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[P]
Taiwan to start national plan to push Free Software

By Andy Tai in News
Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 12:31:51 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Taiwan will start a national plan to jump-start the development and use of Free (libre) Software, according to this report by the Central News Agency, the government news agency of Taiwan, Rep. of China. Due to high Microsoft license fees (as previously covered here in Kuro5hin) and also to improve the levels of software technology in Taiwan, this plan includes the creation of a totally Chinese free software environment for Taiwan users, free software application development, and training of 120,000 people for free software skills, as well as efforts at schools to provide diverse information technology environments to ensure the freedom of information. The source article is in Chinese so an English summary is provided below.


The government of the Republic of China will start a "National Open Source Plan" in the Republican Year 92 (2003) to facilitate the development of Free Software. The plan will last two years and complete in Rep. Yr. 94 (2005) and its results will benefit government agencies and non-government organizations. This will save the government NT$ 2 billion (about US$ 59 million) and the society NT$ 10 billion (US$ 294 million).

The Information Technology Committee of the Legislature Yuan held a meeting for "the development and adaption of free software, in order to, in an environment without barriers, increase the competitiveness and independence of the IT industry." The meeting was attended by officials from the National Science Commission, National Supercomputer Center, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Institute of Industrial Technology, Public Works Commission and other organizations.

One official said that in Taiwan most office and school computers run products from few foreign companies. Users do not have much choice, and government agencies and schools spent large sums of money for software purchases every year.

A government estimation shows that, at the end of Rep. Yr. 89 (2000), there were 1,230,000 computers at schools and in the government in Taiwan. If the Windows license fees for each cost NT $6,000, Microsoft collected over NT $7 billion. Adding in the cost of application software (MS Office), the sum would be over NT $10 billion.

Therefore, the National Supercomputer Center is drafting the "National Open Source Plan". The goal is to establish Taiwan's basic software development infrastructure. Via the "common sharing" of open (free) source code, anyone can add his/her own creation onto the common foundation, thus resulting in more perfect software. Free software development will create a diverse software eco-environment and lay a solid foundation for Taiwan's software industry.

The Plan will include the completion of a "Chinese Open Source Software Environment" for the needs of Taiwan users. Also included are international cooperation on free application software development, with the results freely shared internationally, thus raising Taiwan's profile in the high-tech field globally.

Besides software development, this Plan also includes training and education. The government will cooperate with Taiwan's community colleges and other non-government organizations to establish six training centers which will train 120,000 users the basic skills of free software environments. Advanced courses will train 9,600 "seed" people who will then help further adaption of free software environments.

Also, the national education system will switch to Open Source in order to provide a diverse IT education environment and ensure the people's rights to the freedom of information.

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Taiwan to start national plan to push Free Software | 52 comments (52 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
can it work? (4.80 / 5) (#1)
by tps12 on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 07:44:16 AM EST

I was under the impression that Chinese support under Linux was not quite "there" yet. I know there are xterms and editors with Chinese input support, but is there an X module or something that transparently provides pinyin input in any app with wide character support?

I think this might be premature. Windows has pretty much lead the pack in terms of internationalization beyond European scripts.

KDE (4.80 / 5) (#3)
by shivers on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 10:57:33 AM EST

I dont know about the rest of Linux (or other Unices), but KDE is excellent in this area. Check out this page showing how much of KDE has been translated into each of the different languages (thats for the CVS version which is why not many are 100% yet).

[ Parent ]
only 50% (none / 0) (#37)
by lod on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:49:18 PM EST

at 50% support for chinese (according to the site supplied) KDE is hardly excellent

[ Parent ]
50% (4.50 / 2) (#40)
by patina on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:09:07 PM EST

50%ish doesn't sound impressive, but look a little deeper into the numbers.  You can look at package groups and then programs and see that some projects are 100% translated, and some are untouched.  Others appear to be making progress, but are not fully there yet.  This chart sharply illustrates the  idea that Open Source software gets developed to scratch an itch.  As translations are needed, they get worked on.  Also bear in mind that KDE includes much more software than Mircrosoft Windows and Microsoft Office combined.  Then 50% doesn't sound so bad.

[ Parent ]
the technology is there (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by shivers on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:14:32 PM EST

The main point is that the technology is already established and in place to translate dekstop environments and applications to all sort of languages. The only thing missing, perhaps, is more people doing the translating - which for the CVS versions is always a catchup game.

