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RE: [ossig] Re: [myoss] Revaluing Deployment of Open SourceSoftware



MS Regional Mgr 

best regards
gerald lim
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ossig@mncc.com.my [mailto:owner-ossig@mncc.com.my] On Behalf
Of Ditesh
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:38 PM
To: ossig@mncc.com.my
Cc: myoss@my-opensource.org
Subject: Re: [ossig] Re: [myoss] Revaluing Deployment of Open
SourceSoftware

On Tue, 2005-10-11 at 18:56 +0800, Ditesh wrote:
> To follow up, nsh's letter appeared in In Tech today:
> 
>
http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2005/10/11/itfeature/12
262168&sec=itfeature

A reply to nsh's letter (and does anybody know who is this Lim chap?):

http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2005/10/18/itfeature/12
315995&sec=itfeature

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
software. 

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
whole. 

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
this specification. 

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
consumers.  

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 

Ditesh



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