How can I, a public university employee at the bottom of the totem pole, start working today to try and end the University's dependence (read: wholly ensnared state) on proprietary, corporate owned/backed software?

Anybody know of any orgs that work on this, or have any experience fighting this kind of thing?

It makes for a very depressing state of affairs, being so reliant on these capitalist structures.

@gabe Use and promote alternatives. Subversively, if necessary.

Is there some software in particular?


@kdsch I work in web dev for a college at my University, with most decisions being made by people one or two steps removed from the actual labor.

Our setup is like this:
Windows servers running MSSQL, and using Adobe Experience Manager as our main CMS, and using Adobe ColdFusion as our main programming language for our web applications.

Above that, is the University which is also heavily reliant on the Microsoft/Windows ecosystem, which somewhat forces all sub-departments to do the same.


@gabe 😱 Oy, an exemplar of hierarchy sucking. I feel similar tensions in my job, but it's driven by "market demand" (profitability) for shitty (yet open source) technologies.

Crazy ideas:

A free-to-proprietary transpiler. Write your webapps in whatever, compile them to ColdFusion. Or port existing code to free languages that can interface with the current stack. Then it'll be easier to switch to a free stack when pressure mounts.

Find security holes in the current stack. Make it a PR problem.

@gabe It would be really interesting to do some case studies of organizations that switched from proprietary to free software. Especially, what circumstances caused them to do so. I'm sure somebody has done this already.

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