12.02.09

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More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interoperability at 3:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

General Electric

Summary: The second version of the EIF (European Interoperability Framework) receives MEP attention; Gyorgy’s (GE) attack on Free software rebutted and Gary Reiner should know better

THE abuse surrounding the EIF is a subject that we covered when previous complaints had arrived, namely:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up

Now comes another complaint, which was sent to a Green Party MEP in England. There was also a response to it and the subject is finally covered by Kristian Kissling at Linux Magazine:

Closed Is New Open: Software Industry Bends Standards

Dec 01, 2009 The European Interoperability Framework, EIF, regulates how public agencies, citizens and businesses communicate with other on a software level. Now an alliance of proprietary ventures has had an influence on the EIF draft.

An earlier EIF draft from the summer of 2008 had a lot of promise. At that time the IDABC (a EU commision with the unwieldy name Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens) invited the general public in the form of countless groups and individuals to participate in the framework. This participation provoked as many as 54 responses. The result was a draft that promulgated software openness and interoperability and seemed to concur with the principles of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

Another form of abuse against Free software in Europe came from General Electric (GE) and we covered this in:

  1. General Electric (GE) Attacks Free Software, Microsoft Style
  2. GE, Microsoft, Comcast and (Microsoft AstroTurf at) Twitter: Pact of Lies
  3. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up

There is more history of hostility towards software freedom at GE, but at the same time the company is perfectly fine with using Free software. Matt Asay shares some more examples that demonstrate contradiction in attitude:

Second, Gyorgy’s assertions are ironic given GE’s widespread use of JBoss, Linux (in GE Healthcare and elsewhere), Alfresco, MySQL, and other open-source projects, in Europe and globally. Contrary to Gyorgy’s assertion, these aren’t “internal playground type” applications. Some of them are mission critical by anyone’s standards.

I am personally familiar with several of these.

So is Gyorgy’s boss, GE’s global CIO Gary Reiner. Reiner not so long ago purchased an enterprise subscription for MySQL when he discovered that GE was running MySQL all over the place, and not solely for internal “playground” sort of applications.

Apparently, no one sent Gyorgy the memo that spells out areas in which GE is actually sponsoring open-source projects (like VTK), in addition to its broad adoption of open source. I suspect Gyorgy isn’t the only one to have missed the memo. After all, the CIO is the last one to know.

Additionally, as stated in the comments: “I’m familiar with GE’s products. Much of their medical equipment runs Linux (Fedora). MRIs for example. Pete Gyorgy is clueless.

GE Healthcare also uses OpenSUSE on desktops. The developers are pressured/forced to use it.

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