[ Parent ]
Well (5.00 / 6) (#5)
by regeya on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 12:10:02 PM EST

maybe they'll use Red Flag Linux. ;-D

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

I wouldn't hold your breath ;) (nt) (none / 0) (#7)
by tps12 on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 01:37:15 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Most likely.. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by Chiron on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:39:04 AM EST

They'll quietly start using a small portion of Red Flag Linux, in a forked, more democratic distribution, but fail to publicly declare their fork to be its own distribution, so they do not offend RFL. ;)

[ Parent ]
XIM (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by binaryalchemy on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 04:14:58 PM EST

XIM (X Input Method) has been around for a while. It let's you write X applications that take wide character input for various languages. I'm under the impression that it's quite a beast to program directly though. But both GTK and QT can take XIM input, so any application written in them can as well.
------
Defending the GPL from a commercial perspective is like defending the Microsft E
[
Parent ]
I think so (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by pyeh on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:14:55 AM EST

The localization for Traditional Chinese has been picked up by free software community called Chinese Linux Extension (http://cle.linux.org.tw) in Taiwan since years ago. The input method program exists. The printing is basically okay. On my desktop it is such an environment.

But it is certainly correct that many packages are remain to be translated, and it is a never-ending catch-up game. Right now community members in Taiwan can only do that in the spare time. I can only hope that with the funding of government, there will be people doing this for a living, and for many many years to come.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

[ Parent ]

Licensing (none / 0) (#2)
by obsidian head on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 10:55:50 AM EST

Does anyone know how far this plan will be influenced by GNU?  In particular, do they plan to enforce the GPL?

Interesting to see... (5.00 / 4) (#8)
by Danse on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 01:47:30 PM EST

With the US making such a stink about cracking down on copyright infringement, it will be interesting to find out whether that applies to all copyrights or just those owned by big corporations that contribute to campaign funds.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
I hope not (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by pyeh on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:08:48 AM EST

That news was in press because the legislation held a meeting and National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) proposed to have this "National Plan". It has not been agreed yet as far as I know. But I feel it may get approved because most legislators that are involved in IT seem to be in favor of this.

And it certainly hasn't touched the issue of licenses yet. I don't expect the politicians to know the difference between GPL and other free software licenses.

I don't actually expect them to create new softwares. I think most effort will be on customizing and tayloring existing softwares to work seemlessly in a Chinese environment. They got to follow the license of existing software.

[ Parent ]

Germany (4.62 / 8) (#4)
by dennis on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 11:10:03 AM EST

Today's BBC: the German government is going the same route, though not perhaps to the same extent.

US will be playing catch-up in a few years (4.42 / 7) (#6)
by dirvish on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 01:10:05 PM EST

Too bad the US isn't that smart. When will people learn that free doesn't always mean shitty, and expensive doesn't always mean good. In a related (sort of) story Germany is converting to Linux. I predict the US will realize their own stupidity and follow suit within 6 years.

Technical Certification Blog, Anti Spam Blog
Not that smart, or.... (5.00 / 4) (#9)
by ectospasm on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 02:57:48 PM EST

Its hands are tied by large software corporations. Campaign funding in the US by large corporations is a big issue that won't be easy to overcome. Only if companies such as Sun and IBM try to convert the US government will anything take place like what's happening in Taiwan.

[ Parent ]
Think about it. (2.00 / 3) (#11)
by darthaya on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 06:00:04 PM EST

A large part of the responsibility of US government is to create jobs, promote local economy.

Using a US corporation's product, thus promoting that corporation's market leverage, is quite useful in that cause.

[ Parent ]

Larger responsibilities... (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by Danse on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 07:53:16 PM EST

I think that this illustrates how our government should be thinking about software issues. It won't kill the US job market if Microsoft makes a few billion less every year. In fact, the IT services industry growth would probably more than make up for it.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Services. (none / 0) (#20)
by Ranieri on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:40:20 AM EST

What about all the MSCPs that you need right now to run around the building and power-cycle workstations as they lock up?
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
I suspect... (none / 0) (#31)
by Danse on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:57:45 PM EST

...that with the growth of IT services, there will also be an increase in the need for pizza delivery guys.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Problem (3.66 / 3) (#16)
by vectro on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:35:48 AM EST

If the only reason for the government to buy software is that it would stimulate the economy, why not just use free software and give the money to welfare?

