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A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD

by dws (Chancellor)
on May 07, 2002 at 00:21 UTC ( #164487=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

On occasion, we are called on to defend Perl, or some other Open Source package, against the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) generated by a commercial vendor's Marketing folks. When you're in this position, it helps to have ammunition. Here is some fine ammunition.

The Peruvian government is considering a bill that would mandate the use of Open Source software for all public projects. Microsoft countered with some classic FUD (the sky will fall, the economy will collapse, etc.) The FUD was then taken apart, piece by piece, in a letter from Peruvian Congressman David Villanueva Nuņez.

I recommend that you read this letter. It's a fine piece of writing and political/economic reasoning, and it demolishes the FUD that was thrown up against the legislation. Many of the points raised can be reused if you are called on to defend the choice of Perl (or Apache, or whatever).

It is a pleasure to see such clear thinking and reasoning out of politician.

Link Credit: BoingBoing, though I'm told it's already been /.-d.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on May 07, 2002 at 02:56 UTC

    Much more than a diatribe against Microsoft, this is a great example of a responsible and thoughtful public official. As I read this, I thought, "Here is a representative who has the best interests of his constituency at heart."

    The points he makes are to safeguard the public interest, and he has the knowledge to back it up. Not just technical knowledge, but the basics: that relying on a private-sector company to safeguard public information is not wise. This is such a refreshing change from the PHB attitude of "There's no private company standing behind this software, only the public; therefore, it's not reliable".

    This article should be read by anyone with any interest in free software: software libere, not just gratis.

Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by tjh (Curate) on May 07, 2002 at 04:25 UTC
    This article's assertion of a Republic's necessary use of open source software and open standards as means to reduce single points of failure, increase security by having the source code for support/debug, enhanced local talent that can alter and support it, and all this naturally required by the very definitions of democratic public policy is brilliant and fundamentally sound.

    This article is astoundingly perceptive, authoritative and literate, regardless of the authorship speculation ( "...purportedly from Peruvian Congressman David Villanueva Nuņez to Microsoft Peru..." ).

    I certainly also believe in proprietary software and it's industries and companies, but this is a brilliant example of when commercial vending to public institutions may not be appropriate or desirable. (It also takes to task Microsoft's obvious attempt to steamroller an entire government with specious, bizarre rhetoric. They may have picked on the wrong guys...)

    It isn't often that you get to read something so inherently accurate and communicative.

    Is there such a thing as a Politico-Monk? I'd upvote this one on this issue...

Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by mdillon (Priest) on May 07, 2002 at 02:31 UTC
    It would be extremely surprising if that letter weren't actually from Villanueva Nuņez. Have a look at GNU Peru, specifically Proyecto de Ley (ES), the project under which "the Bill" referred to in the letter was conceived. From the beginning, GNU Peru has been involved with Congressman Villanueva Nuņez and others in the conception and development of this project.
      For all relevant documents, check out Pimiento Linux. They have tranlations and world coverage on this issue.
Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by robot_tourist (Hermit) on May 07, 2002 at 14:24 UTC

    The best way to ensure copyright is to publish your code. That way, you have dated source (with file creation times or whatever) that could be used in court if someone like Microsoft tries to rip you off. Compaq had to spend millions to do a clean reverse engineering of the original IBM ROM BIOSs, because IBM published and copyrighted everything.

    To me, the only downside of open source the extra disk space needed, but then the government could use some sort of CVS a la Source Forge.

    I have a wiry brain/each eye a camera. Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson

Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by shotgunefx (Parson) on May 07, 2002 at 09:50 UTC
    Great link. I find it hard to believe that a politician could have this good a grasp on the issue.


    "To be civilized is to deny one's nature."
      I don't think I'd want to argue about much of anything with this guy!
      Check out his picture near the bottom of a report about a free software forum he attended.
Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by bassplayer (Monsignor) on May 07, 2002 at 14:52 UTC
    Hopefully Peru will be the first domino to fall from the dark side. Perhaps we should have a form on a node which allows Monks to enter some words of support, to be emailed to this enlightened congressman, to encourage him on this likely difficult path. (Someone slap the back of my head if I'm being too much of an activist here.)


      You can contact the congressman at his email: I'm quite sure he will appreciate your letters of support.
Re: A Peruvian Congressman counters MS FUD
by BUU (Prior) on May 07, 2002 at 13:03 UTC
    /me wonders if america could start importing some peruvian senators

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