06.13.08

BECTA’s Latest Disappointment: ‘Open Source’ from a Windows Shop?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Windows at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Might this be ‘open source’ the Microsoft way?

When BECTA first uttered the words “open source”, people were rather shocked. This agency has been one of the most open source-hostile ones out there (some would say an anti-Christ of Free software), despite great pressure to change its ways. For background, consider previous coverages (with many external references) in:

Transparency in procurement is something which is desperately needed in the UK. The public services have an abysmal track record with things like secret "Memorandums of Understanding" or secret deals that BECTA signs with Microsoft behind taxpayers’ backs (part of the deal is that it must remain secret, just like in the case of OEMs).

This brings us to this morning’s news.

Open source snub in UK schools

THE OPEN SOURCE community was bitterly disappointed today after the UK appointed an unknown consultancy to run an historic programme of advocacy in schools.

[...]

“They’ve chosen the worst possible candidate because [Alphaplus] have no open source experience whatsoever,” said Taylor. “The project is about open source in schools. Unless you have open source people in there, its nonsense,” he said.

[...]

The Sirius bid was backed by Red Hat, the pioneering open source software cowpowayshen, and pulled in million of Euros of development backed by the European Commission.

Another sidelined bid by The Learning Machine, an open source schools specialist, was backed by Canonical, the organisation behind Ubuntu, the ground-breaking open source operating system.

Yet another, was put forward by Open Source Software Watch, a not-for-profit organisation that already co-ordinates open source development in the Higher Education sector. OSS-watch pulled Eduforge, the world’s largest repository of open source educational software, into its bid, along with one of the backers of Moodle, an open source software system that made great advances in the education sector around the world.

Having looked at the Web site of Alphaplus, there are reasons for concern. There are quite a few warning signs, but Alphaplus deserves the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Their whole Web site is Windows and Flash (i.e. can’t view pages unless some opaque binaries are used). There’s no sign of Free software and GNU/Linux, let alone “open source”.

Hopefully — just hopefully — this is not a farce in the making.

“It’s all about marketing and the Microsoft ecosystem exploits this too.”Let us hope that this is not one of those parties who call "Open XML" "open source" and prefer things like “shared-sourced” .NET. Open source can be quite meaningless unless those who assess it actually understand that it’s about the licences and vendors, not just some badge. Lately, Microsoft has been faking a lot of open-source things in order to exploit loopholes and enter some contracts. It’s all about marketing and the Microsoft ecosystem exploits this too.

Speaking of Microsoft’s escapades in “open source” territories, remember SourceForge? The CEO has just announced his resignation. He is being replaced.

As was asked earlier in the IRC channel: “Can we find out how the new guy feels about .NETness and Microsoft ‘open source’ licences? There have bee[n] concerns about the Microsoft sponsorship recently and now the CEO quits.”

In light of the SourceForge moves we have been seeing (e.g. Microsoft sponsorship), have a look at the comments here. This is hopefully not a sign of a new era. Microsoft will try to assimilate and steal to the very same disruption it strives to eliminate.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/06/13/becta-windows-shop/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 9/3/2021: KCPUID for Linux, IBM Calls Fedora a Community

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, March 08, 2021



  3. Links 8/3/2021: Java 16 is Coming and More Software Patents Thrown Out

    Links for the day



  4. Examining Today's EPO Propaganda About the Disastrous EQE, a Subject of Much Scorn and EPO Corruption (Updated)

    The EPO’s e-EQE was a complete and utter disaster; but in an act of overt revisionism (i.e. the usual from this administration) the EPO pretends everything went well, bar a minor glitch lasing a few minutes



  5. The World Wide Web Has Become Proprietary and the Last Remaining 'Major' Browser That Was (Pre-EME) Free Software Is Rapidly Becoming Useless and User-Hostile (It's Monopoly- and Surveillance-Sponsored)

    The World Wide Web seems like a lost cause because Web browsers, which nowadays determine what the de facto standards are (same problem as 20 years ago), are monopolistic when it comes fundamentals like rendering engines (and privacy isn't even an option, users aren't the priority but the product etc.)