Stimulating the economy is not an excuse for the government to be economically inefficient. If the government is to use its expenditures to redistribute wealth, such should be done deliberately and with care, not through expensive contracts and high overhead.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Government ought to destroy jobs (5.00 / 5) (#22)
by Alan Crowe on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:29:30 AM EST

I hate it when persons say

A large part of the responsibility of US government is to create jobs,...

Working is the price we pay to get the stuff we want. The government is doing a good job if it organises the economy so we need to do less work to get the same stuff. This involves destroying jobs. E.g. building a bridge, which puts the ferry man out of work, but makes it much quicker and cheaper to cross the river. Building a road, which lets you move your goods on wheels, and not have to hire porters, who must then find other work. Putting sewers in towns and cities, which cuts down on disease and puts doctors out of work. Coming up to date, Government funds good quality medical research. Fall ill? Check out the treatments available on the Centers for Disease Control website. This destroys jobs selling quack remedies. Having an efficient police force saves a fortune on individual security, and devastates employment amongst security guards and the manufacturers and sellers of locks and alarms.

To see job destruction paying enourmous dividends, check out the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. There is a whole working caste of health insurance administrators that is absent in the UK. Expensive litigation about who is covered and for what? No, every-one is covered, for everything. America pays 14% of GDP for health care, in the UK we pay 7%. It is not quite as good as American health care ( 10% of GDP might be a more realistic spend) but we have universal coverage, and we get better prevention. e.g. diabetes is managed better, in the sense that UK diabetics have more toes.

If government says "we need a word processor for our offices" one option is put money into an existing free software project. We know the weakness of free software. Poor, out of date documentation, aimed at geeks. Lack of volunteers to do the tedious release engineering. The government can hire technical authors and programmers to put the polish on a free software project. They can tighten the specification of the file formats, by providing good documentation and compatibility test suites.

They can go in the opposite direction to proprietry software. Instead of breaking interoperability to do down commercial rivals, they can enhance it, to help citizens communicate with their government.

Ordinary citizens can download the government distribution, for use at work and at home. Which saves them money and compatibility hassles. This may put proprietry word processor vendors out of business, destroying jobs, but remember, the goal is to destroy jobs, not to create. Government is supposed to be a labour-saving device, not a burden.

[ Parent ]

Same goes for OSS (5.00 / 3) (#36)
by ryochiji on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:44:06 PM EST

A large part of the responsibility of US government is to create jobs, promote local economy. Using a US corporation's product, thus promoting that corporation's market leverage, is quite useful in that cause.

Couldn't the same be done by employing or contracting a bunch Open Source developers (some of whom may be currently unemployed)? In fact, wouldn't that be more effective than paying huge sums of money to a few large corporations? And seeing how work done by Open Source developers go back to the public (and thus benefit the public directly) be more inline with the purpose of the government (if you recall, they supposedly serve the public)?

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
[ Parent ]

Really, (none / 0) (#48)
by dTd on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:04:06 AM EST

And I thought their job was to protect the public trust from unfare monopolies, and undue taxation, uphold the law and protect the nation as a whole from foreign encroachment or threats of war. Goverments that create and maintain jobs for their citizens were once known as comunist and socialist, when did those ideals take precedence in the US?
/dTd

Perl 6 will give you the big knob - Larry Wall
[ Parent ]

almost (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by adiffer on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:19:53 AM EST

Those big players seldom dabble in local community level government. The Free and Open Source groups could make headway at that level if they set their sites accordingly. The little governments are usually the most cash-strapped too.

-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.
[ Parent ]
campain funding (none / 0) (#47)
by dTd on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:58:54 AM EST

Thats why campaign comtributuions should be illegal in the US. Too many contituents can be manipulated by the attraction of large amounts of money which directly correlates to power. A system should be set allowing those with legitamate need to have access to media and the press for free, all having the same amount of coverage. Contributions are no more than glorified bribes and I thought bribery was illegal in the US. . . .who new?
/dTd

Perl 6 will give you the big knob - Larry Wall
[ Parent ]

The funny thing (none / 0) (#13)
by speedfreak2K2 on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 09:24:29 PM EST

The funny thing about what you said about time to open source adoption in the United States is that it is most likely true! As long as MS keeps producing BS that the government believes, OSS will have a hard time making it.
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
[ Parent ]
likewise... (none / 0) (#15)
by Work on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 11:33:38 PM EST

when will people learn that free doesnt always mean good?

Considering the rather pathetic state that most free offerings are in the consumer app arena, I doubt 6 years will change anything.

