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Re: OSS in Switzerland (Was: Re: [ossig] OSS Cooperative in Brazil)



On Mon, 2004-06-14 at 17:15, Dinesh Nair wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Jun 2004, Simon wrote:
...
> > > it's one thing to do it in an organization which is privately funded, and
> > > another to implement it in government.
> >
> > Justification?
> 
> tax payer funds.

There are commonly private companies that set policies for specific
products to be used across the board. For example, IBM (hey, at the
Novell Agility seminar), Microsoft, Novell (going for Linux on desktop
by end of year), UNDP (private?). The reason they standardize on
specific products is one of lower costs.

In the case of the government/public companies, which are funded by
taxpayer funds, there is even bigger need to save on costs.

> 
> > I have trouble visualizing a real-world scenario where pure
> > interoperability standards can be used effectively in practice.
> 
> we do that all the time. tcp/ip, SOAP, XML-RPC, to name a few.

Then products have to be specified at the end points.

> 
> > For example, regarding the choice of the document format. Our preference
> > is for a format based on XML. Well, such a format is not standardized
> > yet (xml.org). Shall we suggest the product to be able to read/write
> > "OpenOffice.org Text Document" format, and read/write M1crosoft Word XML
> 
> who says it has to be either ? cant it be PDF or postscript ?

You cannot edit either PDF or PostScript.

Do you really think that M1crosoft will add OOo Text Document support to
MS0ffice, just to sell a bit more licenses here and be in danger of
people saving their documents in this format and leaving the platform?
If so, let's go for it.

> even xml by itself is useless without a dtd. and if the dtd is open, it
> fulfils my notions of what an open standard is. it doesnt necessarily have
> to be a _ratified_ standard.

Well, you might have the issue of the standard changing and keeping up
with previous versions.

Talking about document format standards, I'm rather happier with OOo XML
File formats (Writer, Calc, Impress) after reading
http://xml.coverpages.org/starOfficeXML.html
It's doing well and the draft specification was approved in April. I
hope the final comes soon.

While with M1crosoft, you need to ask first your IP lawyer before even
considering buying Office 2003, because the XML schemas are covered with
patents.
See: http://www.microsoft.com
/mscorp/ip/format/xmlpatentlicense.asp

(sorry, you have to put it manually on one line).

> for eg, when we implemented the national teleconsultation flagship, we
> published our interfaces, though the app was proprietary/closed source
> from the start.
> 
> anybody could write a client side app to submit the same medical
> modalities to the network as our client side app. of course, during the
> period where we were operators of the network, there were access controls
> to prevent any client from simply connecting in. but had the moh directed
> us to allow, say pantai hospital, to submit into the network, pantai could
> have commissioned their own client side app which met our protocols.
> 
> today both protocols and operational control of the network is with the
> moh.

I believe this is an initial to the right direction.

s.


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