Introduction To FOSS

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Slides for the talk on FOSS & Linux at FSMWB Workshop, Jadavpur University, February 2011

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Introduction To FOSS

  1. 1. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real world Introduction To Free Software Arijit Mukherjee1 1 FSMWB Workshop, Jadavpur University, Kolkata February 2011Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  2. 2. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldOutline 1 Introduction to FOSS 2 Historical Perspective 3 The Alternative 4 Linux as an example 5 Myths and Reality 6 FOSS in the real world Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  3. 3. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s define “software” Technically a bunch of 0’s and 1’s, normally written in a more human readable form which runs a computing machine Examples - Operating systems - Windows, Linux, Unix, OSX Browser - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera Word Processing - Microsoft Office, Open Office, LTEX A Numerical Computing - MATLAB, R, Octave Photo Editing - Adobe Photoshop, GIMP Audio visual - QuickTime, Media Player, VLC Database Systems - Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL ... and a host of others for different purposes Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  4. 4. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s define “software” Technically a bunch of 0’s and 1’s, normally written in a more human readable form which runs a computing machine Examples - Operating systems - Windows, Linux, Unix, OSX Browser - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera Word Processing - Microsoft Office, Open Office, LTEX A Numerical Computing - MATLAB, R, Octave Photo Editing - Adobe Photoshop, GIMP Audio visual - QuickTime, Media Player, VLC Database Systems - Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL ... and a host of others for different purposes Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  5. 5. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSoftware Licensing Most packages used by us are proprietary means, you buy it or pay a license fee and you are tied by an agreement you can not share it with your friend or neighbour it’s a black box to you - you never know what’s going on and you are not allowed to modify or improve it, even if you are capable Is it really yours? Can we do something else? Something better? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  6. 6. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSoftware Licensing Most packages used by us are proprietary means, you buy it or pay a license fee and you are tied by an agreement you can not share it with your friend or neighbour it’s a black box to you - you never know what’s going on and you are not allowed to modify or improve it, even if you are capable Is it really yours? Can we do something else? Something better? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  7. 7. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSoftware Licensing Most packages used by us are proprietary means, you buy it or pay a license fee and you are tied by an agreement you can not share it with your friend or neighbour it’s a black box to you - you never know what’s going on and you are not allowed to modify or improve it, even if you are capable Is it really yours? Can we do something else? Something better? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  8. 8. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldHackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution “This is our world now...the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore...and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge...and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias...and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.” [The Hacker Manifesto] In the early days, computers were exclusively academic toys Academics knew the internals, modified the code, shared it and helped each other They were the original “hackers” - in labs at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard... Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Stephen Levy, New York:Penguin Non Classics,1984 Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  9. 9. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldHackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution “This is our world now...the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore...and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge...and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias...and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.” [The Hacker Manifesto] In the early days, computers were exclusively academic toys Academics knew the internals, modified the code, shared it and helped each other They were the original “hackers” - in labs at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard... Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Stephen Levy, New York:Penguin Non Classics,1984 Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  10. 10. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real world“Change” started during the 70s Software industry started to grow They brought in measures to make software proprietary Users lost the freedom of knowledge 1980 - The US Supreme Court upheld a patent application in the Diamond vs Diehr case A decade later, “In re Alappat” virtually sealed the application of patent laws over software 1993 - State Street vs Signature Financials - the US Federal Circuit ruled that if a mathematical algorithm produces “a useful, concrete and tangible result”, it is patentable Sounds familiar? GATT and TRIPS during the 90s? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  11. 11. