October 21, 2003

Victory declared in the open source war that never was

The Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) has declared victory in the open source war that never was - Massachusetts' "Open Source Mandate", which
would have outlawed the purchase of practically all non-open source software by state agencies, if it had ever existed. Which it never, ever did.
As The Register pointed out when the story broke last month, Massachusetts never said it was adopting a pro- open source policy, nor did it say it
ever say it was mandating the purchase of open source software. It did say it would be adopting a broad-based strategy of moving its computer systems
towards open standards. That didn't stop the BSA jumping in, nor the ISC, nor indeed (one must be fair) a rash of fevered speculation and Chinese
whispers from the pro- open source camp.

The ISC's contribution is particularly amusing, because although the BSA had earlier cited "reports" in its delivery of the lead-filled sock, and
didn't in so many words say that it necessarily believed these reports, the ISC charged in with its concern "that the open source software mandate
recently announced by Secretary of Administration and Finance, Eric Kriss would incalculably harm Massachusetts public administration, its citizens,
and its information technology (IT) industry and workers." This letter to Governor Romney requested a meetting to discuss the matter at his earliest
convenience, and then fulminated its way well into a second page over the imaginary mandate.

Link: theregister.co.uk


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