(Rodney Hide, right, with MozillaFirefox lead developer, Ben Goodger.)

RodneyHide, ACT party leader, talked to WLUG with his views on OpenSource.

Rodney started this meeting by telling us he was a technophile -- he enjoyed using OS/2, and ever since has found MicrosoftWindows to be 'unintuitive'. He is a big fan of his P900 phone, and adds to his blog daily.

He spoke about his background in environmental sustainability, and economics, and how that had encouraged him to believe in evolutionary processes exemplified by the free market rather than a plan designed by a committee which can not easily evolve.

He likened the committee approach to Microsoft, and the evolutionary "free market" approach to OpenSource. This frightened many, more traditional, capitalists. :-) He believes in the process of OSS software and software features as a meritocracy, as judged by the market.

Rodney then explained his experiences with OpenSource software, such as the GIMP and MozillaFirefox. He also expressed an interest in eventually running purely on OpenSource solutions, with Linux as his desktop, but is cognisant of the need for compatibility in Parliament. This led nicely into a discussion of how the parliamentary process worked, and how Rodney could assist us in achieving our goal of advocating Linux to government.

We identified some of the key issues we'd like addressed - these being:

  • Software Patents.
  • Government information locked up in MS Word format. Open formats are required.
  • Copyright.
  • DRM. The concept of DRM precludes an Open Source solution.
  • Govt. Funding – encourage OSS development.
  • Indemnification – remove the power of FUD.

Rodney was very interested to hear about the problem of bad software patents, as he was previously unaware of the situation.

From opposition Rodney Can:

  • Ask Oral questions. (1 per day, with 8 supplementary)
  • Write Letters.
  • Parliamentary Questions – unlimited.
  • Select Committees – can institute an enquiry.

The WLUG should focus on raising Parliamentary questions, and Rodney will endeavour to assist us in formulating these in the most effective manner.

See ParliamentaryQuestions for the followup.

See also OldMeetingTopics