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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-outreach mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-outreach] Read what others have said to CPR about OSS!
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Re: [vox-outreach] Read what others have said to CPR about OSS!



On Wed, Sep 29, 2004 at 07:55:39AM -0700, Henry House wrote:
> The following comments were posted to the California Performance Review web
> site (found using a search for 'software'). Some are unfavorable, some
> positive about OSS. 

For quicker skimming, I'll summarize these links:


> http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/pdf/08_27_2004/GOLDBERG.pdf

Gerald H. Goldberg, Executive Officer of the Franchise Tax Board

  Take Advantage of Open Source
    About one year ago, we adopted strategy of using open source
    software to reduce costs. During that time, we have had a reduction in
    software costs in two ways: (1) replacing products that have costs
    associated with free open source products, and (2) vendors have
    significantly discounted the cost of their products when we have open
    source


> http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/pdf/08_27_2004/GOULD.pdf

Roxanne Gould, Senior Vice President AeA (American Electronics Association)

  ...we agree that both proprietary (or commercial) software and OSS
  are vital components of the software marketplace, and having choice
  among such a wide selection of software is vital to assuring important
  government procurement objectives. We have concerns, however, that the
  CPR Report's emphasis on OSS does not provide a balanced picture of
  the software marketplace and suggests an implied preference for OSS
  that could lead state agencies to make poor procurement decisions. The
  CPR Report assumes that OSS is a less costly alternative to commercial
  software. Yet, the best way to achieve the efficient use of state
  resources is through a highly competitive procurement process that
  seeks to obtain the best value for the taxpayers. money. In
  determining the value of a particular software product, the State must
  consider Total Cost of Ownership. This concept comprises many
  elements, of which licensing fees typically constitute under ten
  percent. Other important factors include the costs of training,
  maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. It is not uncommon for the Total
  Cost of Ownership of a commercial software product to be less than
  that of an OSS-based alternative. [...]


> http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/pdf/08_27_2004/GUARDINO.pdf

Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group

  Areas of the report that I would respectfully oppose are as follows:
    1. The suggestion to .Explore Open Source
       Alternatives. Procurement decisions should be based on the merits of
       the technology, not whether its open source or commercial. Our members
       do not believe that the total costs (acquisition and administrative
       costs) of open source are necessarily cheaper than proprietary
       software, nor do we think one is necessarily more secure than the
       other. Hence, it is in the best interests of California taxpayers that
       these procurement decisions not be prejudged based on the method of
       software development. Rather, these procurement decisions should be
       based on a combination of performance, security, value and cost of
       ownership.


> http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/pdf/08_27_2004/ITAA.pdf

Carol Henton, Vice Pres., Western Region Info. Tech. Assoc. of America (ITAA)

  My remarks today will focus only on one area, namely what seems to be
  a stated preference in the report for Open Source Software (OSS) in
  state procurement. Let me say first that ITAA member companies are
  involved in every kind of software solution including those based on
  open source code as well as proprietary software. If we have a bias,
  it is in favor of value to customers, not any particular software
  development model.  Having said that, we are concerned about the
  specific language in the report, which states, "departments should
  take an inventory of software purchases and software renewals ... and
  implement open source alternatives where feasible." At best this is an
  unfortunate choice of words that sends the wrong signal to the state
  procurement community. At worst, it implies a government preference
  for open source solutions that we believe is ill advised. /We believe
  the State of California should move to open source where it makes
  sense based on objective criteria, not just when it is possible./


> http://cpr.ca.gov/updates/archives/pdf/09_10_2004/Supplemental/ISC.pdf

Ms. Joanne Kozberg, California Strategies, Inc.,
R. William Hauck, California Business Roundtable,
Mr. Paul Miner, Chief Deputy Cabinet Affairs Secretary, Office of Gov. A.S.
"Initiative for Software Choice"

  ...we must respectfully oppose subchapter SO10. In a practical sense,
  the ways in which subchapter SO10 recommends exploring open source
  alternatives create a de facto procurement preference for open source
  software (OSS) in California, which we respectfully submit, would do
  little to reduce your budget concerns, and instead, would harm the
  administration of state government, taxpayer welfare, and the health
  of California's IT industry -- the vast majority of which produces
  commercial software.

  In the last two years nearly a dozen states have considered and rejected
  proposals similar to this one.  In fact just two years ago, the
  California legislature chose not to take up a bill that would have
  mandated the government's preference of OSS in its government IT
  acquisitions.  At that time, the ISC weighed in opposition to the
  so-called "Digital Software Security Act" for many of the same reasons
  that we oppose the proposal at issue here today. ...


<snip>
> I do not have time to study these right now since I have meetings all day.
> Would someone please have a look at these?

What's interesting is the folks who are against SO10 seem to be arguing
"OSS and commercial are pretty much the same... neither is inherently
more secure/etc. ... it's merely a licensing difference."

(Note: I didn't study these letters yet, just found the relevant parts and
pasted them here, so there may be more.)


> In a quick skimming, I saw a lot of comments more or less like "we are
> moderate and not biased against OSS, but feel that OSS is not superior to
> proprietary software and government agencies should be free to pick the
> software with the best value without any bias towards a specific license or
> development model."

Precisely...


> I disagree with that --- there are some specific reasons why OSS IS
> inherently superior to a proprietary model. I also think that is is
> disingenuous to portray the above position as a moderate position, while
> poking holes in the credibility of OSS. Just a first impression; I have not
> studied the comments in any detail.

Remember, feedback is accepted until tomorrow:

  http://cpr.ca.gov/feedback/


Thanks, Henry!

-bill!
bill@newbreedsoftware.com                            New Breed Software
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/       Tux Paint 0.9.14 -- Coming soon!
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