A conversation held with Mike Chelen on Sunday, September 15 on the topic regarding the article by OKFN Spain member on discouraging government from open source.

--- Log opened Sun Sep 15 20:13:35 2013
20:13 -!- JZA [] has joined #okfn
20:14 < JZA> I know is a bit late in euope but wonder about the issues that arrised in Spain regarding an incident by one of it's members regarding the counter-promotin (FUD fuel) document presented to government officals during an event.
20:15 < JZA> if there is any official position by OKFN world wide and even a reaction toward the lack of action by OKFN Spain.
22:13 <@MikeChelen> JZA: hmm i haven't heard anything about that
22:13 < JZA> MikeChelen: well yesterday there was some tweets addressing @okfn and okfn_spain
22:14 < JZA> there have been some publications both on site and on one of the blogs of the whistleblowers(?)
22:21 <@MikeChelen> JZA: its a little difficult to follow because of the language barrier, was this the document in question?
22:21 <@MikeChelen> JZA: its a little difficult to follow because of the language barrier, was this the document in question? 112:<>

22:24 < JZA> MikeChelen: yes, basically a member of the group made some 'FUD' declarations anti-open source
22:24 < JZA> and anti-free software
22:25 < JZA> MikeChelen: even if OKF spain did said they rejected in the agenda the paper written by him, the public association was well stablished.
22:25 <@MikeChelen> ah i see there is an english overview in the post
22:26 <@MikeChelen> JZA: what do you think needs to happen now?

22:26 < JZA> MikeChelen: most of the people that was outraged by the post, wanted a public position on the argument (hopefully against it)
22:26 < JZA> MikeChelen: okfn_spain has acted upon the discrepancy but very weakly in my opinion.
22:27 < JZA> MikeChelen: instead of being a firm position against it, they act defensive instead and even on a mocking fashion.
22:31 <@MikeChelen> JZA: thats a good question, how to address a problem when the okfn members disagree with an okfn board decision
22:32 <@MikeChelen> JZA: have you tried posting to the okfn-discuss list for suggestions?

22:33 < JZA> MikeChelen: well mockingly would surely not be propper way
22:33 < JZA> and I am addressing the IRC instead
22:35 <@MikeChelen> JZA: yeah it sounds like an important issue, im trying to think how to go about addressing it
22:35 <@MikeChelen> irc is great but the email list reaches more people
22:35 <@MikeChelen> maybe if you make a proposal of what should happen?

22:35 < JZA> MikeChelen: my point is not to reach more people but to get the right people involved
22:35 <@MikeChelen> and get okfn spain members to sign it
22:36 <@MikeChelen> JZA: true im just trying to figure out how to do that exactly

22:36 < JZA> well I exchanged, emails with Alberto Abella a long friend of mine who is involved in the topic.
22:37 < JZA> and he did point out that it was on their meeting logs the rejection of the paper.
22:37 < JZA> However like I explained to him this is a PR matter more than a "right or wrong" matter.
22:37 < JZA> Many eyes are now turning into OKF and seen if the organization is a Friend or a Foe.
22:38 < JZA> and being defensive is not pleasing many eyes.
22:39 <@MikeChelen> yeah maybe it would help to explain exactly what they did wrong, and what they should do instead
22:40 <@MikeChelen> such as a statement that okfn spain should approve to take a better stance on the issue

22:40 < JZA> MikeChelen: if you look on today's post he address the issue "Why we havent issue a respond on Free software"
22:41 < JZA>
22:41 < JZA> 113:<>
22:41 <@MikeChelen> its the okfn spain group that has to take the action but its hard for ppl in other countries to understand since we cant read the actual statements
22:41 < JZA> MikeChelen: well google translate usually do a good job
22:42 < JZA> MikeChelen:
22:42 < JZA> MikeChelen: 114:<>
22:43 < JZA> his response instead of addressing the issue point fingers back saying people havent done the right researrch, then pointing to some google docs.
22:46 <@MikeChelen> JZA: it seems like he is saying that okfn spain does not endorse the document?
22:49 < JZA> MikeChelen: right, however doesnt address the main question which is if they are pro or against FLOSS
22:49 < JZA> MikeChelen: that is the key issue for OKFN atm.
22:50 <@MikeChelen> JZA: oh thats funny, i kind of assume everyone at okfn loves floss since matches perfectly with the overall goal of open knowledge
22:51 <@MikeChelen> and all the okfn systems use floss
22:52 <@MikeChelen> hmm when reading OKD i wonder what "Software is excluded despite its obvious centrality because it is already adequately addressed by previous work." refers to?
22:52 <@MikeChelen> which previous work are they referring to

