FREE AND OPENSOURCE SOFTWAREFOR DEVELOPMENTVICTOR VAN REIJSWOUDARJAN DE JAGERPolimetricam®exploring expectations,achieveme...
PUBLISHING STUDIESdirected by Giandomenico SicaVOLUME 5
VICTOR VAN REIJSWOUDARJAN DE JAGERFREE ANDOPEN SOURCESOFTWAREFOR DEVELOPMENTexploring expectations,achievements andthe fut...
Copyright and licenseYou are free:to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the workto Remix — to create and reproduce a...
Note for the ReaderIn our view, doing research means building new knowledge, settingnew questions, trying to find new answ...
“The box said that I needed to have Windows 98 or better...so I installed Linux.”--- CARUS M. (221556)There, Ive said it. ...
LIST OF QUESTIONS1. What is the role of technology for the Least DevelopedCountries? ........................................
List of Questions13. What is the essence of the GPL? .............................................5214. What is Open Conte...
INTRODUCTIONIn 1991 Linus Torvalds used a new paradigm in softwaredevelopment that is now maturing and has the potential t...
Introductiondeveloped and tested before it is sold in the market. Whenthe software is put in the market, users can not cha...
Introductionon the use of FOSS on the African continent. Donors havepromoted the use of FOSS since huge advantages areexpe...
Introductionmay (not necessarily) limit the range of the book, but at thesame time it makes all the underlying knowledge a...
Free and Open Source Software for Development1. What is the role of technology for the Least DevelopedCountries?KEYWORDS:L...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerin developed countries were unthinkingly copied to projectsin LDCs. Over time the prog...
Free and Open Source Software for Development- the developed world still had 8 times (was 73 in 1994)the Internet user pen...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerComputer Use(per 100 people)Internet Use(per 100 people)Developing Countries 2.5 2.6Le...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentcomputer on and off does not automatically guarantee anentrance into the worl...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerthat cannot. We will develop this issue further in the courseof this book.3. How does ...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentData on the increase in agricultural production is hard toobtain but it certa...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercommodities. There are also strong indicators that productionhas increased and diversi...
Free and Open Source Software for Development- Empowering farmers to negotiate better prices- Enhancing position in the va...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerThe consequence of this late introduction is that there wasno or very limited knowledg...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentare often comparable to the annual salary of the person usingit.9The introduc...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerexternal staff members providing ICT maintenance and usersupport. Users needs to be tr...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentThey do not know what and where to search on the internetand they do not have...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagernot last in tropical and/or dusty conditions10or software thatrequires an online activ...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentFree Software Foundation (FSF) philosophy founded byRichard Stallman. On the ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- The freedom to study how a program works and adapt itto a person’s needs.- Access to...
Free and Open Source Software for Development“The basic idea behind open source is very simple: Whenprogrammers can read, ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- The license must not restrict other software, thuspermitting the distribution of ope...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentstructures, and begin business. Later traders come andestablish their own str...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerSouth Africas National Advisory Council on Innovationssummarizes the major benefits of...
Free and Open Source Software for Development- Finding the appropriate software: Since FOSS is notadvertised it can be ver...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercode, the Apache web server project uses the OpenSSLproject’s implementation, thereby ...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentto become less dependent on donor grants. The Total Cost ofOwnership, is ofte...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerFinance corporation of the World Bank group and the WorldResources Institute (Hammond ...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentand limits the user from adapting the software to localconditions but thus ge...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagersignals from keyboard and other input peripherals, allowingthe user to input data, to ...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentMany of the FOSS applications work on the Linux operatingsystem as well as on...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerbusinesses and expand abroad, the SMEs will have toautomate. FOSS provides a range of ...
Free and Open Source Software for Development10. What softwares are well-known free and opensoftwares – server?KEYWORDS:FO...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- Database services: Getting information and storinginformation in the business is bes...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentServer provide a distribution that installs out-of-the-box awebserver, a mail...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerin order to make them create the right rules, regulationsand laws. In the LDCs governm...
