Subject: Re: North Carolina initiatives [was: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative]
From: L Jean Camp <jean_camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 11:04:11 -0400

The interesting thing about the software is not only is it shared among 
a group of state who all contribute to the code base. 17I believe last 
I checked. I do not know of other consortiums of 17 specialized 
companies cooperative building their own infrastructure but I would be 
interested to learn about such customer-centered cooperatives. Avalance 
exists, and it is offering call center code.

The only requirement for using the code is that you contribute to the 
core. There is a very strong concern about forking on the assumption 
that forked code will result in duplicate efforts. So in terms of 
freedom, there are limits. In terms of consumers joining together to 
develop a shared platform it is very much like Avalanche in its goals. 
So I think the freedom to fork discourse here was very interesting, and 
gave me some things to process. Thanks for that.

Public sector people face much greater risks in terms of being targeted 
by monied software producers than their private counterparts. They are 
more vulnerable in the press and more vulnerable in their jobs. You can 
save the state money, piss off someone very powerful, and lose your 
job. So,  it takes real leadership to risk that backlash and embrace 
open and free code in government. And this SoS system is several years 
old, they have just been pretty quiet about it to avoid the BSA 
response.

-Jean

On Monday, April 26, 2004, at 04:02 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> FWIW, I followed up on the "North Carolina Secretary of State"
> reference, and it might be interesting to FSBs in that neighborhood,
> or to those who would like to make useful, concrete suggestions to
> their own local pols.
>
> I don't see "real" leadership here, just a government that for once is
> within sight of the leading runners, but YMMV.  And of course it's a
> leader among local governments; as Jean points out, it deserves
> attention from other governments for its efforts.
>
> http://middleware.its.state.nc.us/middleware/
> http://ets.state.nc.us/NCSTA/
>
> NB: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/ is a complete red herring
> AFAGoogleCT, except where it points to the ITS and ETS subdomains.
>
> Summary of a very quick look around: "middleware" mentions Linux a
> lot, as in "this works on Linux", typically because it's written in
> Java.  Still, mentioning the FLOSS platforms (BSDs are mentioned as
> well), and presumably having spent money and effort testing it, is
> credit-worthy.
>
> I didn't really see much in the "NCSTA" pages, it was a lot easier to
> find Microsoft-oriented initiatives, with no "it would be nice if it
> were FLOSS" caveats either, except for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
> getting approximately equal billing with .NET.  (-> Statewide Technical
> Architecture -> Implementation Guidelines under the NCSTA URL.)
>
> If anyone cares to, I'd appreciate more information about this kind of
> thing, off list if you think it's inappropriate for FSB.
>
> -- 
> Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     
> http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
> University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 
> 305-8573 JAPAN
>                Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
>               ask what your business can "do for" free software.
>