I read the article [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3471] at foreignpolicy.com about open source adoption in governments across the world and while raeading I came to the sudden conclusion that NewsForge had accidently linked to an older article on the same subject. My reasoning was that there is no way that foreignpolicy.com would publish such a shallow and seemingly dated article on a subject that has as much effect on the entire IT and business communities as any other. However, when I glanced at the date I was reminded that my innocent assumption was just that...an assumption. My curiosity turned into complete frustration as I continued to read the rest of the article.
Not only was the entire piece shallow and lacking any consequential depth but it was also hopelessly ungrounded. When I read something on as current a subject as open source I expect that there be some sort of investigation that will yield content with relevant and solid, hearty points matched with analysis/commentary. What I found was a simplistic, watered-down version of 'Intro to Open Source 101.' As an analyst I fully understand things like word limits or character counts, these are facts of life. However, I don't understand so briefly skimming over a topic as deep as open source as if the subject is Saturday morning cartoons.
I also understand the need to explain the basics to those individuals who don't make a living covering open source but still want to know enough to be competent in the area. Writing to reach a large audience should always be done from the bottom up. In other words, it doesn't make sense to write for the small percentage of persons who already know the subject matter like the back of their hands. Rather it is prudent to explain the key basics before making any assumptions about what else should be addressed.
For example, I am of the opinion that foreignpolicy.com should have put more resources behind this effort. A strong paper/study that provided the kind of details necessary to demonstrate at least the political impetus of the open source movement within governments across the globe in 2006. Not what seems like a randomly strung together string of quotes and already used sayings/complaints about open source.
Lastly if anyone, who was responsible for creating, managing or reviewing anything related to the article, happens across this blog entry and just so happens to read it, feel free to contact me with any of corrections regarding my statements, assertions or opinions. I'd also like to hear from anyone else about what they think about the article.