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US Navy to accept only open source

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by ffreeloader, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    The US Navy is moving to open source technologies from this point forward. No more proprietary systems. Here's an excerpt from article from fcw.com on the story. This is going to be a huge boon for open source. The job market in open source technologies is going to begin expanding rapidly, and proprietary companies are going to be moving more and more away from that model. This is just one more nail in the coffin of companies such as MS.

    The day of people thinking that open source software is only that way because no one wants to buy it will be coming to close, and only dinosaurs afraid of change, or companies so invested in a proprietary mindset that they cannot change will continue to try to hold that opinion. It will be a losing proposition to continue to underestimate open source.

    You can read the rest of this article here. http://www.fcw.com/online/news/151858-1.html
     
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  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Open standards != Open source :D

    I've always been big on open standards, thats why I was an ANSI/ISO C/C++ coder, the language was an open standard and anyone could write a standards compliant compiler. Same with HTML, LDAP, Kerberos, SOAP, CORBA, COM, OSGi, TCP/IP, SMTP etc.

    An open standard does not mean that a commercial entity can't be a major player, in fact the reason microsofts OS's aren't still complete piles of %%$£ is largely due to the fact that they have embraced open standards like TCP/IP, Kerberos, LDAP, DNS, etc. Of course they also have a nasty habbit of co-opting standards and trying to ensure that only their implementation becomes the true standard, which is totally against the true mantra of open standards...

    Some areas aren't really addressed by any good standards and there people need to use best practice, design patterns or do new research...
     
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  3. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Ah, but the Navy spokesman's announcement does not limit its scope to open standards. It says open technologies too. They--open standards and open technologies--will both be requirements for all systems going forward.

    That's a death knell for any kind of proprietary system, including proprietary software. When organizations as large as the US Navy say no more proprietary software, that's a big step.
     
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  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Well its hard to be sure what they mean by open technologies, Defence normally get tied to suppliers of propietary stuff which they have to pay support on for 20+ years.

    Here in the UK they've only recently got rid of PDP-11's and ICL maninframes and COBOL etc.

    By Open technologies I suspect they mean things like Ethernet which is also an open standard, or probably commodity hardware which is not really open, but so pervasive as to make them pretty much open. This means things like the 80x86 processor. Other things like RAID, IDE, SCSI, DDR are again all open standards pretty much, there may be a license and royalties to pay but in essence they aren't tied to any one supplier.

    We've areadly seen a lot of this with mobile phone technology being used as well as ruggerdised laptops etc, its much cheaper to adapt commercial commodity technology than invent from scratch where its possible.

    I do think Open Source is taking off and its probably a good match for education and defence sectors. Defence has long time used mainframes and UNIX so moving to open source linux, BSD or solaris is an obvious step.

    They also have some very proprietary systems in the battlefield space and are heavilly tied to the large defence contractors, so it really depends how you look at it and what you label proprietary.

    I don't see open technologies as refering to Microsoft in any way in this statement and i suspect there will still be a place for them.

    The US military created ARPANET, effectively creating TCP/IP in the process, they are no stranger to open standards yet still use many propretary systems today 45 years later. Recently US Navy researchers even created TOR.
     
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  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    You may have a point, but re-read the last paragraph I quoted. Take a look at what he is quoting for costs savings, and you will realize that he is not saying what you think he is. Those types of savings can never be made with proprietary software as the development model, by design, says the wheel must be invented anew each time. In contrast, the open source model must lower costs because developers everywhere can take advantage of the work of others to not only increase their own productivity but to also increase the speed of innovation and improvement in software by building on each other's work.

    MS is a prime example of this. They took 5 years and spent billions of dollars to come up with Vista. And, by even the greatest MS fanboy's estimation Vista is nothing more than an incremental improvement on XP. During the same period of time look what has happened to Linux. In all phases of its development the improvement has not been incremental, but much closer to exponential. Linux has greatly closed the gap that existed 5 years ago. Yes, companies have poured millions of dollars into Linux, but look at the roi reflected in the rate of improvement in Linux.

    Take a look at the following link by researchers from SAP. They say open source is growing exponentially and they have the data to back up their conclusions. http://www.riehle.org/publications/2008/the-total-growth-of-open-source/
     
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  6. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    I can see them using OS as the foundation to build their own proprietary software on. It's not like they can launch Trident missiles using VI (or EMACS, depending on which religion you belong to).
     
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  7. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    LOL. You're a funny guy.
     
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  8. S0l5

    S0l5 Bit Poster

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    Personally, i dont think its a good idea. Open Source software does tend to have no dicipline, no structure and no rules. Organisations and businesses would clapse without them. Inface its the too much freedom which actually kills it.
     
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I have seen some very poorly run projects in both the private and the public sectors, it would have been quite easy to make 100% savings just by not running the project at all ! :biggrin

    Savings above 100%, in other words costs can be reduced by high factors just by good management, likewise with increasing performance and revenue. This can be especially true for beurocratic departments where the cost of buying a stapler or sending a letter is many times what you or I would pay when all the overheads are considered.

    If there are no procurement or purchasing costs, or licensing costs and support is cheaper then 90% savings are possible. Some companies waste £100k's just choosing a product. If the project has a proper lifespan and not the 3-5 year churn we see on IT projects then again the costs are vastly reduced.

