Texas Democrats push ODF standard

Texas Democrats are trying to make open source into a partisan issue.

Texas Democrats are trying to make open source into a partisan issue.

Their vehicle is HB 481, authored by Marc Veasey of Ft. Worth, who has sought to make a reputation as a thorn in the side of Texas' ruling Republicans, supporting hate crimes legislation, mass transit, and the Obama stimulus.

That is another way of saying the bill's chances fall somewhere east of slim and west of none.

What's amusing are some of the arguments against the bill, as compiled by Aman Betheja of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The main argument, advanced by a Microsoft lobbyist, is that the bill is anti-competitive, and would be "like choosing Betamax over VHS."

There is also a fear that users would have to replace their current software, although I believe Microsoft has been pretty scrupulous in supporting the Open Document Format.

It's the fact that this is being discussed at all that is newsworthy. The rise of open source as a partisan issue, whether pushed by Tories in England, Hindu nationalists in India, or Democrats in Texas, has been remarkable.

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