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Open Source Software Up the Stack

Dennis Byron

Open source and IT are no place to play politics

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In the past, no one in information technology (IT) cared and few even asked if you were liberal or conservative (Labor or Tory, Democrat or Republican, etc.), what country’s passport you carried, what religion you professed (including none), and what happened in your bedroom. Now an IT development website is running a survey asking you to link your technology usage to your U.S. political preference.

It is unclear how this straw poll is going to limit respondents to U.S. voters. In fact, from the choices to the first of its five questions, it appears that people that don’t vote can also participate so its claim to be measuring “Political-Open Source? feedback seems a little strange. The survey, if the second question is answered honestly, won’t say much either because a person—Democrat, Republican, independent (called unenrolled in some states) and non voter—would have to be pretty disconnected from the world to not use Linux or open source applications. And of course if you use open source applications, the odds are you also use Windows so what does that question prove.

What is pretty clear—and unfortunate—is that the web site and/or its staff person has a hidden agenda. From the three other questions (and other blog postings), the agenda appears to be to legislate or regulate against free-market outcomes in governmental IT procurement in the manner that has long been attempted unsuccessfully in Europe. There is no place for it in IT, and no place for it in open source, especially in the U.S. (IMHO).

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Every human action has politics dimension, even if we think it hasn't

Dennis Byron’s blog on open source software: A longtime market research analyst follows what “the movement? means to business integration—in applications, infrastructure, as services, as architecture and as functionality.

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