Government Open Source Advisory Committee named

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Kevin Bedell

Kevin Bedell
Mar. 17, 2004 07:01 PM

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The Center of Open Source & Government ( has named an advisory committee that's a who's who of the open source community.

There are representatives from Debian, JBoss, the Linux Community, Python, Apache and a host of others.

If you're involved at all in Government or know someone who is, they should know about this as a resource. The people on this advisory are available to advise government leaders on issues surrounding open source technologies.

According to their website, "The Government Open Source Advisory Committee is a group of Open Source project leaders who have agreed to help national, state and local government officials understand, use, develop and integrate Open Source projects into civilian and defense government software projects in a professional and respectful manner."

There are many reasons, of course, why Free/Libre and Open Source Software are good for us as a country. To begin with, government has the same needs for performance, security and low cost that have driven businesses around the world to adopt open source.

But there are other needs as well. For example, it's imperative that our governments be able to store information in non-proprietary file formats. Some of these files will archived as government records for years - maybe even generations. What would happen if a single vendor were to patent the ability to access data stored in their proprietary file formats?

Plus, there are proprietary software vendors who are aggressively lobbying governments around America and around the world to give open source a bad name. This organization and these people can help fight the FUD battle.

Kevin Bedell is a software professional with over 15 years of experience doing development, architecture and team lead work, is Editor in Chief of LinuxWorld Magazine, and is working on a book for O'Reilly on Apache Axis.