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

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sun Jul 30 2006 - 13:41:18 CDT

At 11:04 AM -0500 7/30/06, Douglas W. Jones wrote:
>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.

What do you think about requiring either full public disclosure or
agreement (1) to replace with open source software when it is
available and (2) to cooperate in porting the open source software to
the vendor's hardware (assuming government funding of the open source

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
OVC-discuss mailing list
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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:09 2006

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