Government Open Source...GOS? Sure, it's another TLA, but this time it spells a big win for the Open Source movement as more state activism in Massachusetts leads the way, embracing ODF -- OpenDocument Format. The state also recently employed a solution forked from an open source program to manage the State's job postings online, and is implementing the Joomla Open Source Web CMS.These revelations came to light at the GOSCON (Government Open Source Conference) 06, held in Portland, Oregon last week. The Conference featured industry leaders -- public and private -- gathering to discuss the current use and adoption of Open Source Software and Open models. Conference sponsors included the Open Source Lab (OSL), Oregon State University, IBM, Novell, Cignex, and Sugar CRM. Speakers from the government sector included Andy Stein, Director of Information Technologies for the City of Newport News, VA, Bill Welty CIO of the State of California's Air Resources Board, and Tim Vaverchak, Manager of Shared Services, in the Information Technology Division for the State of Massachusetts. And it was GOS time at the conference. Stein reported that the City of Newport News uses Open Source as the best practice model for collaborative software development. Conference goers learned that the ARB (a TLA for the California Air Resources Board), provides public access to air quality data, relying on open source solutions, like Linux, Apache, PHP, for implementation since 1995. It was Vaverchak from Massachusetts, who manages the ITD's (TLA for Information Technology Division) Open Source Development team, who really put the gloss on GOS. He's quoted as saying, "Our main focus is to bring in as many open source products as we can, and also an open source mindset." In a related move, a notice has been posted at the State of Massachusetts' website (, of a planned phase out of Microsoft office applications in favor of those based on "open" standards, including the recently approved OpenDocument standard. Well GOS darn it Billy boy comes ODF. If it ain't those pesky EU ministers its the darn activist states. Whaddya going ta do, come up with your own format that seems to be fairing rather less well [David Wheeler]?