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Open Source Silence

February 16, 2009
by aguerra
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the following is a letter to the editor I received, please feel free to weigh in with your thoughts:

Dear Mr. Guerra:

I have been reading HI a long time, and your piece "When the Time is Right" caught my eye recently.

I am a Chiropractor, so I read and keep hoping I'll find more about my small slice of the healthcare field, knowing that we'll never get that much press. What we do just isn't as glamorous or as newsworthy as stuff going on in other allied disciplines.

Regardless, we have to deal with information management and all the same headaches too. Since most Chiropractors I know run private and often sole practitioner clinics, we rarely have the budgetary means to support all the fancy systems that most MD's grow accustomed to, working in large clinics or hospitals.

Knowing that advertising dollars fund the bulk of the expense of publishing any printed matter today, I know my wishlist won't find much sympathy, but here goes. Why does the Open Source, i.e., Linux community have such rare showing in the field? Have there ever been any reviews, or ongoing coverage of new tools, new applications that are written for those of us who eschew Microsoft and prefer instead the raw horsepower, and speed that comes with open source software?

Does anyone raise the issue, does anyone ask for more coverage of this topic? I love to write, but don't profess to be Shakespeare or Thoreau or anything polished. I write what I feel and observe and see around me.

How might I jump into the fray and raise a voice in support of free and open source applications?

Please advise!

Dr. Scott S. Jones


Posted on our LinkedIn Discussion Board in Response:

Date: 2/17/2009
Subject RE: Open Source Silence
Group: Healthcare Informatics' CIO Connection
Tim Hartzog wrote:
I have followed open source projects for a few years, every time a project gets a solid product too many spin offs occur, then the projects looses critical mass. I would like to develop some simple projects to fill in gaps of the commerical vendors, but can not find a solid open source system to use.

I have tracked the Glassfish project from Sun, but this such a complex project for casual one off solutions. I do think Glassfish server will be production ready, especially if HL7 messaging system comes available.
Just my random thoughts.