“Explore Open Source Alternatives” From California Performance Review

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised a complete audit of California’s procedures and finances. That audit resulted in the California Performance Review. Information technology was considered in the review, and the California Performance Review recommends that the State of California explore open source alternatives.

In the Statewide Operations (“SO”), Information Technology Enabling Cost Savings, section 10 (“SO10”) the report says “Each year the State of California spends millions of dollars on software, software maintenance and renewal. Many private and governmental organizations are turning to open source software as a cost-effective alternative to closed source software. The state should more extensively consider use of open source software, which can in many cases provide the same functionality as closed source software at a much lower total cost of ownership.”

The report further notes benefits to using open surce software.

“Open source solutions are typically free of charge, although some companies such as IBM, Oracle and Hewlett Packard (HP) often sell versions of open source software with related maintenance. The following 10 features distinguish open source:

  • Free Redistribution: The software can be given as part of a package with other applications;
  • Source Code: The code must either be distributed with the software or easily accessible;
  • Derived Works: The code can be altered and distributed by the new author under the same license conditions as the product on which it is based;
  • Integrity of the author’s source code: Derived works must not interfere with the original author’s intent or work;
  • No discrimination against persons or groups;
  • No discrimination against fields of endeavor: Distributed software cannot be restricted in who can use it based on their intent;
  • Distribution of license: The rights of the program must apply to all to whom the program is re-distributed without need for an additional license;
  • License must not be specific to a product; Meaning that an operating system product cannot be restricted to be free only if used with another specific product;
  • License must not contaminate other software; and
  • License must be technology-neutral.”


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