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PSEB Open Source initiative ..... your thoughts
03-07-2005, 07:32 PM
Post: #1
PSEB Open Source initiative ..... your thoughts
Assalam-O-Alaikom

Recently PSEB announced its initiative to hire a software firm for Open Source development of an ERP for the local Textile industry. I contacted PSEB to confirm, if they intend to put the SRS document under the Open Source liscense terms. Good news for us small software firms that PSEB intends to put all artifacts under the open source lisence terms. But the problem remains that PSEB not only wants an Open Source product but it wants that product to be developed using open source technolgies (like LAMP etc.). [V] PROBELM !!!! Pakistani IT industry is heavily microsoft dependent and the non microsoft dependent firms don't have the resources or experience to develop an ERP. (ERP development is a massive task but not intellectually difficult)

Even if PSEB settels with an ERP developed on microsoft technologies what gurantees are there that big software firms like Kalsoft will take part in the initiative. Its because, the primary concern of any software firm will be to safe guard its intellectual assets (the product and its artifacts) but contrary to this Open Source would mean that participating companies will have to make public the source code and possabily the design documents. This will result in disinterest from big/experienced firms, although Open Source doesn't mean free of cost.

I need your thoughts about this "Open Source Initiative" form PSEB.

Furqan Ahmed
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03-08-2005, 08:45 PM
Post: #2
 
Wouldn't it be fairly simple to create a group to keep all the tasks streamlined and systemized. and then just give small bits and pieces to small companies?

There is no need for one company to create an entire module. The task group could just order a specific class(or a battery of classes) from 10-20-100 different companies. Thus, small companies that run linux(or are willing to change or take a chance) will have an easy time contributing. And they won't get swamped.

Unless i'm missing the issue, of course.


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03-09-2005, 07:55 PM
Post: #3
 
Actually there are many issues involved here. What I'm interested in is to know the pros and cons of this strategy.

1. Involving only PSEB member companies in the development Good or bad?
2. How will this open source initiative help the local textile (main target of this initiative) industry in automation? Just automation or is there a strategic advantage?
3. How likely is the textile industry to adopt the resulting open source software?
4. If only a handful of software firms are involved then at what rate will this industrial automation take place?

It would be nice if we can discuss questions like these. Please contribute any more question that might question the impact of this Open Source Initiative.

Furqan
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03-10-2005, 05:51 AM
Post: #4
 
I think PSEB want to help the industry buy providing a software which will not be owned by any one. For the first most version they are involving big IT companies.
when the software will be completed and published under GPL. so its source code will be available to all. Then every IT professional will contribute in this project. Linux operating system is big example of these kind of softwares.


Khalid Majeed
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03-10-2005, 09:37 PM
Post: #5
 
Dear Furqan

Thanks for such a useful piece of info. Kindly point me to obtain more info. ( I searched PSEB on google it came up with ESB, are both the same?)

I believe the iniative has a potential impact. one things that is needed in our tex. sector is the introduction of modern technolgoy. Small producers/exporters cant afford investement in new software and tech. If PSEB can achive its target of open source software it could help a number of small producers and could help to create a good job market for innovative people willing to take up the customisation of such s/w.

your questions
1. no. I believe it should be open to anybody who can do it including indian firms who are certainly not members of PSEB.
2. to provide cost effective and affordable solutions to local market and instigate a chain of events leading up to a culture of greater reliance on IT
3. its a gamble, they might or they might not. Its a gamble worth going for.
4. if textile sect. can respond to adopt, then everybody has to respond otherwise cost of production for not responding to change will push out the non competative producers out of market.
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03-11-2005, 09:54 PM
Post: #6
 
Khalid... PSEB might be looking for big (experienced) IT companies but, is the idea of developing an OPEN SOURCE software feasible for such companies? They usually charge around Rs. 4 Million for each project they develop. If they develop the intended ERP and give away the source code, which will be used by competitors, what advantage would they see in this project? PSEB will only pay them once for the development after that, when the source code goes public big IT companies will be uncompetitive against smaller compaines.

You're right about Linux and other open source projects like sourceforge GNU etc. but they all are under the open source licence from the very begining. In fact, they started out as community project. On the other hand, PSEB is giving birth to this ERP in the confined limits of "PSEB Membership".

Besides that, PSEB never hinted at putting the source code under GPL. I think that they'll have to settle for some other licence that provides security for the developing firm. I'm guessing here because I asked them about the licencing terms of the source code but they avoided answering this question.

Furqan Ahmed
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03-11-2005, 10:21 PM
Post: #7
 
Dear Goodman,

You've been very pragmatic in your reply and you've given a very balanced opinion. Your reply to the fourth question is very interesting but my question is of technical nature. I intended to ask (rather emphasise) a point that ERP implementation takes time and patience. Involving handful companies (read PSEB members) in this implementation will take decades to update the entire textile industry.

I believe that textile industry is ready and looking forward to computerization.

PSEB website is http://www.pseb.org.pk
and the advert for EOI is at http://www.pseb.org.pk/adverts/SW_Dev_TOR.pdf

Furqan Ahmed
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