Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Must governments use open source? Peru, and other places, are considering legislation that would require government offices to use Open Source software over proprietary (Windows) products. Tim O'Reilly has come out against that, saying that it infringes on people's choice to use the best tool for the job. I agree with Tim. Freedom must be alienable so users can pick software that suits their needs best.

I would add that government purchasing rules are arcane and loaded with weird and perverse incentives. Requiring the use of open source software would merely be one more bizarre restriction on the back of many others. This doesn't make it right, but sometimes second best solutions are most we can hope for. Arnold Kling (who has kind things to say about this site) adds these comments.

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