[Openstandaarden] Agoria and OSS

Peter Vandenabeele peter.vandenabeele at mind.be
Mon Dec 1 17:44:18 CET 2003

On Mon, Dec 01, 2003 at 05:07:37PM +0100, Henrion Benjamin wrote:
> Can someone go to tomorrow's presentation of Mr Patrick Slaets, Agoria?
> Read: The speaker will defend the standpoint that the government should
> not interfere in Open Source Software.


Thanks for informing us.

> Agoria is mainly driven by BIG compagnies, and does not represent the
> interests of belgian SMEs.

This may be the case (the ICT group of Agoria that drives this 
standpoint is mainly representing Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP, 

But, quite some people on this openstandaarden.be list believe 
that the government should _not_ force anyone to use or buy 
FLOSS or even favor it in actual choices (I know this 
viewpoint can be debated since it is using money from the tax 
payers, but the goal of the government is to provide optimal 
services to its inhabitants, in a fair and open manner, not 
to promote one or another implementation).

I believe the vision of quite some people on this list is that
government should _enable_ open competition (between FLOSS and
proprietary implementations of SW) and allow open access to
all information by its inhabitants, buy enforcing open
standards (hence the name of this list). It has been stated
multiple times here that attempts to _enforce_ FLOSS in 
government are deemed counterproductive for the debate.

In any case, it would be incorrect to represent the vision of
the openstandaarden.be lijst as favoring the use of FLOSS
in government.

The goal of this list is clearly marked on its home page:

  "Wat doet OpenStandaarden.be?

  OpenStandaarden.be ijvert voor het gebruik van open standaarden 
  bij alle vormen van digitale communicatie. Onze aanpak bestaat 
  uit het aangaan van een constructieve dialoog met 
  ICT-verantwoordelijken en managers. We willen hen bewust maken 
  van het belang van open standaarden, en hen overtuigen deze ook 
  effectief toe te passen. We zijn een groep van onafhankelijke 
  vrijwilligers, en gemotiveerd om onze expertise ter beschikking 
  te stellen bij de realisatie van deze doelstellingen.

See: http://openstandaarden.be/

There is another list, desktop at openstandaarden.be that does look 
into the promotion of desktop SW based on FLOSS. But that is a 
different debate.

FYI, I will not be present at this Agoria meeting. 


> See: http://wiki.ael.be/index.php/AgoriaRepresentativity
> http://www.bfia.be/december03.htm
>  Patrick Slaets
>  Economic Advisor, Agoria ICT
>  http://www.agoria.be/
>  Many misconceptions still exist around ‘Open Source Software’.
>  However, it can achieve rewarding potentialities, such as contributions
>  to R&D, and should play a larger role in the Belgian ICT-industry. The
>  speaker will defend the standpoint that the government should not
>  interfere in Open Source Software.
>  Programme
>  16.30 h    Registration
>  17.00 h    Introduction by prof. Dirk Deschoolmeester, Chairman of
>  17.15 h    Public policy and ICT-Skills by Hugo Lueders, Comptia
>  18.00 h    Open Source Software by Patrick Slaets, Agoria
>  18:45 h    Round-up by prof. Deschoolmeester on the European Computer
>  Driving License (ECDL – www.ecdl.com) and the European Certification
>  of Informatics Professionals (EUCIP - www.eucip.org), two initiatives
>  from the Council of European Informatics Societies (CEPIS -
>  www.cepis.org).
>  19.00 h    Drink
>  Target audience: CIO's, development managers, IT managers
>  Date and time: Tuesday December 2, 2003 from 16.30 h till 20 h.
>  Venue: Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Reep 1, 9000 Gent
> -- 
> Benjamin Henrion <bh at udev.org>
> http://bh.udev.org

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