[ Parent ]

stupid open-source dumbasses (2.33 / 3) (#23)
by Shren on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:48:23 AM EST

So you have your US K5 programmers...

Convincing thier government and industry to use free software.

and

Bitching that they can't find a paying job.

What part of cause and effect do you not understand, fuckwits? You destroyed your own job. As the open source movement becomes more efficient, the amount of times each application needs to be written approaches one, thus, the number of computer programmers needed in the world is doing a nosedive. The average coder's job involves rewriting the wheel - and the average coder's job is gone.

Computer programmers are like the people who used to hand-build custom machine parts before mass-production and interchangable parts. There is only a very short amount of time in history when it's going to be a mainstream occupation.

If you're in your 20s and you're a computer programmer, like myself, you need to face the fact that you are going to change careers at least once. If you unionize now and hinder progress by blocking union members from working on OSS, you *might* manage to retire as a computer programmer. Otherwise, most of you are going to stop being "programmers" and end up working in the "computer services" economy for half the dignity and a third of the pay.

The writing is on the wall, and it looks like you got spray paint on your hands putting it there.

[ Parent ]

The other side of the story (4.66 / 3) (#24)
by jacoplane on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:12:26 AM EST

To quote from Eric Raymonds The Magic Cauldron:

"Some programmers worry that the transition to open source will abolish or devalue their jobs. The standard nightmare is what I call the ``Open-Source Doomsday'' scenario. This starts with the market value of software going to zero because of all the free source code out there. Use value alone doesn't attract enough consumers to support software development. The commercial software industry collapses. Programmers starve or leave the field. Doomsday arrives when the open-source culture itself (dependent on the spare time of all these pros) collapses, leaving nobody around who can program competently. All die. Oh, the embarrassment!

We have already observed a number of sufficient reasons this won't happen, starting with the fact that most developers' salaries don't depend on software sale value in the first place. But the very best one, worth emphasizing here is this: When did you last see a software development group that didn't have way more than enough work waiting for it? In a swiftly changing world, in a rapidly complexifying and information-centered economy, there will always be plenty of work and a healthy demand for people who can make computers do things -- no matter how much time and how many secrets they give away."

If you haven't read anything by Raymond, you should start with the Cathedral & the Bazaar. I certainly don't agree with everything Raymond says, but I also think the viewpoint you are taking is rather naive. Most software development is not for shrink-wrapped software. Rather it is for in-house systems. If the OSS model proves to be the most efficient way to develop for companies that need the software, I am sure they will fund it.

If this does happen, there will be a shift from big software corporations like MS to companies from all spheres of the economy funding development of the software that they need.

[ Parent ]

you need more than that. (none / 0) (#25)
by Shren on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:47:05 AM EST

Most developers' salaries don't depend on software sale value in the first place.

Irrelevant. If you need a piece of software and there's no OSS code to build off of, you hire a team. If there is an OSS software package, you hire one programmer to mod it. That's practical reality. I'm living it today - I'm the one programmer in a shop of 10 admins. The admins are miserable, unhappy, and underpaid - I'm the first two of the three.

When did you last see a software development group that didn't have way more than enough work waiting for it?

The ones that survive do. The ones that don't, well, they don't, and a lot didn't. This point is entirely anticdotal, as it's hard to interview the failed teams.

In a swiftly changing world, in a rapidly complexifying and information-centered economy, there will always be plenty of work and a healthy demand for people who can make computers do things.

The level of skill needed to do said work drops when the software is already done and freely available, thus, the level of respect and pay drops.

You say that OSS will not get the net programming work force done because that's the way you want it to be. The fact that you quote the Cathedral and the Bazzar indicates that you've been propagandized quite completely a long time ago, and have stopped paying attention to what's going on around you. You have decided that OSS is great and doesn't cost anybody thier jobs, based on ESR's high philosophy socialist arguments, and for you, that's the way it's going to be.

Go back and actually read your propaganda again. "Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow." Wouldn't this principle apply to anything everyone has thier eyes on? And if it does, then why do we have persistant problems with corrupt government? Everybody lives in the envoirnment, so everybody's got an eye on that - so why are the solutions so far away? Given enough eyes, slashdot just gets read a whole fucking lot.

Live in reality, where the case is always that a handful of people do all the real work and the rest of the eyes are useless.

[ Parent ]

perhaps (none / 0) (#27)
by jacoplane on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:53:37 AM EST

The fact that you quote the Cathedral and the Bazzar indicates that you've been propagandized quite completely a long time ago, and have stopped paying attention to what's going on around you.

