Getting my vote

Posted on Thu 08 March 2007 in misc

I noticed this today. George Osbourne is calling for more use of open source software in Whitehall. However FLOSS ain't exactly a panacea for all your IT problems there are certainly places it is a good fit. However the most illuminating quote came from him criticising the procurement procedures for lacking "open standards".

"All too often a government IT system is in compatible with other types of software, which stifles competition and hampers innovation."

I would have far preferred the new uber NHS database had been specified by a set of interoperable protocols and data interchange formats which software companies (open and closed) are free to implement. That way instead of throwing away all the IT investment in forward thinking GP's surgeries we could simply let them upgrade to a newer version of their preferred software which can talk to the central NHS. That is after all how the Internet works, and that seems to be doing quite well ;-)