Free/Libre and Open Source Software

LinuxJournal Conversations: Bit Prepared II: Richard Stallman Meets the World Scout Bureau

This very interesting conversation contains the following gem from Richard Stallman:

I have to point out that to contrast free software with commercial software is like contrasting tall people with thin people. Some free software is commercial (developed by businesses), just as some tall people are thin. Copies of free software often are sold for a price; meanwhile, some non-free programs are available gratis.

Writing code compared with writing literature

I came across this quoted in another article, and found it an interesting way of looking at Closed Source.

"The effect of ownership imperatives has caused there to be no
body of software as literature. It is as if all writers had
their own private companies and only people in the Melville
company could read "Moby Dick" and only those in Hemmingway's
could read "The Sun Also Rises". Can you imagine developing a
rich literature under these circumstances ? Under such conditions,
there could be neither a curriculum in literature nor a way
of teaching writing. And we expect people to learn to program

Penguin Day Toronto: Connecting non-profits and open source

The migration begins ... Saturday, November 20th 2004

Penguin Day Toronto links non-profits leaders, activists and socially
responsible techies for a day of question-asking, knowledge-sharing and
networking about the potential of Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS)
for non-profit organizations.


Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!

This document, updated for September 30, seeks to move the conversations about Open Source to the facts. Far too much of the discussion is dominated by the rhetoric and FUD offered from the incumbent vendors dependent on limited business models and methodologies (largely Microsoft and dependents).

Globe & Mail: Africans get tools to cross the digital divide

"Dwayne Bailey hears the question all the time. "Why bother translating software into isiZulu?" people ask him. "Who needs it? English is the language of global business -- you'd be better off spending your energy teaching people English."

"To which Mr. Bailey replies, quite simply, "Izixhobo kufuneka zisebenzele abantu, hayi abantu izixhobo. Isoftware sisixhobo ngoko ke kumele sisebenzele abantu ngolwimi lwabo lwasemzini!"

Complete Story...

Bureaucrats: Do you know where your numbers are?

There is an interesting article on the Prairie Linux Users Group BLOG linking a report comparing GNUMERIC and Microsoft Excel, and the errors that one will find with calculations in Microsoft Excel.

What is surprising and perhaps a bit terrifying is that Excel is on the desktop of every bureaucrat in every government office in Canada. ... These are the tools people are using to make major decisions about our future.

Interview with BBC R&D Dirac Devloper Thomas Davies

I think the BBC has always had a very strong commitment to Open Standards, which have actually benefited the whole broadcast industry as well as other PSBs. But I don't think such a commitment is necessarily confined to publicly-funded organisations. There are many manufacturers and technology companies that share it. I think it's more a question of degree - the BBC is particularly concerned about public access and in the development of TV to date that's implied Open Standards.

Read full article

Open Source "Highlighted" by the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada

The main page for the Federated Architecture Program has the Open Source policy under "Highlights/Features".

Open Source Software (OSS)

Licensed software including OSS and methods are part of the corporate standards-based, IT infrastructure of the Government of Canada (GoC). Acquisition and usage decisions must align with the GOC Federated Architecture, while respecting federal legislation, agreements, guidelines and maximizing the GOC IT investments

Linux Journal: Linux in Government: Will Schwarzenegger Terminate Windows?

The California state government will face two kinds of opposition in its effort to save taxpayers money and implement open-source initiatives--opposition from outside and opposition from inside. The opposition from outside already has formed. Many people believe that outside opposition operates as a front for Microsoft, a claim that California regulators should examine. Simply ask the lobbyists who they really represent.

Read full article on Linux Journal. Do you agree with the article? How do we ensure that as the Canadian government studies FLOSS that they will be getting good information?

German GPL Decision - First Full English Translation

The Oxford Internet Institute has just published an English translation of the famous decision of the District Court of Munich (Germany) regarding the enforceability and validity of the General Public License.

This first worldwide decision on Open Source issued in May 2004 has caused a lot of public attention although the details of court's findings are mostly unknown. The translation is introduced by comments written by Christian Ahlert and Thomas Hoeren.

Read references on LinuxWorld

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