Levelling the Software Playing Field

Dave Lane (@lightweight)
President, NZ Open Source Society
Presentation to IITP Canterbury
23 July 2015 - Christchurch, New Zealand

This preso online: http://pres.lane.net.nz/open-standards-nz

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Consider the price difference and increased flexibility.

Open Standards

What are they?

Well defined technical specs available at no cost online, created via a transparent process, by multiple parties, with no royalties, no discrimination, and extensible via a well-defined process.

Standards compliance can typically be vetted by an independent third party (which might carry a cost).

Double standards?


Because you never know where innovation will come from.

Open Standards are an incoming tide

Open Standards: kryptonite for proprietary software

Compatibility is vital for competition

Thank "the network effect"

Proprietary standards permeate

They soak through social fabric, from government to business, to citizen, and back again.

Mechanism of Lock-in

That's what proprietary standards do.

Users are powerless

If you succumb, you give away your power as a purchaser.

All of Government Agreements

Another three years of Microsoft hegemony. Yay.

Government trumpeted "discounts" and "savings".

What. Utter. Bollocks.

Proprietary Standards Everywhere

That's the promise of the TPPA, TTIP and TiSA. The multinational corporate tail wagging the dog.

Government's Implicit Mandate

Use proprietary standards!

I checked 3 software-related RFPs...

Guardians of NZ Superannuation EDRMS RFP

NZQA HR and Payroll System RFP

Wellington City Council RFID System RFP

NZ's software status quo is proprietary...

and that's woefully broken.

When the market doesn't deliver...

It's the government's job to regulate

A level playing field

Open Standards Mandate for the greater good.

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Unexpectedly, the UK is way ahead of us


Tell the government that this is a problem only they can fix.

But we can mobilise to provide encouragement.

Please add your voice: http://openstandards.nz


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Rights on all trademarks shown in screenshots rest with their owners and are shown here for illustration under the provisions of fair dealing.

This presentation uses open source browser-based presentation software, Reveal.js, created by Hakim el Hattab.

This talk: http://pres.lane.net.nz/open-standards-nz.

For my speaker's notes, type "s" in a modern open standards compliant browser.