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Re: [Fsfe-uk] OSS Pol.v2 redraft response redraft

From: Lee Braiden
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] OSS Pol.v2 redraft response redraft
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 19:38:39 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.7

Hi Alex,

Sorry to come up with these so late.  I should have taken more time on this 
before :(

Hopefully you guys will disagree and think these points aren't a problem :)  
Either way, they're not huge fixes :)

On Tuesday 14 Sep 2004 18:18, Alex Hudson wrote:
> http://www.affs.org.uk/~alex/OSSPolicyV2Response contains the latest
> attempt I've made to write a response to the OSS policy redraft. It
> addresses all the points that were raised to me on and offlist, and I
> would appreciate any other feedback you might have - we need to send it
> back by Friday ;)

Small typo: the last paragraph, just before the bullet points, reads: "both of 
which mistake are repeated in this draft policy".

Apart from that, one other small grammatical thing from the response:

> The cost equation is very different for free software, and while it is 
admirable that the Government should look for the best value solution, free 
software solutions must not be compared to proprietary using unfair cost 

Would it not be wise to build on the fact that free software is often cheap by 
mentioning other features *as well*?  The above may read as if we've just 
discovered that proprietary software is cheaper, and we're moving the goal 
posts, rather than enlarging the pitch ;)

Also: to me, the other evaluation points besides value for money are a little 
lost in the text.  Could/should they be emphasised a little more, so that 
they aren't missed/forgotten by the end of the thing?  I'm not sure how 
practical this suggestion is; whether it's possible to do without messing up 
the flow etc.  It's just a small worry of mine :)

Again, I would like to see the ethical side of things emphasised more.  It 
would be nice to see our government policy actually require JUSTIFICATION 
when projects choose NOT to use free software -- an explanation of how the 
considerations such as ethics and openness etc. are outweighed by other 
factors offered by proprietary solutions.  It seems to me like that this 
do-it-or-justify-it approach would be the logical one, if indeed their 
default mode (not to mention the directives of eEurope's) is to promote the 
use of free software.  But maybe that would be pushing our luck? ;)

Anyway... just some thoughts, Alex.  Thanks for your hard work on this :)

Lee Braiden

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