Free and Open Source Software for Development- Civil society: Like the local business community, civilsociety is aware tha...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerIn the figure above we have displayed the stakeholdersrelationships. The arrows displa...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentredistribute and sell the product as well as the underlyingsoftware code.The ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagersoftware and to protect a product that is already in the marketfrom misuse. At present...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentmade for her or his own use), not to make derivative worksbased on the work, ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- Software is unreasonably expensive when related toincome of people. For details, e.g...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmenthas free access to the licensed work, the licensee mustdistribute any derivat...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager2006, 2004) have created an invisible barrier to knowledgeaccess and creativity in the...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentbook is used. This is important since business and technologycontexts differ ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageras the right to copy the work and the right to distribute thework. Depending on the pa...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentProcedural Requirements ImposedMost Open Content licenses require a very stri...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagereducate the public about issues of copyright, freedom ofspeech and expression and the ...
Free and Open Source Software for Development16. Is FOSS only for LDCs?KEYWORDS:FOSS FOR DEVELOPMENT (FOSS4D), DEVELOPMENT...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager17. How can initiatives in FOSS be qualified?KEYWORDS:FOSS LICENSES, MICRO LEVEL, MESO...
Free and Open Source Software for Developmentapplies when government policies and actions areconsidered. At this level we ...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageran ICT policy for the sector. These effects need to bepromoted in the projects and pro...
Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentGovernment Information Officers Council (GITOC).28TheGITOC Policy document (G...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercountry, and increase programming skills inside the country.South Africa reports that ...
Free and Open Source Software for Development19. What are the key examples at Meso level?KEYWORDS:MESO LEVEL, IICD, UGANDA...
Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageraccess to FOSS. Most of the FOSS is distributed through theInternet and with the limit...
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Free and open source software for development
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Free and open source software for development

1,648

Published on

Development organizations and International NonGovernmental Organizations have been emphasizing the high potential of Free and Open Source Software for the Less Developed Countries. Cost reduction, less vendor dependency and increased potential for local capacity development have been their main arguments. In spite of its advantages, Free and Open Source Software is not widely adopted at the African continent. In this book the authors will explore the grounds on with these expectations are based. Where do they come from and is there evidence to support these expectations?
Over the past years several projects have been initiated and some good results have been achieved, but at the same time many challenges were encountered. What lessons can be drawn from these experiences and do these experiences contain enough evidence to support the high expectations Several projects and their achievements will be considered. In the final part of the book the future of Free and Open Source Software for Development will be explored. Special attention is given to the African continent since here challenges are highest. What is the role of Free and open Source Software for Development and how do we need to position and explore the potential What are the threats?
The book aims at professionals that are engaged in the design and implementation of ICT for Development (ICT4D) projects and want to improve their understanding of the role Free and Open Source Software can play.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,648
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
22
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Free and open source software for development

  1. 1. FREE AND OPENSOURCE SOFTWAREFOR DEVELOPMENTVICTOR VAN REIJSWOUDARJAN DE JAGERPolimetricam®exploring expectations,achievements and the future
  2. 2. PUBLISHING STUDIESdirected by Giandomenico SicaVOLUME 5
  3. 3. VICTOR VAN REIJSWOUDARJAN DE JAGERFREE ANDOPEN SOURCESOFTWAREFOR DEVELOPMENTexploring expectations,achievements andthe futurePolimetrica
  4. 4. Copyright and licenseYou are free:to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the workto Remix — to create and reproduce adaptations of the workUnder the following conditions:Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified bythe author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that theyendorse you or your use of the work).Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.* For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others thelicense terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link tothis web page.* Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permissionfrom the copyright holder.* Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the authors moral rights.The work is licensed by the author through the following license:Creative Commons licenseAttribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported2008 Polimetrica ® S.a.s.Corso Milano, 2620052 Monza (Milan) – ItalyPhone: ++39. 039.2301829E-mail: info@polimetrica.orgWeb sites: www.polimetrica.com/eu/it/orgISBN 978-88-7699-131-8 Printed EditionISBN 978-88-7699-132-5 Electronic EditionISSN 1973-6061 Printed EditionISSN 1973-6053 Electronic EditionPrinted in Italy
  5. 5. Note for the ReaderIn our view, doing research means building new knowledge, settingnew questions, trying to find new answers, assembling anddismantling frames of interpretation of reality.Do you want to participate actively in our research activities?Submit new questions!Send an email to the address questions@polimetrica.org and includein the message your list of questions related to the subject of thisbook.Your questions can be published in the next edition of the book,together with the authors answers.Please do it.This operation only takes you a few minutes but it is veryimportant for us, in order to develop the contents of this research.Thank you very much for your help and cooperation!Were open to discuss further collaborations and proposals.If you have any idea, please contact us at the following address:Editorial officePOLIMETRICACorso Milano 2620052 Monza MI ItalyPhone: ++39.039.2301829E-mail: info@polimetrica.orgWe are looking forward to getting in touch with you.
