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Re: [ossig] Re: [myoss] Revaluing Deployment of Open Source Software
More on our friend :
*Lim* *Fun* *Jin* (Technical Director, ISA Technologies )
>On Tue, 2005-10-11 at 18:56 +0800, Ditesh wrote:
>>To follow up, nsh's letter appeared in In Tech today:
>A reply to nsh's letter (and does anybody know who is this Lim chap?):
>I READ Nah Soo Hoe’s article, Defending OSS (see In.Tech, Oct 11), with
>great interest and would like to offer a more accurate view of
>open-source software and open standards to our local ICT community.
>It is rather unfortunate that many tend to equate open-source software
>with open standards because doing so implies that commercial or
>proprietary software does not support open standards (which is highly
>inaccurate looking at today’s commercial software offerings).
>According to Nah, one of the reasons the Malaysian Government has a
>preference policy towards open-source software is to realise the
>benefits of open specifications and standards. While I applaud the
>Government’s objective to procure software and systems which are
>interoperable via open standards, it does not mean that this should
>directly translate towards a procurement policy favouring open-source
>One has to look at how open standards are established in today’s
>computing environment to understand the mistake in equating open-source
>software with open standards.
>There are a few standards organisations, such as W3C, ISO, IETF, and
>Oasis, which drive standards and specifications in today’s computing
>world and there is a well documented structured process in shaping new
>standards (e.g. RFC 2026 – the Internet Standards Process).
>RFC 2026 documents the process used by the Internet community for the
>standardisation of protocols and procedures. It defines the stages in
>the standardisation process, the requirements for moving a document
>between stages and the types of documents used during this process. It
>also addresses the intellectual property rights and copyright issues
>associated with the standards process.
>What is increasingly happening is that by default consumers are
>demanding that software be interoperable in a secure, reliable and
>standard manner, so that they get the best value for their investments
>and have the flexibility of adapting to change which is increasingly
>more prevalent in today’s demanding business environment.
>As such, technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, BEA,
>TIBCO, SAP, etc, have their commercial/proprietary software products
>which have broad support for today’s open standards, such as XML, Web
>Services, HTML, and SOAP out of the box.
>Ironically, it is these technology companies which are the most active
>in the standards community, in coming out with drafts, specifications
>and going through the standards process of bringing specifications to
>become standards to benefit the ICT community and businesses as a
>A good example will be WSDL (Web Services Description Language;
>www.w3.org/TR/wsdl) which is one of the core specifications for Web
>Services, and if you look at the history of how WSDL became the standard
>as we know it today, it was Microsoft, IBM and Ariba – and not the
>open-source development community – that were the main contributors to
>It is the same case for the rest of the Web Service WS-* specifications,
>some of which are now standards while others are still undergoing the
>standards process. If you look at members and contributors to standards
>organisations such as Oasis and Web Services Interoperability
>Organisation (WS-I), you’ll see the “usual suspects” again, and not the
>OSS developer community.
>In summary, we tend to give commercial software companies much less
>credit than is due to them. It is the healthy competition and natural
>survival instincts which keep them innovating to deliver value to us as
>My view on procurement policies is always buy what makes sense and
>brings value to you as a consumer. Economics will dictate at the end
>which technology, product or software is superior and reward the efforts
>which brought the technology or solution to us.
>Lim Fun Jin
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