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Group Urges Obama To Consider Open Source

In a letter to President Obama, open source leaders ask him to make mandatory during the government's technology acquisition process a consideration of whether an application's source is open or closed.

A group of open source code practitioners has written a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to require wider adoption of open source code throughout the government.

"We urge you to make it mandatory to consider the source of an application solution (open or closed) as part of the government's technology acquisition process, just as considering accessibility by the handicapped is required," wrote 15 leaders of open source projects and companies.

"Mr. President, we believe the open-source industry is changing the world of software development in many of the ways you have promised to change American politics. … We sincerely hope that you will make the use of open-source software a key component of every new technology initiative the United States government enters into," they said.

Prompting greater use of open source code in government could lead to new ways "for states and agencies to collaborate together on solutions that ultimately are better than the sum of all the individual efforts. … Open source software encourages this type of collaboration by making the results of previous efforts available to others," the letter said.

Signers were: Ross Mason, CTO of MuleSource, supplier of the open source Mule enterprise service bus; Don Klaiss, CEO of Compiere, supplier of open source enterprise resource management; Roger Burkhardt, CEO, and Deb Woods, VP of product management, at Ingres, supplier of the open source relational database; Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft, supplier of open source reporting and business intelligence; Bertrand Diard, CEO of Talend, supplier of open source integration; Javier Soltero, CEO of Hyperic, supplier of open source systems management; David Christiansen, senior developer, and Stuart Cohen, CEO, of the Collaborative Software Initiative, organizer of cross-enterprise development projects.

Also signing were Rick Jung, CEO of Medsphere, supplier of an open source hospital and patient management system; Steven Grandchamp, president of OpenLogic, supplier of open source technical support; Anthony Gold, president of the Open Solutions Alliance, a group of open source companies that certifies their code will work together; Scott Sanchez, chief architect of Unisys Open Source Business; Carl Erickson, president of Atomic Object, a custom development firm using open source Ruby; and Chris Gladwin, CEO of Cleversafe, supplier of open source storage systems.

The migration to open source is even affecting Microsoft. To maintain its developer ecosystem and protect its apps business, Microsoft has to loosen its grip on the Windows source code and drive down costs -- effectively making its operating system open source. But that's only the beginning: The company should restructure itself, pay more attention to cloud computing, and get out of search. An InformationWeek report, Overhauling Microsoft, may be downloaded by clicking here. (Registration required.)

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