  6. 6. “The box said that I needed to have Windows 98 or better...so I installed Linux.”--- CARUS M. (221556)There, Ive said it. Im out of the closet. So bring it on...--- Linus TorvaldsQuotes on: http://www.ao.com/~regan/quotes/Linux.html
  7. 7. LIST OF QUESTIONS1. What is the role of technology for the Least DevelopedCountries? .....................................................................................152. What is the digital divide? ........................................................163. How does access to information relateto development? An example .........................................................204. What are the major challenges for organizations LDCsimplementing ICT4D?...................................................................235. What is the role of the donor community in promoting ICT4D? ....266. What is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?.....................287. Advantages and disadvantages of FOSS ...................................338. Is donated software also free software? .....................................379. What softwares are well-known freeand open softwares – desktop? .....................................................3910. What softwares are well-known freeand open softwares – server? ..........................................................4311. Who are the main stakeholders in the FOSS arena? ................4512. What licenses are used for FOSS? ..........................................489
  8. 8. List of Questions13. What is the essence of the GPL? .............................................5214. What is Open Content? ...........................................................5315. What are the characteristics of Open Content licenses? ...........5516. Is FOSS only for LDCs? ........................................................5917. How can initiatives in FOSS be qualified? ..............................6018. What are the key examples at a Macro level? ..........................6219. What are the key examples at Meso level? .............................6520. What are the key examples at Micro level? ............................6721. What lessons can be learned from the examples? ....................7022. What are the major hindrances for the introductionof FOSS in LDCs? ......................................................................7123. What does it take to start with FOSS? .....................................7424. Considering migrating to FOSS? .............................................7625. Is there hope for FOSS in LDCs? ..........................................7826. What are the challenges for governments in LDCs?................7927. What are the challenges for the donor community? ................8228. What are the challenges for education? ..................................8329. What can the software industry do?.........................................8530. What is the research agenda for FOSS4D? ..............................86Literature and selected readings.....................................................91About the authors...........................................................................97Notes .............................................................................................99List of Keywords.........................................................................10310
  9. 9. INTRODUCTIONIn 1991 Linus Torvalds used a new paradigm in softwaredevelopment that is now maturing and has the potential tochange the world. Torvalds developed an operating systemscalled Linux. Initially he was interested in developing a smallversion of the UNIX operating systems. In order to improvethe software he decided to share the code with the softwarecommunity outside the University of Helsinki in Finland.The software community based approach in the developmentof Linux gave the real boost to the Free and Open SourceSoftware (FOSS1) philosophy, since it was proved that it wasable to produce software that was able to compete withcommercially produced softwares (www.linux.org). Thelaunch of the first Linux distribution (a combination of theoperating systems and supporting applications) by Torvaldsin 1994 has lead to an explosion new Linux based OpenSource operating systems and application software to run onthe Linux platform. At the moment of writing www.linux.orglists 220 different (maintained) Linux distributions.2The FOSS philosophy challenges the general acceptedsoftware development paradigms that are used by companiesof today (Raymond, 1998). Traditional software developmentparadigms are based on the idea that software has to be fully11
