *use* with them, they bring
resources, be it people or money, with them, and the rate of development
increases exponentially, in that more people => more development =>
more/better applications => more people attracted =>........