Quoting from ESR does not mean that I've turned into an open-source zealot. I said in my original comment that I certainly don't agree with everything that ESR says. However, this does not mean I cannot agree with other things he says. Anyway, I don't want to get into a flamewar about that so I'll drop it.

...why do we have persistant problems with corrupt government? Everybody lives in the envoirnment, so everybody's got an eye on that - so why are the solutions so far away?

Where did you get the idea from that the way the government works is open to public scrutiny? Many divisions in the Government work in extreme secrecy. Maybe I didn't understand your point here.

Most developers' salaries don't depend on software sale value in the first place.
Irrelevant. If you need a piece of software and there's no OSS code to build off of, you hire a team. If there is an OSS software package, you hire one programmer to mod it. That's practical reality. I'm living it today - I'm the one programmer in a shop of 10 admins. The admins are miserable, unhappy, and underpaid - I'm the first two of the three.

Look, somebody writes that OSS code you're using. If it is valuable enough to the company that development of the OSS continues (it may well be if they are using it in their business) then they will fund the development, either by funds to a third party, or by hiring developers to work on the code. They must release the source if it's GPL, but in many cases will want to do so even with BSD, since you do not want to be responsible for maintaining all the code. The main point is that the code has to be written, be it inhouse, or by a third party. How are jobs lost?

In a swiftly changing world, in a rapidly complexifying and information-centered economy, there will always be plenty of work and a healthy demand for people who can make computers do things.
The level of skill needed to do said work drops when the software is already done and freely available, thus, the level of respect and pay drops.

So you are saying that a drop in the level of skill needed to accomplish a task is a bad thing? We could also all go back to coding in assembler, we'd really get lots of respect then, wouldn't we. Think of how much money we could make! I believe that the availability of source code makes better programmers. Anyone can have a look at how their linux system works. This is impossible to do with closed source.



[ Parent ]

Faulty arguments (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by archiesteel on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:26:14 PM EST

You make a couple of assumptions which weaken your argument. First, code reuse is common even with proprietary software. That's why we have libraries, isn't it? Also, it's stupid to think that programmers should constantly "reinvent the wheel"...that doesn't ssound like a very stimulating job anyway, nor does it make economical sense.

It's also a mistake to think that programmers are constantly rewriting the same applications to do the same tasks. Every day, we find new things to do with a computer, we need new functionalities. I'm not a developer, but I work with them (I'm a game designer) and I constantly come up with stuff for them to do that haven't been already made available through Open Source. Believe me, they'd be very happy if there was! Perhaps in the future we will come to a point where no new software is necessary, that all possible applications have been written already. If this ever comes to pass, it will have little to do with proprietary or free software...but that doesn't seem like it's coming soon. In the meantime, reusing software - and building on it - is essential if we are to innovate and produce new functionalities. Reprogramming everything every time makes no sense at all; building on existing code does. Make no mistake: people at MS reuse code that belongs to the company all the time - heck, they wouldn't be able to produce their software if they didn't. Open source software enables smaller companies (who don't have access to such a code legacy) to compete against giants the like of MS. To deny them this advantage would basically mean that only giant megacorps can exist.

Go back and actually read your propaganda again. "Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow." Wouldn't this principle apply to anything everyone has thier eyes on? And if it does, then why do we have persistant problems with corrupt government?

Here you use a faulty assumption to support your point. The fact is, if there were indeed many eyes looking at what governments do and how they work, then indeed we would have less problems. The fact is, there aren't many eyes on the govt. (and it's corporate chummies): people don't care to look. So there are actually few eyes looking at it, which is still better than no eyes at all (in which case we would have even more corruption). It's a simple matter of logic, which if I remember correctly is one of the founding principles of computer programming...

Same thing goes for the environment, except that here there are more and more eyes watching, and therefore there is more action going on about this issue (Kyoto, fuel cells, electrical cars, alternative energy, etc.) The reasons why solutions seem far away is that there are some pretty powerful special interests at play (namely, Big Oil companies and their pals in the White House) and the fact that a society can't turn on a dime when it comes to energy production and consumption. Again, though, the more eyes are on the issue, the quicker the changes will come about. That's called the power of public opinion, and it's a very well known phenomenon in public affairs. :-)
-- This sig has blue six words.
[ Parent ]
Bah, that's FUD (5.00 / 4) (#35)
by ryochiji on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:37:32 PM EST

As the open source movement becomes more efficient, the amount of times each application needs to be written approaches one, thus, the number of computer programmers needed in the world is doing a nosedive

Complete FUD. The kind of software that'll actually benefit from OpenSource development only covers a small portion of the software industry. There's a huge demand (that's probably growing) for proprietary specialized software that is not suitable for Open Source development. The notion that all the software needs of the world could be covered by Open Source projects is unrealistic at best.

