Friday, May 08, 2009

FOSS for GOI supported project for Power Sector

HS Rai has an excellent post titled, "FOSS for GOI supported project for Power Sector" that I liked very much. I commented on his post and have copied it below.

As a tax payer, I am dismayed so see public money being wasted in reinventing the wheel again and again and again. What we need to build are code repositories for common government applications like treasury, municipal management etc and issue diktats that vendors build their services around these code repositories. In the US, hospitals have been (re)using the VistA (Veterans health Information Systems and Technology Architecture) software developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The source code for this software is available at . The new American CTO, Aneesh Chopra “gets” what open source is all about:

The commonwealth of Virginia is undertaking a variety of
initiatives to improve aspects of governance in areas like health care
and education, said Aneesh Chopra, Virginia’s secretary of technology.

On February 23, the commonwealth will debut the Virginia physics
“flexbook,” Chopra said–Web-based instructional materials that cover
areas of physics in which Virginia’s traditional curriculum is lacking.

The commonwealth partnered with the nonprofit CK-12 Foundation to
provide an open-source platform on which new content can be quickly
published. Virginia officials solicited contributions to the text from
around the country. The contributions were subject to a series of
academic reviews.

“Virginia will have its first physics flexbook for teachers to rip,
mix, and burn and to incorporate into their educational coursework,”
Chopra said.

He said the process was faster than the traditional means of
changing coursework, and it was one example of how a robust information
technology infrastructure was helping the government better serve people.

“You can make information more accessible, collaborate more, and
people can do more to hold their elected officials more accountable,”
Chopra said.

Why are we using old, ancient, pathetically fragmented, hideously expensive proprietary software development models when far superior models exist? I agree that it is time to start a serious campaign and get governments to use the open source development model based on Collaborative Innovation and not just use open source software. My article on Collaborative Innovation is at:

Thanks for this nice post. If the Indian government takes your advice, it will save thousands of crores of rupees!