    Much of the whole IT industry is based on wasting money, but then so is defence ! :biggrin

    Don't start any wars or launch any multi million dollar misslies and you've saved a fortune !

    http://www.joshuagoldstein.com/jgeconhi.htm
     
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  10. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Thats utter tosh
    how much dicipline do you think it takes to write an enterprise class OS by using thousands of disparate developers across the globe? Projects like this are strictly monitored and maintained, the difference is the standards are set by the users of the projects, and enforced religiously

    By the people, For the people
     
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  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    You really need to research what open source is as you have proven by this post you really don't understand it at all. All large non-commercial open source projects are run by non-profit foundations. If you think non-profit means disorganized you're greatly mistaken. Millions of people make a living working for non-profit organizations, and millions of other people donate their time, talents, and experience willingly to non-profit organizations every day.

    As Phoenix pointed out, do you really think it's possible to put out distributions such as Debian, or maintain the Linux kernel and be helter-skelter and disorganized?
     
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  12. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    This thread is an excellent example of why I am no longer a Mormon. I got tired of arguing about the merits of various religions with other people (among other things).
     
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  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think you should be deeply sceptical when people mention 'exponential growth' be it with economies, pyramid schemes, or open source...

    To me this would have to mean one of a few things :-

    1. Software developers are gettting exponentially better.
    2. Software tools are getting exponentially better.
    3. The number of developers is increasing exponentially.
    4. The number of developers migrating to developing open source is increasing exponentially.

    I find nearly all of these fairly unlikely, all are possible given small sample sizes over a short time period, especially 3 and 4. In all likelihood though software developers are not much better than last generations, which means that the tools are not that likely to be an exponential improvement. Number of developers increased ? Yes I think this has gone up a lot, probably more linear than exponential though. Number of developers migrating, I also doubt given that developers have to put food in their mouths, they probably write more closed source on average. Yes there is the profesional open source, but is this increasing exponentialy ? Aren't alot of these the same commercial projects that would get mothballed before because they didn't turn a profit ? Anyone for BeOS ? Mosaic ? WebObjects ? Silverstream ?

    In all my years of software development I have very little evidence on ANY exponential changes, most changes are evolution not revolution despite what people would have you believe.

    This isn't a 'religous war' for me, I think both commercial and open source approaches have their advantages.
     
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  14. richardw

    richardw Nibble Poster

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    'systems based on open technologies and standards.'
    this does not mean open source. as said before, it means things like ethernet etc

    “The days of proprietary technology must come to an end,” he said. “We will no longer accept systems that couple hardware, software and data.”
    important point in there: couple hardware, software and data
    they mean all-in-one, single supplier, bespoke 'systems', eg the sort supplied by Sun, Honeywell etc

    'That's a death knell for any kind of proprietary system, including proprietary software'
    know anyone thats written an open-source piece of software for recording the radioactive delay of a nuclear warhead? or missile control systems? or even simpler stuff like network security etc

    also, if you take an open-source programme, & then modify it, your meant to release the new code back to the community. dont think thats going to happen with military or intelligence agencies.

    'proprietary software as the development model, by design, says the wheel must be invented anew each time'
    no it dosnt. windows, mac os, solaris etc arnt 100% re-written every time they release a new version.

    'look what has happened to Linux. In all phases of its development the improvement has not been incremental, but much closer to exponential'
    which was the same when anything & everything was new. when you only have 10 features, its easy to increase the feature count by 100%, more difficult when you get to 1000, even more difficult when you get to 10,000.
     
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  15. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    All I want to know is if your going to enlist in the navy now?:twisted::biggrin
     
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  16. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Oh, come on, lets get real here... :biggrin

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/158901/microsoft-profits-will-help-soothe-the-vista-blues.html
     
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  17. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I have to disagree with Freddys interpretation of the post as well, I too feel that using 'open standards and systems' does not immediately cry 'open source' but the use of open and common technology platforms, that could well be open source, but it could also just as well be proprietary software that is built on strong open international standards
    it's likely to be commercially available hardware

    Whatever way it actually means, its a good thing for the military, supply contracts are very lucrative for exactly the kind of tie in reasons the navy wants to avoid, bravo

    Buy a windows/linux server on a sun server running on some EMC disks and anyone with the right clearance can support it, not just the manufacturer
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The military is tired of using a bunch of proprietary systems that a small group of developers wrote for them, and nobody else... and then being tied to those developers because nobody else knows how to fix what they created. They're bleeding money in support costs. And when I say a bunch, I mean a BUNCH. It was bad when I was enlisted in the 90s, and it's got to be MUCH worse now. And when I say proprietary systems, I don't mean Microsoft vs. Linux... I mean, something specific (missile launch systems, intelligence database and reporting systems, imagery systems, communications systems, troop mapping systems, etc - just to name a VERY few) they had a group create just for them that doesn't work with anything anyone else has, and a very few people know how to truly support.

    Thus, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether the military is going to use Windows or not. That's not what is at issue here.
     
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  19. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Lets face it, the military is a huge cash cow, especially so in the USA and if somone can exploit the level of expenditure then they will. It's good to see publicly funded organisations trying to cut costs.
     
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