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Open-source software moves into public sector

Luis Ibanez, senior research engineer for Kitware in Clifton Park, works in his lab.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Luis Ibanez, senior research engineer for Kitware in Clifton Park, works in his lab.
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The open-source software revolution is ready to go public. The programs that were once relegated to the niche fringes of the computer programing community and have more recently spread prolifically through the hard drives that power private business are now primed to make the jump into the public sector — and some would even argue they already have. Increasingly, colleges and government agencies are relying on pliable and free open-source programs to fulfill needs that ...

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April 26, 2009
8:41 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Open-source software is good, but it is absolutely necessary to specify standard, publicly accessible file formats. When a software company can claim control over Government court records stored in their private format it is time to insist on standard xml format support for all publicly paid for software - this goes beyond just cost savings.

April 27, 2009
11:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

That's a very relevant observation.

Additionally, any remote hosted application should be assessed for the "And when we decide to stop using you..." issues related to "How do we get our data back?"

Open Source software makes it that much easier -- as the applications usually rely on well established interfaces and tools.