Re: Respose to Joe Hall: Transparency and Access to Source Code in Electronic Voting

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Sun Jul 30 2006 - 11:04:35 CDT

On Jul 29, 2006, at 8:31 PM, Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:

> For example, could you imagine what
> would happen in the short-term if all of Windows was released under
> GPLv2only tomorrow? How could we take something like Windows (or
> BallotStation and GEMS) and go from purely commercial to open source?
> I believe there needs to be some transitional procedure and I think
> it's going to take the cooperation of a bunch of constituencies.

I think Joe is right. Open source development is sufficiently different
from closed source development that a company would have to be supremely
confident of the quality of their software to go open without a careful
transition. I want to see that transition happen, and there are two
obvious ways to do it: One is to put open-source components on the
market that are so obviously better than the proprietary product that
they attract users, and the other is to encourage the proprietary
developers to transition to open source.

There are two transisiton paths: One is to develop open-source
one at a time and use these to phase out their proprietary predecessors,
and the other is to gradually expand the pool of viewers of the closed
source components, making changes until the products are sufficiently
clean that the pool can be expanded to include everyone without undue

One model is gradual dislosure by pieces, until the entire thing is
disclosed, and the other model is gradual disclosure to an expanding
pool of viewers until it's open. Both models can work, but requiring
full disclosure on short notice is guaranteed to embarrass and therefore
will face stiff resistance.


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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:09 2006

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