In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Tue, 28 Mar 2006 05:57:46 +0100
> Governments Go Online -- Without Windows
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | "Electronic governance promises to cut corruption and improve
> | transparency, and open source software offers a way to break
> | South Asia's technological dependence on industrialized
> | countries, experts say.
> | "Open source software such as Linux is non-proprietary,
> | less complex, more efficient and freely available to
> | anyone--unlike Microsoft's Windows operating system, says
> | Mike Reed, director of the United Nations University
> | International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST),
> | based in Macau, China..."
Highly debatable on all fronts, mostly because government
and electronics have little to do with one another (except
perhaps where laws have been passed to restrict and/or
promote access to electronic stuff, such as recycling
used equipment); the Internet is primarily a standardized
communications medium. :-) Also, I'm not entirely certain
about "less complex", though "more reliable" is definitely
However, open source is a desirable tool for governance,
if only because one can't hide silly Easter eggs -- or
worse -- inside of it, to the point of not being able to
get them out. But there are ways in CSS around problems
such as vendors going belly up -- mostly of the "if we
die you get the code" sort of contract. Personally, I'd
prefer OSS but remember the nature of the problem here;
it transcends mere coding and/or licensing of what are
essentially automatic control instructions.
Government, after all, worked reasonably well prior to
microphones, radio, and even hurricane lamps (these came in
the 1800's). Or equally poorly, depending on opinion. :-)
Computers won't have much effect. :-)
I can't say "have nothing to do with one another"; the
Internet is based on various government regulations &
standards, mostly having to do with how to bang the bits
together to form useful communications.
Regrettably, I'm not sure how well X is equipped to handle
full-fledged UTF-8 everywhere, though it's better than
it was, and it even provides Xutf8DrawString() et al.
However, OpenOffice Math composition, while accepting and
printing out \u03b3 when I wanted gamma (I was building
2.0.2 and wanted to test it with a slide show), had no
clue what to do with it. Fortunately, the phrase %gamma
worked -- but this sort of intercommunications problem
may need some working on. This one's probably not all
that serious, but it's pretty obvious. :-)
At that, X is probably in better shape than Windows,
though. :-) However, I'd have to look, and with Windows
all fonts have Unicode, as far as I know, and Linux borrows
some from Windows when it comes to fonts -- or maybe it's
Adobe, I for one do not know.
But Unicode is a must for Asians. Microsoft handles it;
so does X. (Linux doesn't really care, though I'd have to
look to see how well 8-bit goes into various file systems.)
Windows Vista. Because everyone wants a really slick-looking 8-sided wheel.