  6. Links 8/3/2021: Waffle 1.7.0 and a Look at the New Pardus (19.5)

    Links for the day



  7. Real Feminism is Grassroots, Not a Corporate Ploy (to Improve Image and Sales)

    The insulting publicity stunt many will be exposed to throughout the day is largely a corporate-led Public Relations charade, painting sexist companies as defenders of women



  8. Gemini Capsules and Pages Now Accessible in a Web Browser, Qutebrowser, But Qutebrowser Has Issues

    As noted earlier this morning, it's nowadays possible to access Gemini capsules through a Web browser without any Web proxies; but the (likely) first browser with that capability has numerous big issues



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 07, 2021



  10. Moving Away From the World Wide Web is a Wise Move, at Least to the Degree Which is Possible

    More Web browsers finally support the Gemini protocol and decentralisation is gaining traction (it's even in mainstream European media right about now)



  11. The Banality of Bribery

    To understand why institutions defend and sometimes even give awards for the very things they claim to be against one must examine the flow of money (with strings attached to it)



  12. When I Discovered People Trafficking in Free/Open Source Software

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  13. Links 7/3/2021: AviDemux 2.7.8, Thunar 4.16.4

    Links for the day



  14. Links 7/3/2021: Sparky 2021.03, SystemRescue 8.00, and FreeBSD 13.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 06, 2021



  16. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part V: All The Rest

    The final part of a series on liberating the Raspberry Spy from an untrustworthy OS that secretly adds Microsoft keys and proprietary software repositories of Microsoft



  17. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part IV: Doing The Task

    We now spell out the steps taken to actually replace the Raspberry Pi OS with something more trustworthy



  18. Corporations Do Not Represent Communities and Activists, They Just Exploit Them, Discredit Them, and Hijack Their Hard Work

    The AstroTurfing and the Googlebombing campaigns of large corporations would have us believe that genuine activists are toxic and malicious people, whereas corporations exist to save the world from evil people; don’t fall for those Public Relations tactics (a gross inversion of narrative)



  19. Why the 'Raspberry Spy' Blunder is a Lot More Serious and Profound Than the Corporate Media is Willing to Acknowledge

    As this video points out, the ongoing series by Gavin L. Rebeiro is justified by the fact that the 'Raspberry Spy' Foundation continues to work with and some might say for Microsoft; it sold out millions of customers



  20. Links 6/3/2021: “SLS” Mitigation and Exiv2/KDE Project

    Links for the day



  21. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part III: Fundamentals

    Following the introductory and preliminary parts we dive deeper into the steps taken to replace the Raspberry Pi's GNU- and Linux-based OS with something like NetBSD



  22. Links 6/3/2021: Linux 5.12 RC2 and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Woes

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, March 05, 2021



  24. Links 5/3/2021: Qubes OS 4.0.4 Release and Wine's Project Leader is Open to Wayland

    Links for the day



  25. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part II: Introduction

    Following Part I, published a few hours ago, let's examine what happened from a technical perspective and what can be done about it technically



  26. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part I: Acknowledgements

    March 2, 2021 blog post series from a guest author; for some background, see blog posts from Microsoft in the official blog of Raspberry Pi and our response to these



  27. German Decision on Unitary Patent/UPC Will Take Years (and It Doesn't Matter Because the Whole Thing is Dead Already)

    Kluwer Patent Blog's Dr. Bausch explains why the UPC is pretty much doomed, as it cannot be ratified any time soon and probably will never be ratified either (for a multitude of reasons, including Brexit)



  28. Techrights in Australia (IPFS and Gemini)

    Allies in Australia will help Techrights serve material from another server; we're still bettering ourselves for an era of oppressive World Wide Web



  29. Professional Troll Matthew Garrett Spreads Libel, Defamation and Slander About the Free Software Community to Entertain Microsoft and Friends

    After months of parking in our IRC channels to provoke and troll people (and try to collect 'dirt' from responses) the professional troll Matthew Garrett has been for many years shows his true colours again



  30. Links 5/3/2021: Linux 5.12-rc2 Imminent, Linux Lite 5.4 RC1 in Review

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts