Talk:Use of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) in the U.S. Department of Defense

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Creation of this page by the author of the report it describes[edit]

Several disclaimers:

  • As will be discussed in the page I'll be creating in the next few days (I'm doing this first), I think this report merits an entry. If I had not been asked by the U.S. Department of Defense to write it... if a lot of brave people had not been willing to stand up and say "yes, we are using free software in critical defense systems"... or if I had buckled after the first couple of bow shots and not kept working for the better part of a year to get the report in a form where it could finally be publicly released by DISA... then based on some quite specific subsequent events, I believe I can say with some certainty that the world in which we now live in 2006 would be a lot less friendly towards activities such as Wikipedia. Wikipedia does, after all, build conspicuously on the same community principles and GNU licensing precepts that the existence of this report discusses. At the time of the report there existed a very real risk that free software could have been banned outright by the U.S. Department of Defense. If such ban had happened, do I need to elaborate on the likely consequences it would have had on federal, state, industrial, and international policies towards free software in the years since 2002-2003?
  • Like most authors, I really do have a bit deeper understanding of the report than would most people (duh!). Thus I can add content that others simply cannot.
  • Re: Self-promotion. I work for a non-profit organization, and do not benefit financially from having written this report. Since writing it, talking to people about it (always for free, incidentally) has without any ambiguity been a net financial loss for me... mostly because I keep neglecting to send in for reimbursments for plane fare when I've been asked to speak at remote locations. In terms of my professional career, writing the report was overall more damaging than helpful. (And wow, I'd do it again in a split second...!)
  • I don't think it would be right to write this web page anonymously. Yes, of course I like that the report made a difference, and so in turn like the idea of having a page for it. Writing anonymously would simply cover that up, though, wouldn't it? So, I'd much rather create this particular page as openly as possible. This was my policy during the writing of the report, and I sort of like continuing it.
  • I've seen the reports about all sorts of odd goings-on of U.S. government people re-writing their own Wikipedia entries surreptitiously. Since yes, Virginia, I do federal-type work, being straight-up about who I am keeps people from wondering. No, I am not a Congressional staffer nor anything else in disguise. And thought the original report was requested by the U.S. Department of Defense and funded by DISA, in my writings about it here I am representing only myself and my own views on a publicly released document, not those of my company or its customers.
  • I don't fully understand the Wikipedia pseudonym ethic, and so I must apologize in advance if there is some more subtle point I'm missing on why most people stay anonymous when contributing to their own pages—and I don't believe for a minute that they don't do just that. I'm assuming they do it just to avoid getting annoyed too much. If that's all it is, I'm certainly OK with the situation from my end.

One author suggested that some Talk notes I made under FOSS should be moved into Alternative terms for free software. I actually rather liked that idea, but the materials are just too off-topic: A discussion of the history of names should not be getting into details of a specific report that happened to popularize one such term. Having this page will remove much of the reason for the current existence of the FOSS page, so I think it will actually enable that strategy a little farther down the line.

--Terry Bollinger 01:02, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Interesting article[edit]

Kudos to its creator. Paul 03:08, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

"findings" section needs trimming[edit]

If someone wants to read the whole executive summary, they can read it in the report, the article doesn't have to replicate it. If someone has the time and knowledge necessary to summarise the summary or rephrase its info in an encyclopediac manner, that would be good. Gronky 01:17, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Minor neutrality question[edit]

The last sentence under "Impact" seems to me to be less than completely neutral, and should be change or removed. The sentence could be removed without changing the meaning of the article.