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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Bay State's Open Source Transition Angers Disabled Workers

Re: Bay State's Open Source Transition Angers Disabled Workers
Posted by: Jesse Noyes 2006-03-17 15:52:46
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In the hot debate over open source software in Massachusetts government, some disabled people feel they've been left out in the cold. Gov. Mitt Romney is still marching towards adopting open standards in the executive offices of the commonwealth by the beginning of next year. But the disabled community is voicing its displeasure with the policy, claiming the state's timeline neglects their needs.

Re: Bay State's Open Source Transition Angers Disabled Workers
Posted by: ayteebee 2006-03-18 17:57:22 In reply to: Jesse Noyes
Presumably this is exactly what the Massachusetts government is trying to work their way out of by changing to Open Source. This is a prime example of vendor lock-in. Unfortunately by enforcing this lock-in by not supporting ODF, MS are ensuring that it is the disabled who lose out. However it is better that the Massachusetts government switches sooner rather than later as the problem of lock-in is only set to get worse. Sorry guys, but this is probably best in the long run.
Having said that, there are probably a whole load of [non-proprietary] solutions out there if you look for them. Try for example.
The main problemt that is being talked about here is the same problem that Linux users have been having for years. Vendors don't want to write programs or drivers for Linux because nobody wants to use it, but not many people want to use it because vendors don't support it! The problem discussed here is an interesting parallel. Hopefully when a large organisation like the government breaks the deadlock the situation will start to change. Me, Linux users, and the disabled community of Massachusetts certainly hope so.
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