Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware

From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joehall_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 15:51:43 CST

On 2/7/07, Ben Adida <> wrote:
> In other words, I don't think this is a case of perfection being the
> opposite of the good enough. This is a case where there isn't much
> benefit at all from "partially open."

I would argue that this is overstated. For example, if you allow
third-party COTS components to remain closed, you at least know that a
developer in the election software business isn't likely going to be
able to corrupt the software. There are other things that you get
from only allowing third-party COTS to be closed: their software
development models and resources might be much more advanced and
intense compared to voting system vendors, you get to use standards
that might not have an as-now functioning open source implementation.
There's probably more that I could think of. All this is to say that
you do get some benefits from allowing voting systems manufacturers to
use third-party closed source COTS software. I'm on the record as
saying that there should be a deadline for even that to be phased out,
but I believe that a step-function from development models that are
closed and use third-party closed software to full disclosure is not
good on a number of levels. -Joe

Joseph Lorenzo Hall
PhD Student, UC Berkeley, School of Information
OVC-discuss mailing list
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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:12 2007

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