GTEC 2003 Press Release

GTEC WEEK NEWS ADVISORY

Open Source Centrepiece of GTEC Week Exhibition

CONTACTS:

Bernie Colterman, GTEC WEEK
berniec@coltermangroup.com
613-731-9851 ext 15

Joseph Potvin, GTEC 2003 Open Source Lab Program Advisor
joseph.potvin@pwgsc.gc.ca
819-956-8617

OTTAWA CONGRESS CENTRE -- If you're a public sector IT professional, and you're not sure what Canada GOOSE and GOSLING really stand for, then a new centrepiece feature of the GTEC WEEK information technology exhibition ought to be your first stop on your tour of exhibits at the Ottawa Congress Centre, October 7-8.

Canada GOOSE stands for Canada Government Official Open Source Engagement and GOSLING is the acronym for Getting Open Source Logic Into Governments.

These are just two initiatives in a major, relatively new worldwide software technology movement known as Open Source. That's the name given by the software user and developer community to have international standards-based source code for software be freely open and available to software designers, developers and programmers to build upon. The exhibition hall at GTEC Week celebrates the Open Source movement with an unique public/private-sector partnership learning and demonstration lab as the centrepiece of the show at the Ottawa Congress Centre, October 7-8.

In just one example of what will be demonstrated in the Lab, PWGSC will show its "proof of concept" IBM ThinkPad running only free/libre software (RedHat 9, Novell Netware Client for Linux, OpenOffice, ArgoUML, etc.). This particular laptop has served for the past six months as the primary computer for a busy manager in his day-to-day work within the department's conventional proprietary corporate environment.

Besides knocking about $500 off the cost of the laptop, his system remained up and running during the recent round of worm and virus attacks that put his colleagues in neighbouring cubicles out of action.

Open Source is a business community and technology movement that co-exists with the proprietary software model that has dominated the IT landscape for two decades. Many if not most companies in the information technology sector now have some active involvement with Open Source communities, according to GTEC Week organizers. The lab focuses on Open Source solutions and services available to government, as well as those developed and offered by government.

Open Source is a software user and programming community-led movement to provide a powerful alternative to proprietary software model that has dominated the IT landscape for several decades. Many if not most companies in the information technology sector now have some active strategy relative to Open Source computing, according to GTEC Week organizers. The lab focuses on Open Source solutions and services available to government, as well as those developed and offered by government.

Another feature of the Lab will be a recently-completed report, prepared under contract by e-cology Inc. and entitled "Open Source Business Opportunities for Canada's Information and Communications Technology Sector - A Collaborative Fact Finding Study." The study was sponsored by Industry Canada, PWGSC, and the CIO Branch at TBS.

Like the Open Source professional communities it highlights, the GTEC Open Source Lab is designed to include organizations of all types, including large, global enterprise, small and medium-size enterprises, non-profit communities, government and academic teams, and individual volunteers.

Open Source Lab is open to any organization offering services or solutions based on www.opensource.org or www.gnu.org certified "open source" or "free software" licenses.

In association with the GTEC Open Source Lab, senior security specialists from RedHat, Cinnabar, FreeS/WAN, and the IT Security Techniques Sub Committee of JTC 1 (the ISO & IEC international standards consortium), will participate on an "Experts Panel: Understanding Open Source Security Strategy". This special session of the Open Seminar Program will be from 2:00-3:00 P.M, Tuesday, October 7, in the Quebec Room, 4th Floor of the Westin Hotel.

Global companies participating in the Lab area, such as RedHat, Novell, SUN Microsystems and AML, are showing visitors how the open source business model can be commercial and highly competitive with solutions ranging from open source corporate desktop suites, to embedded Linux-based handheld devices.

GTEC exhibitors such as IBM, Apple and Oracle, will also be highlighting their open source commitments within their main displays on the show floor.

PUBLIC, PRIVATE PARTICIPANTS IN THE OPEN SOURCE LAB

Linux Professional Institute runs Linux certification courses worldwide and will offer special LPI certification exams for any GTEC visitors who have acquired the technical knowledge of Linux, and now want the formal recognition.

Steamballoon provides technical services, and is the coordinator of the annual international Ottawa Linux Symposium and Kernel Summit.

Xandros is an Ottawa company that offers a Debian Linux-based corporate desktop package.

Xcelerance offers "3rd level" problem-solving support on IT security systems.

Flora.org runs an ISP service entirely on free software, and hosts the online activities of many Ottawa-area community groups.

The Ottawa-Canada Linux Users' Group (OCLUG) is an active, open, knowledge-sharing community that offers professional tech support and services for a diversity of open source and mixed environments.

GOSLING (Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments) is a voluntary, informal learning and knowledge-sharing community of practice, that involves civil servants and other citizens who assist the engagement of free/libre open source methods and software solutions in government operations.

Visitors will meet government teams for whom "Canada GOOSE" (Government Official Open Source Engagement) is a practical way to gain the benefits of knowledge-sharing in IT. On display are four free solutions that have been produced and shared out by Government of Canada.

IDRC/Bellanet and other Government of Canada partners are there with OPA (Online Proposal Appraisal), a web application to support distributed decision-making. OPA was advanced to version 2.0 with the World Bank, then ported to PHP/MySQL and JAVA/MySQL through European and American private sector contributions.

CRC/Industry Canada is showing FreeWRL, an advanced virtual reality VRML and X3D browser that has attracted international partners.

PWGSC will demo ArchNAV, a new enterprise architecture management application. And NRC will demo VoiceCode, a programming-by-voice environment for software programmers with disabilities.

Several Government of Canada teams will be on hand to describe their use of off-the-shelf free/libre open source solutions.

NRCan will discuss how the National Atlas of Canada was put on the Internet with ZOPE, licensed free/libre by Zope Corporation. Statistics Canada staff will demo the advanced statistical analysis package called "R", which is also used at CHEO. PWGSC will show how it is implementing OASIS XML standards for e-business with the FreebXML Registry/Repository shared by SUN Microsystems.

PWGSC is also engaging vendor-neutral OASIS XML standard office file formats with the assistance of the complete OpenOffice suite, shared free by SUN.

Managers from the Receiver General of Canada will discuss their interest in auditing tools created by a team based at University of Ottawa's School of Management, based on the OpenOffice XML spreadsheet application.

The Standards Council of Canada will be on hand with the Chair of the Canadian Advisory Committee of JTC 1 (Joint Technical Committee on IT Standards of the ISO and IEC) to discuss the strategic significance of open, democratic, vendor-neutral standards organizations in IT, and to assist in understanding Canadian involvement in international IT standardization.

The Government of Nunavut is also a featured public sector participant in GTEC's Open Source Lab, along with Macadamian Corporation of Ottawa. They are showing how free open source tools were instrumental in creating a new web portal that makes the Internet more accessible throughout the circimpolar region, and offers full text search in Inuktitut syllabics.