Venezuela goes Open Source……… Dream On

August 31, 2002

Can’t help but comment on the report by Linux Today that Venezuela would go open source which was reported by slashdot linked by my tyromaniac brother and others. Besides the problems of inefficiency cited by my brother, there are many problems with the proposal. The main one is simply that there is no way to enforce it. The Minister of Planning may want the Government to go Open Source but each Minsitry, Institute and office makes independent decisions which will not only be difficult to coordinate, but are impossible to enforce. Moreover, in the Ministries, where Mr. Perez may be able to coordinate some action, mainframes and IBM rule the day. Any effort to go open source would also require funding at a time when the Government is late in payments to Governemnt Agencies by as many as six months, so it is difficult to see how he can convince turning over to open source without the training, the people and the tools, which are not free.

I have heard the Minisiter of Planning say that he will eliminate corruption using the help of the Open Source Foundation. I have heard him say that the open source concept should be extended to all sectors of the economy, whatever that means. Thus, the Minisiter is dreamer, I like dreamers, but somehow, I think you have to choose the right dream. So far, the dreams of the Minister seem neboulous and unrealistic. Venezuela needs a little realism and pragmatism before we can begin to dream again.

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