BULGARIA, the only country named after a character from The Wombles, has signed into law a new set of rules on software used by the government, decreeing that it should all be open source.
Bozhidar Bozhanov, a software engineer who has been advising the deputy prime minister, blogged that the Electronic Governance Act has been amended to state that "all software written for the government [is] to be open source and developed as such in a public repository".
But this doesn't mean that the whole country is going to shift to Linux overnight. Oh no. Apart from anything else, doing so would waste masses of existing procurement.
Bozhanov explained: "It means that whatever custom software the government procures will be visible and accessible to everyone. After all, it’s paid for by taxpayers' money and they should be able to see it and benefit from it."
Which is a pretty cool way to look at it.
Problems had occurred in the past because websites and portals had gone unpatched as the contracts to maintain them had expired and had been effectively abandoned.
However, a new government agency will manage a repository, probably on GitHub, and police the law to ensure it is being enforced.
Lest we forget: although Bulgaria is the first country to make a law out of open source governance, the UK has looked at the idea for some time.
Francis Maude MP, formerly of the Cabinet Office, first revealed plans to encourage the use of open source as a cost-saving exercise in 2014.
Since then, it has been confirmed that government departments will switch to Libre Office, much to Microsoft's annoyance.
Of course, the UK government has absolutely no problem giving back to the taxpayer, it is just trying to save internal costs. But here's hoping that the more Utopian view from Bulgaria catches on.
The country also invented Shopska salad, which is bloody lovely. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score