Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 7 May 2002
Note: the comments below are the unabridged
submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.
From: Bahu For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: .Doc disaster What's all this talk about standards? The IT industry has never really been about standards, for over 10 years that I have been in IT its been compatibility that always drives decisions. What do the people we work with or communicate with use? There is little point wasting everyones using the coolest little word processor when you are recieving Word docs your can't read. In some business being unable to read quotes, offers or otherwise could be big bucks lost. Do you know how long it takes as an IT Admin to convert a floors worth of email from one format to another or to explain the problem to users and people who might send your organistation documents? Simple as that, I'm not saying it is right just the way it is. The ideal world versus the real world. From: Peter For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Government Documents Regarding file formats used by governments, as well as the security / virus risks you rightly point out, there is also an issue of access. The government of the day doesn't own the information - it is merely the custodian of information belonging to the community. So what right does the government have to lock it away in a secret proprietary file format. A format that citizens may only access after buying Microsoft software. This was covered by a Peruvian congressman in a link you provided yesterday. www.gnu.org.pe/resmseng.html It would be interesting to hear why our government uses proprietary file formats in the face of these issues. From: maddogmut For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Standardisation in Peru The Peruvians are pushing for open source and open formats for use in Government parliaments. The following letter makes a very interesting read for those of us not convinced by M$'s protests of the sky falling in whenever some country's parliament has the audacity to actually think about whether M$ is right for them: www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25157.html From: Shannon For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Peruvian Congressman vs. Microsoft FUD Inspired article on The Register detailing Peruvian Congressman DR. EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NUŅEZ surgically rebutting every argument Microsoft had against using open source software in Peru's public sector. Somebody should bring this to the attention of our Minister of IT. Long read, but worthy. www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25157.html From: Tim Hill For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Peru example As has been pointed out by 3 other people at this time, our government and it's ministor responsable for IT and IT development shuold be made aware of this. So I'm certain that if all of us that thinks why dosn't our government do this tells them our thoughts, they might get the message. I will be writing tonight, who else will be? From: Russell Brown For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: It's not all bad While most government departments seem to be utterly hooked on MS Word, there is at least one area where Microsoft didn't get all the pie. Gen-i was given specs for functionality and performance for the overall solution for the forthcoming e-government portal (launching July 1) and left to make decisions on merit, rather than somebody's sales pitch. So it runs off SQL Server, but the business logic is in Java and the web server platform is Linux/Apache. This all seems reasonable - I'm not sure the public sector should *have* to use open source as a matter of principal, just that it should be considered on its merits. Meanwhile, try opening up on of those official government Word documents in a hex editor. You may be surprised at what you find ... From: Sarah Nelson For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Peru Oh come on. Would you rather be in an office in Peru trying to use Linux and Star Office, or in New Zealand using Microsoft XP and Microsoft Office??? There will NEVER be ANY standards in corporate or governmental IT... you think it's bad now... wait 10 years and see what a combination of Open Source systems do to the landscape... you'll be begging for the good ol' Microsoft days then. From: Shannon For : The Editor (for publication) Subj: Re: Peru Oh, come on indeed. I don't think *anyone* will be "begging for the good ol' Microsoft days." There will "NEVER be ANY standards in corporate or governmental IT"? Hmm, a lot of corporations already standardise, whether it is closed or open source. As the subject line was "Peru" I can assume that you were referring to this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25157.html If you had read that article, you would have seen that certain standards had indeed been set. These included: Free access to public information by the citizen. Permanence of public data. Security of the State and citizens. "What the Bill does express clearly, is that, for software to be acceptable for the state it is not enough that it is technically capable of fulfilling a task, but that further the contractual conditions must satisfy a series of requirements reguarding the license, without which the State cannot guarantee the citizen adequate processing of his data, watching over its integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility throughout time, as these are very critical aspects for its normal functioning." Your opening two sentences appear to slight either open source software, Peru, or both. You seemed to have missed the point of the article. Now, would you rather be in an office in New Zealand trying to use Microsoft XP and Microsoft Office, or on a beach in Hawaii using Linux and Star Office? :)Hit Reload For Latest Comments
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