Also, the common misconception that there's no money in Open Source software is also false. Sure, you can't cash in a billion dollars a month from Open Source software, but it's not like we need a greater desparity in wealth anyways. Open Source projects make money off of consulting and support services, while giving away the actual software for free. Independent developers can indirectly benefit from their contributions by getting a leverage in the job market as well.

Bitching that they can't find a paying job.

That hasn't been my experience. Open Source developers do what they do because they love programming, and believe in the development model that benefits the public instead of independent wealth. Most are talented enough to find a job one way or another, even if it doesn't make them rich SOBs.

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
[ Parent ]

Another lame basher (none / 0) (#28)
by bigdisk on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:10:02 PM EST

>Too bad the US isn't that smart. Exactly where did unix and the internet come from, dummy? >I predict the US will realize their own stupidity and follow suit within 6 years. Shouldn't this troll be banned? If for no other reason than his posts don't even make grammatical sense, let alone common sense.

[ Parent ]
Another lame basher (none / 0) (#29)
by bigdisk on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:10:43 PM EST

>Too bad the US isn't that smart.

Exactly where did unix and the internet come from, dummy?

>I predict the US will realize their own stupidity and follow suit within 6 years.

Shouldn't this troll be banned? If for no other reason than his posts don't even make grammatical sense, let alone common sense.

[ Parent ]

I was referring to the US government, (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by dirvish on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:00:26 PM EST

not the general population. The articles were about government officials implementing or encouraging open source software. The US government didn't develop Unix, Bell Labs did.

Grammatical sense?

Can't argue about the internet...we all know Al Gore invented that.

Technical Certification Blog, Anti Spam Blog
[ Parent ]
The curious economic effect of this (none / 0) (#14)
by sien on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 10:19:09 PM EST

IANAE but, won't this reduce GDP ? I realise that this is not the be and end all of the world, but if something that has previously cost money suddenly becomes free won't that shed GDP ?

Can someone enlighten me ?

I realise that it shows a weakness in economic models rather than in the benefit to society, but I'm curious.

GDP will be fine. (5.00 / 5) (#17)
by vastor on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:40:01 AM EST

It wouldn't reduce Taiwan's GDP, since all the money spent on MS software would be going to the USA anyway.

However, given they're training all these people and presumably paying wages to do it, they're going to be spending lots of money on the service side anyway, so it may be pretty GDP neutral.

Plus, if open source software is better for economy, then all the local businesses will grow more competitive and be able to produce for the foreign market at higher profit margins/more market share which will also boost the national GDP.

More efficient production is normally seen as a good thing for the economy (worker productivity increases are desirable, for example). It'd really be just seen as a drop in cost for an input. If the price of coal drops, then yes, that could affect the GDP, however generally things get soaked up elsewhere (so cheese seldomly becomes cheaper even when milk prices drop, however if there was enough competitive pressure then it may be passed on without having an impact upon profit margins).

However, yes, it could result in GDP losses somewhere. Generally increased efficiencies are considered to increase GDP more in the long run than any brief short term blip might cause (so if MS went bust tomorrow, it may well cause a chunk of US GDP to disappear, however if everyone moved on to more efficient software because of it, both GDP and society would be better off in the long run).


[ Parent ]

Re: GDP will be fine. (4.25 / 4) (#19)
by khym on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:12:08 AM EST

However, given they're training all these people and presumably paying wages to do it, they're going to be spending lots of money on the service side anyway, so it may be pretty GDP neutral.
The money spent on services and training will presumably stay within Taiwan, thus increasing the GDP. (Right? I'm not so hot at economics)

The GDP should only be negatively affected by the amount of Taiwan produced propriatary software that the Taiwanese government would have spent money on if they hadn't switched over to Open Source.



--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]
Indicatoritis (4.75 / 4) (#21)
by Alan Crowe on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:27:09 AM EST

I realise that it shows a weakness in economic models rather than in the benefit to society, but I'm curious.

