Getting Open Source Logic INto Government (GOSLING)

International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012

It is fitting that the GOSLING 10-year anniversary coincides with the International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012. My focus in GOSLING has been how the government regulates software, including how the government protects or rejects software choice. DRM (Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation) easily represents the greatest threat to the rights of technology owners, including the right of technology owners to make their own software choices.

Public service workers develop means to save taxpayers $1B

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, May 4 2012 - A flock of geeks that includes workers in both government and the private sector are claiming that the Government of Canada can pull $1 billion a year out of federal IT spending, and at the same time generate more Canadian jobs, and provide better public service.

Participants in GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments) describe themselves as "a voluntary, informal knowledge-sharing community of practice, involving civil servants and other citizens who actively assist the engagement of free/libre open source methods and software solutions in government operations." The GOSLING community refers to the adoption of open source methods within the public sector as "Government Official Open Source Engagement" (GOOSE).

At GOSLING's 10th Anniversary Party at the Parliament Pub on Wellington at Metcalfe on Friday afternoon, they're celebrating the arrival of "Intellectual Resources Canada (IRCan)" to self-sustained full operation after a highly successful money-saving proof-of-concept period assisted for several years by CIO Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat.

Reginald B. Alcock, PC (April 16, 1948 – October 14, 2011)

Reg Alcock will be missed. Some of us from our community kept in touch during his various roles at the University of Manitoba.

I have met a number of federal politicians over the years, and he was the most welcoming of them all. Whether meeting at his parliamentary office, in the parliamentary restaurant, or outside of the parliamentary precinct he always listened to what was being said and captured and repeated-back (so you knew he got it) the key points of what you were trying to express.

He always demonstrated a genuine interest in making politics better, and was not so partisan as to suggest it was only people in his caucus that had good ideas.

In the 1990's I was in a time when I didn't respect politicians much, and thought the vast majority were corrupt. Mr. Alcock was one of the key people who convinced me otherwise, and made me willing to spend so much time trying to meet people from every political stripe in the federal parliament.

Conflicts of interest alleged in federal job exchanges

CBC's Julie Ireton has been doing some in-depth research of the Interchange Canada program. Myself and a few other GOSLING folks were interviewed early in the research.

See: CBC News article, Oct 32 episode of The House.

Hon. Jay Hill retirement party

Hon. Jay Hill (MP for Prince George - Peace River) had a retirement party at the Parliament Pub this evening, coinciding with our weekly GOSLING gaggle. It was interesting to see so many MPs with familiar faces in the pub (Speaker Hon. Peter Milliken, Hon. John Baird, James Rajotte to name a few).

We now have 5th ridings without MPs that we may be looking forward to bi-elections in: 3 mentioned in the past, Hon. Jay Hill, and Bloc Quebecois MP Jean-Yves Roy (Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia).

WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code

A tech article on Whitehouse.gov documents the release of some custom code authored by the technology team implementing that website. While such releases are common from many organisations and not worthy of press releases, I suspect this information release is done to signal to other US government departments and governments of other countries that they should follow suit.

On May 30, celebrate 6 Years of Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments

May 30'th, 2008 is the 6 year anniversary of GOSLING: Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments. We are having a party at the Parliament Pub, just in front of the parliament buildings in Ottawa. For details and any changes please see our website where we also ask people to RSVP so we can plan food.

GOSLING started in May 2002 as a couple of informal Friday gatherings after work at the pub, to bounce around some ideas ahead of the first free/libre/open source software event hosted by the Government of Canada. We have been meeting nearly every Friday since. Our weekly gatherings are very informal. While we expect our 6-year anniversary party to be larger than any other GOSLING gathering in the past, it will be equally informal.

Netherlands Government Goes Open Source

In yet another blow to vendor lock-in and proprietary software standards, the Associated Press is reporting that the Dutch Government on Wednesday adopted laws requiring all national agencies to use the Open Document Format by April 2008. Even state and local agencies are required to comply by 2009; though there is flexibility in the new policy - agencies can chose to use proprietary standards, such as MS Office, but they must justify use. The new laws also mandate the use of FOSS in all agencies in a similar manner, for cost savings and accessibility reasons.

GOSLING, eat your heart out!

Japan Embraces Open Software Standards

The ODF Alliance recently announced that Japan has joined Norway to be the latest country to have government mandates recommending the use of open document standards, something many consider to be a prerequisite before serious acceptance of open source software in government can ever be a possibility. How far behind is Canada in this regard?

Ottawa Linux Symposium: GOSLING / Canadian Copyright Update

I hope to meet people at the 2007 Ottawa Linux Symposium. I'll be there much of the time between Wednesday and Saturday, with our GOSLING / Canadian Copyright Update being at 13h00 on Saturday.

I have posted a suggestion to the Facebook Event for OLS in case there is anyone wanting to get together earlier to talk technology policy and create policy documents.

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