[PLUG] [OT] Re: Government Sponsored Vendor lock

Mayuresh mayuresh at acm.org
Wed Jul 28 23:51:37 IST 2010

On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:42:34AM +0530, Shridhar Daithankar wrote:
> On Wednesday 28 July 2010 10:49:00 Mayuresh wrote:
> I think its about perception, ease-of-use and general sheep mentality coupled 
> with lack of training. People do not understand computer. That it works, is a 
> miracle to them and want to protect the status-quo at all the levels.

True. However the gap between say ms-office and open-office or that
between ie and firefox is relatively easier to fill for a layman (as
compared to say between windows and linux).

As of now, mentality of people, including the so called customer services
of most of the online applications is "that's your problem then", the
moment you say you are on firefox.

To change this the usage of such apps needs to increase - no matter
whether on Windows or on Linux. People need to be aware of some
differentiators of these apps including awareness against piracy, license
costs etc. (Sounds like a fallacy? Piracy may actually be helping MS
products survive as bulk of the junta doesn't care to look for
alternatives and in turn various service providers, too, don't.)

> I am skeptical on relying on the government. I guess that sums up what I feel 
> about it.  :(

So am I! But what choice do we have for the Govt owned systems?
True, it will take years for anything worthwhile to happen, though at least
the hush voices like ones we have in this mailing list should get louder
and reach somewhere. (Not that I know of a recipe to do so.)

If at all there are some positive indicators - at least a small subset of
countless political parties and some state Govts in India have shown
inclination to adoption of FOSS in Govt.  (Lost the links on this though
will recover and post a few later).

> > Besides Govt processes, there are schools mandating students to do their
> > assignments in certain office software. May be that's even harder to
> > change till the awareness at large increases.
> FOSS did make inroads in that syllabus. Sudhanwa was instrumental in 
> participating the efforts to replace software required in curriculum with FOSS 
> alternatives such as gcc, postgresql etc. Lots of curriculum(at least in pune 
> uni.) need foss alternative.

That is really commendable. Also important is the openness the faculty or
persons responsible would have shown to such an idea from the institute's


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