Free/Open Source Software initiatives for computers and similar devices to encourage interoperability, and platform neutral software and hardware purchases.
Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) is software that can be classified as both free software and open source software. FOSS is provided under a variety of open and transparent licenses including the GPL (General Public License), BSD and associated licenses, these license allow anyone to freely use, copy, study, and change the software in any way. The source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.
Linux and LibreOffice are the most common examples of FOSS, LibreOffice primarily uses a file format called ODF (1) which is open source and standards compliant.
Ubuntu is a common example of software for desktop or laptop computers.
This is in contrast to proprietary software which is under restrictive copyright and the source code is usually hidden from the developers and users.
Microsoft ® (TM) Windows ® (TM) and Office ® (TM) are the most common example of proprietary software.
Proprietary software on its own is not a bad thing, the general F/OSS preference I promote is to encourage platform neutral software and hardware purchases and the general concept of interoperability which is more generally associated with F/OSS than proprietary software.
There’s no point saying “you must only use open source” because there will inevitably be situations where open source does not have adequate ability. Each situation will have different requirements and, generally speaking, it won’t always be practical to use one system in favour of another.
Review legislation, process and penalties to:
- Provide Governments the opportunity to encourage and prioritise free/open source software where practical.
- Encourage platform neutral software and hardware purchases.
- Reduce software costs by using vendors who’s applications have reduced or nil licensing fees, and who don’t require their customers to commit to upgrade cycles when there is no business case to do so.
- Encourage and prioritise:
- Standards compliant software which allows use on any platform without adverse affect on any method of file manipulation, display or interaction with physical or virtual memory.
- Hardware and software research, purchase and use based on situational suitability.