Feeds

Perens asks SPI to own Sincere Choice

Too friendly for closed source for some

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Bruce Perens, one of the original board members of Software in the Public Interest (SPI) Inc. has asked that organization to consider taking ownership of another project he started, the Sincere Choice initiative. But while SPI considers itself part of the Free Software community, Sincere Choice says it believes that "there should be a fair, competitive market for computer software, both proprietary and Open Source."

According to the minutes of the most recent SPI board meeting, at least one member of the board raised concerns about adopting an initiative friendly to "closed source." Closed source, or proprietary software, keeps its source code a secret, a notion antithetical to the idea of Free Software and Open Source advocates.

"Ian [Jackson] had a problem with the statement 'We support a broad range of copyright policies, from Public Domain through Open Source and Free Software to Proprietary' [as written at the Sincere Choice website]: SPI does not support that range but is a Free Software organisation,'" wrote board member Martin Schulze in the minutes.

"Branden [Robinson] noted that the rest of the statement of principles is not objectionable," the minutes continue. "Wichert [Akkerman] suggested that someone talk with Bruce about possibly rewording the statement, and if Bruce agrees to resume the discussion later. Ian volunteered to take this task."

Sincere Choice is Perens' answer to Microsoft's "Software Choice" initiative, which states that its purpose is "to encourage continued software innovation and promote broad choice."

Software Choice says it is encouraging governments to consider "neutral principles" when selecting software to perform official functions, including "strong intellectual property protections" and software procured on "merits, not through categorical preferences."

Sincere Choice, on the other hand, also asserts that "software vendors should compete fairly on the merit of their products," but adds that they should not attempt to "lock each other's products out of the market."

Perens gave a lecture at Stanford University recently, speaking to electrical engineering and computer science students about Free Software and Open Souce, and to talk about Sincere Choice. Sonia Arrison, the director of the Center for Technology Studies at Pacific Research Institute, was not convinced by Perens' rhetoric.

"Microsoft has market power because it creates products that satisfy technology needs at the right price. If the open source community's products better satisfy those needs at a better price, then it shouldn't be necessary to legislate the use of open source in government departments," she wrote in a column at Tech Central Station. "It also shouldn't be necessary to legislate smaller items like the exact parts of a state's information technology (IT) infrastructure that must remain open, as Perens wants to do."

Perens seems to be moving toward a more proprietary-neutral stance, hinting during his talk that closed-source software isn't going anywhere. "No one will ever make an Open Source version of TurboTax," he said to the students.

© Newsforge.com

Related stories

Perens on Sincere Choice political push
HP fires Microsoft-baiting Perens
MS 'Software Choice' scheme a clever fraud

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.