If you know any Government folks, you might want to share with them CNET’s Matt Assay report that open source mandates are coming to enterprises. Shouldn’t Government also be looking harder into open source? We are.
Assay explains the mandates are coming because companies are tired of paying and re-paying for code written long ago. Physical goods have per-unit material and labor costs. Digital goods do not. Exposure to quality open source software process has a tendency to reveal the hidden inefficiency of much of the proprietary software business model.
We’ve always embraced open source at The Sunlight Foundation. We are also upping our stake and making our open source effort larger and more formalized. There’s also the Apps for America Contest to write open source software—with the requirement of using at least one Sunlight Foundation sponsored open APIs. You can see the open source digital goods we are putting online at http://github.com/sunlightlabs.
The take away for Government is pretty obvious: “If the private sector is mandating open source, then government may not be far behind.” At the very least, Government needs its procurement practices to be friendly to open source.