Beyound “Oracle buying Sun” … Into the “Open Source Governement”

Oracle to buy Sun Microsystems is the news getting lot of attention tonight. This is a big news in the industry as once upon a time both were poster boys of the internet boom. A lot is being written and speculated about the impact of this development. A real picture would emerge only after the dust is settled and more is known as to how Oracle deals with hardware, MySQL, middleware and Solaris. This deal has a potential to bring fundamental change in the IT industry landscape depending upon how Oracle approaches it.

While this is happening, I found the article ” An Open Source Government” even more interesting. This article is written by Jim Whitehurst of Red Hat Inc. where I work. The most interesting part that I liked is :

When information is open and individuals have the means to contribute, everyone shares in the responsibility for improvement. Informed citizens become engaged citizens. Engaged citizens contribute opinions, ideas and effort.

and

We must build the structure and culture for participation, from the highest levels of government to municipal town halls. We need to unlock the doors that stand between citizens and information. Both infrastructure and information must be open and easily accessible to all.

I found it to be very important attempt to connect the Governance, Government and Citizen through the principles of open source.

The participation by the citizens is so important to shape the nation that we want. As I am following the elections in the largest democracy of the world – India, I keep wondering how and why would more than 60% of eligible people would come out for voting.

Making people interested in participation, making it easy for them to participate and then making it affordable for the government to reach out to the citizen is a tremendous task.

Use of open source can help governments to find a way to address the last part at least, which will be a big leap. This would need a good leadership at the highest level. Hope the elections in India would bring a change for betterment.

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