  10. 10. Introductiondeveloped and tested before it is sold in the market. Whenthe software is put in the market, users can not change thesource code, and mistakes have to fixed by the softwarecompany. This way of working makes the development ofnew software a labor intensive and long process. With thedevelopment of Open Source Software, a different route istaken. The basic functionality is programmed by theinitiator(s) and then made available for others to test, useand/or modify. Mistakes in the software are not consideredproblematic, but are accepted. Since the source code isdistributed, every software engineer can change or extend theoriginal product. So, where propriety software is developedin-house and then released, FOSS is under constantdevelopment because anyone in the world can change thecode.3An important aspect in pro-FOSS discussions is the price.Not all FOSS is distributed free of charge, and some comewith a price tag, but in most cases it is cheaper to acquirethan proprietary software. The real price difference emergesfrom the fact that there not a license fee structure. Where forproprietary software all the users need to pay a fee, in theFOSS approach someone buys the software, and becomes theowner and can start to freely redistribute it to other users.Especially in larger organizations this can make a hugedifference.Although a lot has been written about the importance ofFOSS, its advantages and challenges, most is published inthe context of the developed countries: Europe and the NorthAmerica. Growing attention is noticed for the strongdeveloping economies in Latin America, like Brazil, theIndian Subcontinent, India, and there is a strong promotionby the Asian-Pacific Development Information Programme(APDIP) for the use of FOSS in the countries in South EastAsia. On the contrary, surprisingly little has been published12
  11. 11. Introductionon the use of FOSS on the African continent. Donors havepromoted the use of FOSS since huge advantages areexpected, projects have been funded, but the actual impacthas not been well mapped.This book is about FOSS for Development (FOSS4D).We will focus on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) andprimarily on the African context. Most of the LDCs are inAfrica. Both authors have worked in this context andinitiated and managed FOSS4D projects in several parts ofAfrica. It is on these experiences that we will build andexpand. We are both convinced that FOSS can make a hugedifference for the lives of the people and can greatly expandtheir access to information. FOSS will take away thefinancial and legal barriers that limit the use of software inschools, universities, civil society and at government levels.The book will guide the reader to a better understandingof the role of FOSS for the development of the LDCsthrough a range of questions. The questions are related butprovide answers in themselves. The reader is encouraged toread the questions in sequential order, but for readers thatunderstand the potential of FOSS, the individual answers willhelp to make their position stronger. The examples that areused in the book are mostly based on the projects that aresupported by the International Institute for Communicationand Development (IICD) but they are not limited to the workof this organization.Finally, this book is mainly based on Free and OpenContent that has been made available through the internetor otherwise. We have refrained as much as possible fromusing Paid and Closed Content as a matter of principle. Webelieve that free and open exchange of knowledge isnecessary for the development of LDCs and opening upcontent to limited groups of people (i.c. those who canafford) should be discouraged. We realize that this position13
  12. 12. Introductionmay (not necessarily) limit the range of the book, but at thesame time it makes all the underlying knowledge availableand accessible for all readers.Victor van Reijswoudvictor.vanreijswoud@gmail.comArjan de Jagera.de.jager@hec.nl14
  13. 13. Free and Open Source Software for Development1. What is the role of technology for the Least DevelopedCountries?KEYWORDS:LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCS), INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONTECHNOLOGIES (ICT), ICT FOR DEVELOPMENT (ICT4D)Most of the economies in the Least Developed Countries4(LDCs) are still agricultural economies that try to rush intothe information age. This requires a rapid adoption of allkinds of technologies.Information and Communication Technologies are arelatively recent instrument in the fight to eliminate hungerand poverty and increase the quality of life of the peopleliving in the LDCs (Blommestein at al., 2006). The WorldBank in its 2002 Strategy Paper on ICT states that:“Information and Communication Technologies are a keyinput for economic development and growth. They offeropportunities