I wonder if you realise what a truly rotten indicator GDP is. All the salaries paid by government go into GDP as positive. So, if there is a religious revival, criminals turn to honest work, and prison officiers get laid off, because they are no longer needed, then GDP shrinks. All sorts of self-evidently good things are bad for GDP. Anything that makes life easier and cheaper, so that you turn down overtime because you don't need the money, reduces GDP. e-mail is probably bad for GDP, because snail mail involves more busy work that can show up in the national accounts.

[ Parent ]

Yes - I do. (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by sien on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:32:19 PM EST

Another example of GDP is silliness is that every major earthquake, flood, fire or whatever causes masses of reconstruction which results in GDP going up !

But what else is there ?

[ Parent ]

More GDP evil (5.00 / 4) (#42)
by daani on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:20:16 PM EST

You are so right about GDP being a stupid indicator. Another example is childcare. If a parent takes care of a child at home, there is no GDP added. However if that parent is forced by economic circumstance to seek employment and pay for childcare, the GDP gets a double benefit - even though this circumstance would almost certainly represent a degradation of the families lifestyle.

This sort of thing (how we measure the economy) is so important, because as everyone knows - what gets measured gets done. In the long term at least. So by defining the measure you have defined the real, practical goals that the society works towards.

[ Parent ]

Beginning of the end for M$ ? (none / 0) (#30)
by alans7 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:13:46 PM EST

Will it be, at last, the beginning of the end for Microsoft ? More and more european countries are considering open source softwares with a different eye now. One may hope that in 2 or 3 years, World will be freed from Microsoft's tyranny.

Maybe (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by inerte on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:15:56 PM EST

  Since it's free and users can benefit from new features and bugfixes made by any developer, if China makes a heavy develoment effort, all the other "versions" will improve.

  Heck, even if their help alone doesn't satisfy user's demands, teamed with, let's say, Germany and Peru, they can shake the world.

--
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato
[ Parent ]

Now playing on MSN... (none / 0) (#43)
by mediaguy on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:12:11 PM EST

Alans7 writes that this could be the beginning of the end for Micro$oft.

<start_bad_scifi_script>

Wait.... The screen...It's not suppose to... My God.... It's making me type...No... not that...

 Bill Gates is a humanitarian who only has our best interests in heart. We should ... not be upset that his personal wealth exceeds that of many third world countries ...

Make it stop! Oh no... it's making me type again...

BSD is bad.... Free software movement evil... Windows stable...

Must get help.... Pressing F1... Oh no! It's Clippy!!!

<end_bad_scifi_script>


[ Parent ]

Just about time. (4.50 / 2) (#39)
by dinu on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:25:15 PM EST

It was just about time that a goverment takes action. The problem is that this is a singular case while the other goverments stand by and just watch how bilions of dolars gets drained from their economies into a company that only crates crapy quality software. Amazing world we live in! Isn't it?

amazing (?) (none / 0) (#49)
by stpna5 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:04:22 AM EST

Yes..and someday they'll invent a thing called spell check. But it probably won't be embraced by China --- the people who gave us the long march, the cultural revolution and (anniversary this week!)Tiananmen Square. Oh well, that Statue of Liberty the students made there was only styrofoam and the tanks and the army came in, stomped 'em and locked everyone up. Even killed folks. Americans don't seem to recall. Who cares if the last nuclear people's republic doesn't recognize the concepts of freedom of expression, or artist's rights? (Neither do giant western media corporations.)If it's OK with Boeing, the Bush administration and the WalMart folks it must be ok, dude.

[ Parent ]
huh? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by dinu on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:25:15 PM EST

I do not seem to grasp your point here. I do not see any connection between opensource software Tiananmen Square, Microsoft, the spell check and the last nuclear people's republic .

[ Parent ]
So I noticed. (none / 0) (#52)
by stpna5 on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:00:11 AM EST

I'll just read the words then.

[ Parent ]
Asian's are more collective... (2.33 / 3) (#44)
by faustus on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:40:48 PM EST

This isn't suprising, Asian populations are different from Westernern's in the sense they are more likely to work together to achieve a goal, whereas the West loves to promote competition to hopefully produce the best product. Some people on this board appear to pine for the former, but I think that this is a dangerous idea.
America fought two wars in South East Asia after World War 2 to block the spread of Communism. Both efforts were very succesfull, and when I see news like this, that yet another Asian country is moving more towards the collective left, away from Western ideals or pure capitalism, I am deeply saddened. What did we lose 50,000 people in Vietnam for, so that we can stand idly by as Taiwan, a "democracy", jetisons our ideals and adopts the leftist ideals of Linix Torvalds, a citizen of Finland, a country that has never stood up against leftist assults, but embraced them wholly.
Communism will never go away as long as Linux is still around, and seen as a "good idea" by brainwashed students of liberal educations. I applaud any efforts by Microsoft to block this threat to America's ideals, as it is apparent the only institutions we can rely on anymore are corporations.