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real world“Change” started during the 70s Software industry started to grow They brought in measures to make software proprietary Users lost the freedom of knowledge 1980 - The US Supreme Court upheld a patent application in the Diamond vs Diehr case A decade later, “In re Alappat” virtually sealed the application of patent laws over software 1993 - State Street vs Signature Financials - the US Federal Circuit ruled that if a mathematical algorithm produces “a useful, concrete and tangible result”, it is patentable Sounds familiar? GATT and TRIPS during the 90s? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  12. 12. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real world“Change” started during the 70s Software industry started to grow They brought in measures to make software proprietary Users lost the freedom of knowledge 1980 - The US Supreme Court upheld a patent application in the Diamond vs Diehr case A decade later, “In re Alappat” virtually sealed the application of patent laws over software 1993 - State Street vs Signature Financials - the US Federal Circuit ruled that if a mathematical algorithm produces “a useful, concrete and tangible result”, it is patentable Sounds familiar? GATT and TRIPS during the 90s? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  13. 13. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldCan we do something better? Is the software really yours? Can we do something else? Something better? “Yes, We Can!” Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  14. 14. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldCan we do something better? Is the software really yours? Can we do something else? Something better? “Yes, We Can!” Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  15. 15. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWe can use FOSS FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software FREE = FREEDOM Free as in “Free Speech” Not “Free Icecream” “Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  16. 16. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBrief History of FOSS 1983 - Richard Stallman founded the GNU Project 1985 - Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation Many GNU tools were developed - like gcc, gdb, flex, bison etc. GNU and FSF popularized the Copyleft ideology 1991 - Linux was first released by Linus Torvalds 2000 - OSDL was founded with the goal “to be the recognized center-of-gravity for the Linux industry” 2000 - FSG was founded to specify and drive the adoption of Open Standards 2003 - Linus Torvalds joined OSDL 2007 - FSG and OSDL merged to form The Linux Foundation Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  17. 17. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSo what exactly is FOSS? Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2). The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The FSF philosophy: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html All such software are commonly referred as “Free/Libre Open Source Software” - FLOSS, F/OSS, FOSS Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  18. 18. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThe Cathedral and The Bazaar Traditional software development - how cathedrals were built in ancient times small groups of skilled artisans carefully planned out the design in isolation everything was built in a single effort once built, the cathedrals were complete and little or no further modification was made replace “skilled artisans” with “skilled programmers” FOSS development is more akin to a bazaar, which grows organically initial traders establish their own structures and begin business more traders join in, establish their own structures and begin business the bazaar grows, apparently in a chaotic fashion Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  19. 19. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThe Cathedral and The Bazaar Traditional software development - how cathedrals were built in ancient times small groups of skilled artisans carefully planned out the design in isolation everything was built in a single effort once built, the cathedrals were complete and little or no further modification was made replace “skilled artisans” with “skilled programmers” FOSS development is more akin to a bazaar, which grows organically initial traders establish their own structures and begin business more traders join in, establish their own structures and begin business the bazaar grows, apparently in a chaotic fashion Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  20. 20. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSo why the “Bazaar”? The bazaar method of development has been proven over time to have several advantages - reduced duplication of effort building upon the work of others better quality control: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” reduced maintenance costs Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  21. 21. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBenefits of Open Source When programmers on the Internet can read, redistribute, and modify the source for a piece of software, it evolves People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, compared to conventional software development, seems astonishing Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  22. 22. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBenefits of Open Source When programmers on the Internet can read, redistribute, and modify the source for a piece of software, it evolves People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, compared to conventional software development, seems astonishing Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  23. 23. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLinux - one example They ask: “Aap ke PC mein kaun rehta hai? Virus yah QuickHeal?” I say: “Thankfully, none of them. I’m safe from both.” What do you say? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  24. 24. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLinux - one example They ask: “Aap ke PC mein kaun rehta hai? Virus yah QuickHeal?” I say: “Thankfully, none of them. I’m safe from both.” What do you say? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  25. 25. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLinux - one example They ask: “Aap ke PC mein kaun rehta hai? Virus yah QuickHeal?” I say: “Thankfully, none of them. I’m safe from both.” What do you say? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  26. 26. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWhy should we use Linux? Cost Linux comes for free Performance Linux performs better Works rather well on older systems too Security Linux is highly secure Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  27. 27. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLinux - Where did it come from? Created by Linus Torvalds with assistance from programmers around the globe first posted on the Internet in 1991 Linux 1.0 in 1994; 2.2 in 1999; 2.6 at present Nearly 20 million users world-wide with 1000’s of programmers enhancing it every day Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  28. 28. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldIt works for everyone What are you? Photographer, editing photos? A music lover, listening to Beatles? A movie freak? Or a geek programmer? Or just a social networker? ... Hundreds of application for all types of users Find it, get it, use it, share it In fact, linux may find and install it for you... Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  29. 29. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldIt works for everyone What are you? Photographer, editing photos? A music lover, listening to Beatles? A movie freak? Or a geek programmer? Or just a social networker? ... Hundreds of application for all types of users Find it, get it, use it, share it In fact, linux may find and install it for you... Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  30. 30. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldTools and Applications Word processing - Open Office, L TEX A Internet/Email - Firefox, Mozilla, Thunderbird, Evolution Graphics - GIMP, Shotwell Photo Manager, Xfig Sound and video - Brasero, MPlayer, VLC Media Player, Audacity Programming - Netbeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ Database Systems - MySQL, PostgreSQL Chat - Pidgin, Empathy Torrent - Transmission, BitTorrent Scientific - Octave (a Matlab equivalent) Google helps search here: http://www.google.com/linux Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  31. 31. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldTools and Applications Word processing - Open Office, L TEX A Internet/Email - Firefox, Mozilla, Thunderbird, Evolution Graphics - GIMP, Shotwell Photo Manager, Xfig Sound and video - Brasero, MPlayer, VLC Media Player, Audacity Programming - Netbeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ Database Systems - MySQL, PostgreSQL Chat - Pidgin, Empathy Torrent - Transmission, BitTorrent Scientific - Octave (a Matlab equivalent) Google helps search here: http://www.google.com/linux Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  32. 32. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldFOSS Licenses Copyleft agreement “Left” is the inverse of “right” GPL, LGPL, Apache, Creative Commons etc. A general method for making a program or other work free All modified and extended versions of the program are free as well Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  33. 33. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldCommon Myths about FOSS It’s free so it must be technologically inferior what if I am stuck? No one will help me it must be unreliable and insecure performance must be poor and it won’t scale It’s hard, not user friendly, only command line, meant for geeks... But in practice, it’s the other way round Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  34. 34. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 1 They say it’s not user friendly it’s hard it’s all commands from a command prompt it’s for geeks it doesn’t look nice We say see for yourself where the mind is without fear... Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  35. 35. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  36. 36. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  37. 37. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  38. 38. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  39. 39. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  40. 40. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  41. 41. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldLet’s have a quick tour Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  42. 42. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 2 The Myth: Malicious hackers try to break into the software with the largest installed base So, Windows is targeted most Implies - Linux is no more secure than Windows The Fact: 68% Web Servers are Apache 21% run on Microsoft IIS Still IIS suffers most - 300,000 servers affected by Code Red worm Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  43. 43. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 2 The Myth: Malicious hackers try to break into the software with the largest installed base So, Windows is targeted most Implies - Linux is no more secure than Windows The Fact: 68% Web Servers are Apache 21% run on Microsoft IIS Still IIS suffers most - 300,000 servers affected by Code Red worm Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  44. 44. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 3 The Myth: Open source code is vulnerable Because hackers can find loopholes from the source code The Fact: Evidence begs to differ, Apache is an example Loopholes are closed by the community The Bottomline: Windows vulnerability is a design issue Monolithic Evolved from a single-user model Heavily dependent on RPC Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  45. 45. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 3 The Myth: Open source code is vulnerable Because hackers can find loopholes from the source code The Fact: Evidence begs to differ, Apache is an example Loopholes are closed by the community The Bottomline: Windows vulnerability is a design issue Monolithic Evolved from a single-user model Heavily dependent on RPC Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  46. 46. