Over at the DigiACTive blog, I’ve posted about the fun and games I had with Vagrant, NFS, bindfs and CentOS. I hope it helps some other poor developer skip the frustration I experienced.
EDIT: Josh Taylor over at ZDNet has more info.
So with all the media fuss (okay, not that much media fuss) about the release of e-tax for Mac, I was reminded that (a) e-tax still doesn’t exist for Linux and (b) I actually asked them why about two years ago.
As I was searching through my drawers earlier today I stumbled across the parcel of 130 pages they sent me in response to my request, which gives some insight into the whole thing. For some reason, I had neglected to put the material up on teh interwebz back in 2011, so a few dollars of ANU printer credit later, I have finally uploaded PDFs.
So here, have some FOI goodness.
- Decision Letter
- Reasons for Decision
- Schedule of Documents
- Doc 1 – Clayton Utz – Deed of winding up and release between ATO and IBM Australia Limited (Negotiation Draft 1)
- Doc 2 – Arnold Ellem, ATO to Greg Farr, ATO – Office Minute – Negotiations on termination of contract with IBM Australia for redevelopment of e-tax
- Doc 3 – Arnold Ellem, ATO to Greg Farr, ATO – Office Minute – Proposed contract with IBM Australia for redevelopment of e-tax
- Doc 4 – Arnold Ellem, ATO to Greg Farr, ATO – Office Minute – e-tax RFT – Final Evaluation Report
- Doc 5 – Steve Vesperman, ATO and Mike Borucinski, ATO to Greg Farr, ATO – Executive Summary – e-tax redevelopment advice paper
- Doc 6 – ATO – Redevelopment of e-tax – Contract with preferred tenderer – Risk plan and mitigation statement
- Doc 7 – Arnold Ellem, ATO to Mike Borucinski, ATO – Email – Re: Initial acceptance of software from vendor
- Doc 8 – Robert Ward, ATO to Michelle Montgomery, ATO – Email – FW: Template – Normal Reg 10 consent
- Doc 9 – John McAlister, ATO – Executive report – e-tax redevelopment: issues and concerns
- Doc 10 – Capgemini to ATO – Report – e-tax and pre-fill – Future Roadmap version 1.0
- Doc 11 – Capgemini – e-tax and pre-filling future roadmap 2008-2012
- Doc 12 – Pre-filling e-tax Steering Committee – Capgemini Workshop – Minutes of Meeting
So I didn’t end up posting that much about LCA…
The main conference was fantastic:
- Clojure is awesome for concurrency
- Unix party tricks are extremely fun, and rather scary, and now I just want to disappear off teh interwebz
- Schwern taught me lots about Git – I now have a Github account and I feel a lot more confident with it!
- Repent, for the end of the Unix epoch is nigh!
- Pia Waugh can talk very fast, particularly given some sleep deprivation
- bunnie’s keynote provided some very interesting insights into the world of consumer manufacturing, particularly pricing
- TBL can speak even faster than Pia – this was actually problematic…
- Asheesh Laroia and OpenHatch are pretty awesome
- Paul Fenwick can talk very, very fast given a 90 second timeslot…
Anyway, it was awesome. I highly recommend it, and I’m already planning to make my way to Perth for 2014.
So, after not posting on this blog since… 2009 (which was before I started uni), I’ve decided I might try getting back into this whole blogging business again. Maybe. We’ll see.
Anyway, I’m at linux.conf.au 2013 here in the most wonderful city of Canberra. It’s my first LCA, and so far I’m rather liking it.
Today is Day 2, where we had a most excellent keynote by Radia Perlman, the inventor of the Spanning Tree Protocol among many other important networking things. There are a few summaries of the talks already up on Planet LCA so I shan’t do so again.
The rest of today consists of Miniconfs – one-day streams dedicated to particular topics, organised separately from the main conference. For most of today I attended Open Government, which I found rather dry for the most part although there were quite a few interesting insights I heard. Currently in Haecksen, where Jacinta Richardson has just spoken on the topic of conference presentations, and later my good friend and fellow ANU undergraduate Sam Cheah will be presenting on her beloved Robogals. Great stuff!
Also, I managed to get my hands on a free copy of Perlman’s Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols. Some books were given away in connection with her keynote (as is LCA tradition), and one of the winners decided she was willing to give her copy away to someone else who might want it better. It is thus joining the CSSA Common Room library. :)
So now I’m being syndicated on the Linux.com Debian community blog, which means I actually have an excuse to do a bit of blogging now and then.
In other news, I have an external hard drive now. Time to install Debian on it :D
Publishers of books, magazines and other print, sound and video materials are required under the Copyright Act to deposit publications with the National Library (and, under State Copyright Acts, to various State and University libraries). The reason for legal deposit is obvious: use by the general public, both now and into the future. Having copies of books available in libraries means that they will still be available after they go out of print or the publishers disappear. It’s a good protection for cultural material.
One thing not covered by legal deposit (at least in most jurisdictions) is software. The nature of the software industry makes it far more likely that a given program will go ‘out of print’ – over the past 25 years countless software companies have gone out of business. Unlike books, however, the copies of the software purchased by consumers aren’t human-readable. While an old software package may be available on eBay, its source code may very well be lost forever when the company collapses. Source code needs to be preserved for several reasons: it’s needed for future usage (recompiling and porting to newer architectures and operating systems) and it’s needed so the software can be studied.
I propose a legal deposit system for computer software. Software publishers with an annual turnover of more than $1 million would be required to submit a full, complete copy of their final source code, release binaries, documentation and associated materials to the National Software and Multimedia Archive. The Archive would keep access to the material (other than documentation and freely available material) closed for 15 years, when it would be released for public access. An extension on this period would be available if the company could prove that the software is still of commercial value.
A software archive has other advantages: access could be provided to government agencies and academics on NDAs for security research and bugfixing purposes, and software indexes could be of great value to consumers and procurement agencies.
Legal deposit needs to protect today’s software, before it goes forever.
(NB: The best solution, of course, is to release all software as Free Software. Not that that will happen soon, unfortunately.)