What isn't surpising... (4.50 / 4) (#50)
by LuYu on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:50:49 PM EST

I suppose such blatant flamebait is not worth comment, but I just can't help it. Here goes:

This isn't suprising, Asian populations are different from Westernern's in the sense they are more likely to work together to achieve a goal, whereas the West loves to promote competition to hopefully produce the best product.
What isn't surprising is that there are still plenty of stereotype pounding ignoramuses around perpetuating these erroneous conclusions about Asians. What should be surprising to this individual, however, is that for over 1,750 years China was the most technolgically advanced country on the planet. The Western competition model has yet to stand the test of time. The empires of both England and Spain collapsed due to this same competition.
America fought two wars in South East Asia after World War 2 to block the spread of Communism. Both efforts were very succesfull
Successful? In what universe? McArthur's army was so badly defeated in Korea he lost his UN mandate, his position as commander of the combined forces in Korea, and any chance he might have had at running for president. As for Vietnam, there is almost nobody who would claim that war was successful. Not only did the US fail to take Vietnam, but the "free" part was lost as well (I say "free" because the government was beyond corrupt and was a military, not democratic, government). In addition to that, both Laos and Cambodia became communist during the Vietnam war also. If you call that success, what is failure?
when I see news like this, that yet another Asian country is moving more towards the collective left, away from Western ideals or pure capitalism
What collective left? Since when was information property? Since the lawyers called it "intellectual property"? You should be careful of believing in a world of legal definitions. As for left wing / right wing divisions, isn't communism a Western ideal? Was it not invented by a Westerner? Are not the taxes in most Western countries between 40% and 60% of one's wages? And if the US is so high and mighty, why has Pres. Bush declared a war on terroism, as he said to protect "our free way of life," only to spy on US citizens more? If our rights are taken away, what is he protecting? Where is the superiority of Western ideals here?
What did we lose 50,000 people in Vietnam for
Politics.
so that we can stand idly by as Taiwan, a "democracy", jetisons our ideals and adopts the leftist ideals of Linix Torvalds, a citizen of Finland, a country that has never stood up against leftist assults, but embraced them wholly.
Taiwan was not democratic until recently. The idealistic Westerners actually backed a fascist government. The first presidential elections were not held in Taiwan until 1995 or so. The current president of Taiwan, Chen2 Shui3 Bian4, is the first non Guo2 Min2 Dang1 (KMT, Country People's Party) to ever be elected. The flag of Taiwan has the the symbol of the Guo2 Min2 Dang1 on it. As for free and capitalist, you just need to look at any economic statistics to know that Taiwan is one of the most capitalistically successful nations in history. Why is choosing freedom and transparency in government leftist? I thought most communist governments were totalitarian.

I really don't understand how the opinions / political stances of Linus Torvald's government have anything to do with him. As for politics, I don't understand either how someone can be blamed for the political impact of some programming he did for entertainment and personal education. Why should he be persecuted for giving something away for free? Is that a crime? Does capitalism have a requirement that all things must be sold?

Communism will never go away as long as Linux is still around, and seen as a "good idea" by brainwashed students of liberal educations.
Communism is anti-freedom. How is having free software communism? When was there ever a prohibition on sharing in capitalism? Anyway, Linux will make communist governments fall. It prevents governments from being able to force spyware into user applications and promotes the flow of information around the world. Communist governments rely on secrets and propaganda. All governments have something to fear from this. However, you do have a point about brainwashed students. Most students don't bother to think for themselves (neither do many professors, for that matter).

So, in summary, if freedom is a bad thing, then this news is bad, too. Else, this is a great blow to a huge monopoly (which is very anti-capitalist, by the way).

If this was a joke, you're a bastard because I just spent like 20 minutes angrily typing this response:).



----------

"I will believe you are not an animal when you do not eat, sleep, urinate, or defecate for one month."

[ Parent ]
Taiwan to start national plan to push Free Software | 52 comments (52 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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