A number of my peers in the open source community have put together an interesting letter to President Obama on how vital a role open source can play in tackling some of the big challenges we face in this economic climate. In addition to a good set of observations about how the virtues of open source can help the new administration achieve its goals in domains such as health care, they recommend the president make it “mandatory to consider the source of an application solution (open or closed) as part of the government’s technology acquisition process, just as considering accessibility by the handicapped is required today”.

We at Lucid Imagination whole-heartedly support the initiative proposed through this letter.  As a company exclusively dedicated to supporting Apache Lucene and Solr enterprise search technology, we have an intimate understanding of what has driven its tremendous adoption, particularly within Federal agencies.  Topping the list are cost effectiveness and innovation, especially as compared to proprietary offerings.

As an example, the Library of Congress has invested greatly in the use of Lucene to make its information and knowledge more accessible to citizens through the Web.  It would be an ideal solution for the new initiatives called for by the Obama administration, such as providing robust search capabilities for electronic medical health records. Better search of medical records is aimed squarely at overcoming the limitations of paperwork in triplicate that the president spoke about earlier this week.

We look forward to working with the government on these projects.