back to article Liam Maxwell appointed to advise on gov ICT

Liam Maxwell has been appointed as an advisor to the Efficiency and Reform Group and the government chief information officer on new ideas for the government's use of technology. His work will cover developing new methods of service delivery, increasing the use of open standards and open source software, helping SMEs in the …

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WTF

The head of IT for a school to advise the government. And lets not go down the old school tie bit...

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Meh

Eton

I sincerely hope this isn't an old-boy's network appointment. There is hope if he's promoting open source - the problem is, Microsoft will lobby goverment,, threaten to cut jobs... scaremonger by saying there could be vulnerability in the code...

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Black Helicopters

No chance of that (repost)

Had to repost this - too many stupid typos...

The problem MS has is that it has been dragging money out of the previous government by the bucketload in the form of both software and Microsoft "consulting" which is the biggest conjob ever.

Here's how you become a Microsoft consultant:

1 - look out for contracting offers in countries surrounding the one where you want to work.

2 - enquire for the ones that pay very little - you'll find it's Microsoft

3 - if you take on the job, you discover that you're resold as an "experienced consultant" for roughly twice for what you have been paid.

This is why they kept botching up things in government IT.

I had to straighten out things that even a 12 year old would have done better, but hey, guess who claims "innovation " when it goes live? Yup.

If you as a government don't see that the "well paid" people actually get peanuts, you will not be aware that you're employing monkeys/muppets until it all blows up.

Heck, maybe I should knock on some doors - I was there when the Tories started talking about Open Standards. That lasted until New Labour came in. Now they have blown all the cash, maybe people will get a tad more serious about doing it right this time..

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xyz
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Oh gawd...we're going back to 1997

Old School academic, Java wizard I suppose. We're doomed. Open source is fine for farting about in your bedroom but crap on real projects. If the big suppliers of the usual tat cannot get their crap to work whether it is .Net against SQL or Java against Oracle or combinations of those, then how they think lobbing tat in the form of open source stuff is going to help is beyond me. Flame on chaps and enjoy!

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Anonymous Coward

Depends on what you use it for..

" Open source is fine for farting about in your bedroom but crap on real projects"

Sure. That's why high volume systems such as Google and Amazon fail all the time. Try not to generalise.

The trick is to use Open Source where it brings value - I honestly cannot see ANY point in gov websites running Windoze with its usual huge maintenance overhead and costs versus a stupid boring LAMP stack which does the same for free. When the CCTA still existed, the guy that managed all the websites running on various bits of kit brought it all together on 4 large Dells running Linux. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY noticed his overnight migration until Netcraft spotted the Royal website running Linux and all the zealots piled in. It was a simple business decision, in those days driven by competence coupled with budget limitations. As for MySQL and Linux, the pair forms the core of most electronic trading engines as it is quickest to respond - here too, Open Source is simply used because it's the best for the job.

Actually, if I recall correctly there is even some special kit that uses OpenOffice as Microsoft refused code level evaluation of Microsoft Office - again, a business requirement could only be met by Open Source code.

Another absolutely critical component is Open STANDARDS, and by that I don't mean pretend open such as MS OOXML. Those standards were defined during the time the Government Secure Intranet (GSi) was built, and then quickly buried by Microsoft with all sorts of crap excuses.

The funny thing is that the core GSi platform delivered exactly BECAUSE it was Open Standards, for example replacing costly, slow and frequently failing X400 messaging with good old SMTP - in some cases delivering a Return on Investment in 2 months because suppliers still charged for email conversion, even if it failed.

The people now in the Cabinet Office were there when that all happened, and I have seen others return as well. Government IT may become interesting again - it's about time..

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thank you, but I must correct this

As the "guy who managed all the websites" at CCTA in the mid to late 90s I am grateful that anyone remembers this. But this post could be taken to mean that I migrated from Widows to Linux. What I actually did was replace a bunch of aging Sun kit running Solariis 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 with cheaper Dell kit running Redhat (4.2 IIRC).

So I moved from proprietary unix to linux.

But I heartily agree that there is /much/ more room for FLOSS in HMG systems.

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Boffin

This is more likely a push and excuse

to get MS software on the cheap, The GSI will not allow unsecure software esp open source unless it can be made safe, whereas MS guarantees and the government have somewhere to go back to if there is an issue.

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WTF?

Cause government - will not and can not 'trust' Opensource

See title

Try working for government before accusing someone of trolling....

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Trollface

OMG

2 MS trolls in a row within 4 comments

wow

MS guarantees what exactly?

open source good enuf for the bedroom or NYSE

go back to bothering travellers crossing "your" bridge

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Trollface

Crap on real projects?

What percentage of Web servers are Linux-based? What percentage of heavy scientific clusters? What percentage of mobile devices? What percentage of embedded devices?

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Yebut.nobbut..who is going to teach the governemnt what IT, IS?

Because the real problem is that the government - and not just this government, almost any government, has little or no idea what technology is, and what it can, and, more importantly, what it cannot, do.

Its SO easy to sell impossible dreams to people who have no idea that they are impossible.

So what qualifications has dear Liam for this?

I cant find any educational details at all....

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Anonymous Coward

He may just have to be a good listener..

Sometimes you don't need a technical guy to take good decisions - all he needs to do is to set the aims for the technical people to deliver, and then (very important) keep his fingers out other than to help..

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Joke

Just a moemnt.

Has this man been eCRB checked?

I think we should know.

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