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBusting the Myths - 3 The Myth: Open source code is vulnerable Because hackers can find loopholes from the source code The Fact: Evidence begs to differ, Apache is an example Loopholes are closed by the community The Bottomline: Windows vulnerability is a design issue Monolithic Evolved from a single-user model Heavily dependent on RPC Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  47. 47. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldEvidences Linux acquires around 85.4 % of OS base for the Top500 list (as on June’08) Google processes 200 million searches per day, all on Linux. It serves 4 billion Web pages per day, also on Linux There are about 60,000 (and counting) viruses known for Windows Survey reports show that GNU/Linux systems are relatively immune from attacks from outsiders Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  48. 48. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldTechnical tidbits Linux file permissions are a barrier for unwanted softwares – like virus/malware Doesn’t allow auto-execution of downloaded trojan/virus I downloaded something malicious, but it can’t write to your home space Simple concept, enhanced security Who needs QuickHeal then? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  49. 49. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldTechnical tidbits Linux file permissions are a barrier for unwanted softwares – like virus/malware Doesn’t allow auto-execution of downloaded trojan/virus I downloaded something malicious, but it can’t write to your home space Simple concept, enhanced security Who needs QuickHeal then? Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  50. 50. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldCost It doesn’t matter if a product starts out cheaply if it costs you more down the line FOSS costs less to initially acquire No monopoly, means upgrade/maintenance costs are typically far less No license management costs Can effectively use older hardwares As the number of servers increases, proprietary solutions become increasingly costly Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  51. 51. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBig data, bigger cost Real world data volume YouTube serves 100 million videos every day Chevron accumulates 2TB of data every day 2006: total data on the Internet was approx. 166 Exabytes. 2010: it reached 1000 EB 1 Exabyte = 1.1 million terabytes ~ 50,000 years of DVD quality video 166EB ~ 3 million * amount of information contained in all the books ever written Avataar required 1 petabyte storage ~ a 32 yr long MP3 1998: 253 million email accounts, 2010: close to 2 billion Oracle anyone? How many servers you might need to process such data? And remember, Oracle charges per CPU core Google didn’t do Oracle; Facebook doesn’t too Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  52. 52. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldBig data, bigger cost Real world data volume YouTube serves 100 million videos every day Chevron accumulates 2TB of data every day 2006: total data on the Internet was approx. 166 Exabytes. 2010: it reached 1000 EB 1 Exabyte = 1.1 million terabytes ~ 50,000 years of DVD quality video 166EB ~ 3 million * amount of information contained in all the books ever written Avataar required 1 petabyte storage ~ a 32 yr long MP3 1998: 253 million email accounts, 2010: close to 2 billion Oracle anyone? How many servers you might need to process such data? And remember, Oracle charges per CPU core Google didn’t do Oracle; Facebook doesn’t too Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  53. 53. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldHow do I use FOSS What do do? Study reviews Check if the forums, IRC channels, mailing lists are active Check for the features, requirements, training, maintenance etc. If the decision is critical, evaluate thoroughly Where to get it from? Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_and_open_source_software_packages Free Software Directory (FSF and UNESCO) - http://directory.fsf.org Linux App Finder - http://linuxappfinder.com Linux Applications - http://www.linux.org/apps Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  54. 54. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldHow do I use FOSS What do do? Study reviews Check if the forums, IRC channels, mailing lists are active Check for the features, requirements, training, maintenance etc. If the decision is critical, evaluate thoroughly Where to get it from? Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_and_open_source_software_packages Free Software Directory (FSF and UNESCO) - http://directory.fsf.org Linux App Finder - http://linuxappfinder.com Linux Applications - http://www.linux.org/apps Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  55. 55. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWhere the mind is without fear Is proprietary software fundamentally better supported than FOSS? No. Two kinds of support exit for FOSS: traditional paid-for support and informal community support. Does proprietary software give users more legal rights than FOSS? Essentially all proprietary software licenses also forbid lawsuits - so this isn’t different at all! Are FOSS program compatible with standards? FOSS programs can implement standards, just like proprietary programs can. Will programmers starve because of FOSS? No; increasingly FOSS is commercially developed and supported Eric Raymond notes that 95% of all software is not developed for sale and programmers get paid for these Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  56. 56. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWhere the mind is without fear Is proprietary software fundamentally better supported than FOSS? No. Two kinds of support exit for FOSS: traditional paid-for support and informal community support. Does proprietary software give users more legal rights than FOSS? Essentially all proprietary software licenses also forbid lawsuits - so this isn’t different at all! Are FOSS program compatible with standards? FOSS programs can implement standards, just like proprietary programs can. Will programmers starve because of FOSS? No; increasingly FOSS is commercially developed and supported Eric Raymond notes that 95% of all software is not developed for sale and programmers get paid for these Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  57. 57. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWhere the mind is without fear Is proprietary software fundamentally better supported than FOSS? No. Two kinds of support exit for FOSS: traditional paid-for support and informal community support. Does proprietary software give users more legal rights than FOSS? Essentially all proprietary software licenses also forbid lawsuits - so this isn’t different at all! Are FOSS program compatible with standards? FOSS programs can implement standards, just like proprietary programs can. Will programmers starve because of FOSS? No; increasingly FOSS is commercially developed and supported Eric Raymond notes that 95% of all software is not developed for sale and programmers get paid for these Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  58. 58. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldWhere the mind is without fear Is proprietary software fundamentally better supported than FOSS? No. Two kinds of support exit for FOSS: traditional paid-for support and informal community support. Does proprietary software give users more legal rights than FOSS? Essentially all proprietary software licenses also forbid lawsuits - so this isn’t different at all! Are FOSS program compatible with standards? FOSS programs can implement standards, just like proprietary programs can. Will programmers starve because of FOSS? No; increasingly FOSS is commercially developed and supported Eric Raymond notes that 95% of all software is not developed for sale and programmers get paid for these Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  59. 59. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldFOSS and Software Business Big Software companies don’t care for SMEs Your bug and feature requests remain unattended FOSS community cares Even if they don’t, you can fix it yourself or hire someone to fix it You can also make contributions to a software and give something back May even ask for a price for the new improvement Thus, you can promote small businesses With your contribution the country will become self-reliant in software technology Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  60. 60. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldFOSS and Software Business Big Software companies don’t care for SMEs Your bug and feature requests remain unattended FOSS community cares Even if they don’t, you can fix it yourself or hire someone to fix it You can also make contributions to a software and give something back May even ask for a price for the new improvement Thus, you can promote small businesses With your contribution the country will become self-reliant in software technology Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  61. 61. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldFOSS in India New Delhi, 2005: Meeting on the status of the Open Source Initiative in India, chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Observations: The Open Source Initiative is a pro-active measure to evolve local solutions for the country’s Information Technology (IT) problems This will facilitate not only usage but also build capabilities for creating a knowledge base within the country Operating costs of organizations will come down if India adopts FOSS in a big way Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  62. 62. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldSuccess Stories Tamilnadu has adopted FOSS for its e-governance projects Kerala has adopted FOSS in its schools The Central Excise Department has moved to Linux The government supercomputer arm, the C-DAC, has moved over entirely to GNU/Linux The Supreme Court has several pilot projects under way CBSE board is currently considering introduction of FOSS at school level Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  63. 63. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThe Barrier The biggest obstacle for widespread FOSS useage is the mindset especially, the mindset of computer literate people even more, for software professionals because of a conditioning effect for too long We’ve already busted the myths Linux is no less user-friendly than windows It’s more secure It’s low cost And there are plenty to choose from The Bottomline: We just need to change the mindset Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  64. 64. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThe Barrier The biggest obstacle for widespread FOSS useage is the mindset especially, the mindset of computer literate people even more, for software professionals because of a conditioning effect for too long We’ve already busted the myths Linux is no less user-friendly than windows It’s more secure It’s low cost And there are plenty to choose from The Bottomline: We just need to change the mindset Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  65. 65. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThe Barrier The biggest obstacle for widespread FOSS useage is the mindset especially, the mindset of computer literate people even more, for software professionals because of a conditioning effect for too long We’ve already busted the myths Linux is no less user-friendly than windows It’s more secure It’s low cost And there are plenty to choose from The Bottomline: We just need to change the mindset Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  66. 66. Introduction Historical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldTruth Happens! First they ignore you... Then they laugh at you... Then they fight you... Then, you WIN! Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software
  67. 67. IntroductionHistorical perspective The Alternative Linux example Myths and Reality Real worldThank You! Arijit Mukherjee Introduction To Free Software

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