22:53 < JZA> MikeChelen: the comment specifically was "Free software shouldn't be used for critical systems in the government because of their lack of support"
22:53 < JZA> this happened at an Open government event.
22:55 <@MikeChelen> JZA: thats definitely something i disagree with
22:55 <@MikeChelen> the confusing thing to me is why open source software is not covered in the OKD
22:56 <@MikeChelen> which seems to be what abella is citing

22:57 < JZA> this is the blog with address the issue from the FLOSS side
22:57 < JZA> this is the blog with address the issue from the FLOSS side 116:<>
23:00 <@MikeChelen> JZA: it seems like okfn spain made it clear they did not approve the document
23:00 <@MikeChelen> but maybe they need to say this more strongly

23:01 < JZA> MikeChelen: well judging by their post, they wont agree with the declaration nor disagree with them.
23:01 < JZA> and 'that's the position that have been escalating this across the larger floss community.
23:02 < JZA> and leaves a taste of "don't know, don't care, is not our problem"
23:03 <@MikeChelen> JZA: what action would address this, a different written statement?
23:04 < JZA> well I suggested Alberto to "do care, address the issue, and what they can do to solidify their support"
23:04 <@MikeChelen> its a good goal, im wondering what would be the next step
23:04 < JZA> MikeChelen: in many eyes, the damage is done, the government officials already heard that FLOSS is not serious.
23:05 < JZA> MikeChelen: and OKFN basically dont see any responsability in fixing this situation.
23:05 <@MikeChelen> JZA: maybe there are 2 issues: how best to fix what happened, and how to prevent it in the future
23:05 <@MikeChelen> JZA: what would be the action to fix the situation, maybe another paper that recommends floss?
23:06 <@MikeChelen> that is actually endorsed by okfn spain

23:08 < JZA> MikeChelen: well I woud suggest to reach out to those government officials and highlight why FLOSS is serious for critical systems and host an why should it be taken seriously for crtical systems with examplees of stablishments that do. (or enable other organization to present that).
23:10 -!- dwhly [] has quit [Remote host closed the connection]
23:10 <@MikeChelen> JZA: sounds like a good idea to me, ideally there is existing research that could be cited
23:11 -!- dwhly [] has joined #okfn
23:13 < JZA> MikeChelen: papers are coming out every other month, like London Stock exchange and health care databases with hippa and military grade technology, or Nasa's robots in mars.
23:14 < JZA> MikeChelen: but more importantly is addressig how these "no support" excuse have been long ago demsitified by most of the people in charge.
23:15 <@MikeChelen> JZA: maybe it would be good to start gathering that info together somewhere?
23:15 <@MikeChelen> create a letter that includes good info on the subject, and get okfn spain to approve it

23:15 < JZA> MikeChelen: this work has been done already
23:16 <@MikeChelen> then people can send that letter to the gov't officials involved
23:16 < JZA> no need to duplicate tasks
23:16 < JZA> what we need is a first step
23:16 <@MikeChelen> well i just mean something that the okfn group could vote to approve
23:16 < JZA> into getting OKFN to stablish their position about the issue
23:17 < JZA> and from that point move forward into selecting organizations that could potentially comply with the necesary work.
23:17 <@MikeChelen> so if there are documents like that already, then pick the best one and ask okfn group for approval & comments?
23:17 < JZA> we dont need to re-demistify it.
23:17 < JZA> but we do need them to take leadership into the issue.
23:17 <@MikeChelen> i just think it helps to have a single document that ppl can vote yea/nay on
23:18 < JZA> well sure
23:18 <@MikeChelen> and if ppl disagree, then they should explain why, and start a debate
23:18 < JZA> but a paper on what exactly?
23:18 < JZA> why u dont think free software is good for critical systems?
23:19 <@MikeChelen> yeah im not sure how specific you want to be
23:19 < JZA> or why should OKFN take a stand on free software?
23:19 <@MikeChelen> maybe either start with something broad and then narrow it down
23:19 <@MikeChelen> or start with the most important, most specific, so that its addressed first

23:20 < JZA> MikeChelen: what you consider to be the most important part?
23:21 <@MikeChelen> JZA: it would probably be the things that were contradicted in the other paper
23:22 <@MikeChelen> their main argument was that floss should not be used for large gov't operations?
23:22 <@MikeChelen> because supposedly it cannot be supported well
23:22 <@MikeChelen> so the most specific thing would be to show that floss can be supported well

23:22 -!- Joel_re [~jr@] has joined #okfn
23:22 <@MikeChelen> and the broader issues is that floss is effective in these situations
23:23 <@MikeChelen> (large govt operations)

23:23 < JZA> MikeChelen: great. Sounds like the best route.
23:28 <@MikeChelen> JZA: that sounds like something most okfn members would endorse
23:30 < JZA> MikeChelen: good, I think we got the wheels moving now,and hopefully we could see some change.
23:34 <@MikeChelen> JZA: yeah and potentially this is an issue that other country groups have gotten involved with in the past, or will be interested in for the future