Thanks for the link Arnold. I too am suspicious of government tech projects, but “this seems different”.
I’ve read over the technical specs and it seems like they’re inspired by ideas from the many discussions you and I have been having in this forum over the last few years. They are attempting on doing exactly what we have been recommending: creating a non-profit government-funded private, federated and secure interoperable tech to counter Silicon Valley’s non-private, centralised and insecure walled gardens.
Note that this could be very competitive as a federated system would ensure only nominal profits and hamper Silicon Valley’s monopolistic profits. Also as the ecosystem would be (more) private, secure and interoperable, it would offer a superior alternative to the anti-competitive tech of today.
I think maybe the Germany and France have finally discovered the some of value of competition and capitalism. Because to me it appears to be an attempt to create properly regulated capitalism that levels the playing field at the expense of devouring US tech monopolies.
Of course it could all fail, it could be behind the pace of technology, or maybe as a nonprofit they’ll just lack motivation.
From the extremely valuable and balanced Hacker News discussion:
"it’s another project with a dream of restoring France to its old glory by an old guard convinced that somehow their country is so exceptional that it can just launch any product and that people will switch to it.
The story is more sinister when it comes to cloud platforms. A government project to free its companies from American domination over this sector will typically involve a bidding process in which established and well-connected companies with a history of costly, slow, outdated tech will win the contracts through their political connections with no consideration for their capacity to deliver or innovate. MPs will make sure their buddies get the contracts.
It’s always the same thing. Old, well-connected companies that have zero ability to innovate and not a clue about the domain will rake in hundreds of millions in taxpayer money and deliver some garbage platform that no one will use except other government-funded moonshot companies. Always behind, always getting paid, never actually doing anything remotely useful.
Source: I am French. I know how this works, I’ve seen these ridiculous projects get political support and fail miserably due to corruption and ineptitude."
Litmus tests of success:
Has Amazon’s stock price dropped? Has Gaia-X even been mentioned as a threat in Amazon’s annual report? Are most Amazon employees able to locate France on the world map?
If this is such a good idea, why hasn’t a for-profit company been able to do it already? Why are there no for-profit mediation marketplaces for private, federated, secure and interoperable web services?