[PublicPolicy] Open Sourcing Government Code

Matthias Kirschner mk at fsfe.org
Wed Jun 3 06:27:54 UTC 2020

Hello Shimon,

* Shimon Shore [2020-06-02 14:05 +0200]:
> In addition to the arguments you have made I would say Open Source by default has the following advantages:
> - Open Code is:
> 	- of better quality
> 	- is more secure
> 	- is easier to maintain
> - Reduces dependency on the original programmer
> - It is easier to attract high quality, younger programmers that prefer startups to government work

The security and the lock-in points are covered in the brochure
page 16+17 in an infographic. Code quality and maintenance is something
which is from my experience more difficult to explain. So it did not
make it to our list. 

About the last point, I agree that it helps to attract a wider range of
technical personnel for the public sector. Have to think about the
start-up argument; until now the main point there was that you can work
for some time for the public sector with the same tools you have worked
before, and afterwards you can continue to do so in the private sector
again. So your "market value" is not decreasing because you are using
some tools which are very specific to the public sector. 

> I like these arguments because they apply to all code - even code that
> is never used or looked at by anyone. They are a net benefit of the
> fact the code is Open Sourced. They also have monetary value to body
> paying for the development.

I am not sure I understand you here. If nobody else is looking at it,
how is the quality improving and how do you make sure it is easier to

> Some answers to your points are below.


Thanks for your clarifications.

Best regards,

Matthias Kirschner - President - Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290
Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030  |(fsfe.org/support)
Contact (fsfe.org/about/kirschner)       Weblog k7r.eu/blog.html

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