for global integration while retaining the identityof the traditional societies. ICT can increase the economic andsocial well-being of poor people, and can empower individualsand communities. Finally ICT can enhance the effectiveness,efficiency and transparency of the public sector, including thedelivery of social services.” (World Bank, 2002)ICT4D projects have been implemented in several sectors inthe LDCs and gradually it becomes clear that successes arepossible with ICT, but that the programs need to be designedand implemented with care. Early enthusiasm and claims thatICT would prove a silver bullet for development problemslead to a number of false starts. Many of the problems in theearly period are to be blamed on the lack of experience ofthe project managers from both the donor countries as well ason the recipients side and the fact that solutions that worked15
  14. 14. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerin developed countries were unthinkingly copied to projectsin LDCs. Over time the program managers have maturedand the uniqueness of ICT solutions for LDCs is graduallyrecognized. The last is still underway and this book tries tocontribute to this domain of knowledge. We consider Freeand Open Source Software one of the solutions that may helpLDCs to leap into the information age.Not all people are convinced that ICT can contribute toan increased quality of the lives of the people in the LDCs.There are more important issues to be addressed, critics say.Daly (2003) puts the point clearly:“In a fundamental way, ICTs are not going to help these kids.They cant eat computers, telephones wont make them well.However, given people, policies and institutions working tosolve the problems of hunger and malnutrition, ICT can makea difference.”We do not promote that ICT presents a silver bullet for all theproblems that the LDCs face, but it may provide them withaccess to the basic information and tools to make informeddecisions that will trigger new levels of development.2. What is the digital divide?KEYWORDS:DIGITAL DIVIDE, ICT GAP, KNOWLEDGE DIVIDE, ACCESS TO ICTRegardless of how we measure it, there is an immenseinformation and communication technology (ICT) gap, a“digital divide”, between developed and developing countries.Some statistics published by the ITU quantify some aspects ofthe digital divide.5In 2004:- the developing world had 4 times fewer mobile subscribersper 100 people than the developed world;16
  15. 15. Free and Open Source Software for Development- the developed world still had 8 times (was 73 in 1994)the Internet user penetration rate of the developingworld;- less than 3 out of every 100 Africans use the Internet,compared with an average of 1 out of every 2 inhabitantsof the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy,Japan, Russia, the UK and the US);- there are roughly around the same total number ofInternet users in the G8 countries as in the whole rest ofthe world combined: 429 million Internet users in G8and 444 million Internet users in non-G8;- the G8 countries are home to just 15% of the world’spopulation – but almost 50% of the world’s total Internetusers;- Africa accounted for 13% of the world’s population, butfor only 3.7% of all fixed and mobile subscribersworldwide;- the top 20 countries in terms of Internet bandwidth arehome to roughly 80% of all Internet users worldwide;- there are more than 8 times as many Internet users in theUS than on the entire African continent.Relative to income, the cost of Internet access in a low-income country is 150 times the cost of a comparable servicein a high-income country. There are similar divides withinindividual countries. ICT is often non-existent in poor andrural areas of developing countries (United Nations, 2006).This is partly due to the lack of infrastructure but anotherreason is the relatively high costs: Even when the costs arethe same in both urban and rural areas, income disparitiesbetween rural and urban communities make communicationservices more expensive for rural dwellers. Within region inthe LDCs there are also significant differences. Table 1provides a detailed breakdown of the computer and internetusage in different areas in the world.17
  16. 16. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerComputer Use(per 100 people)Internet Use(per 100 people)Developing Countries 2.5 2.6Least Developed Countries 0.3 0.2Arab States 2.1 1.6East Asia and the Pacific 3.3 4.1Latin America and theCaribbean5.9 4.9South Asia 0.8 0.6Sub-Saharan Africa 1.2 0.8Central & Eastern Europe &CIS5.5 4.3OECD 36.3 33.2High-income OECD 43.7 40Table 1: Computer and internet use in different regions (UNDP, 2006).There are many definitions of the digital divide and althoughthey differ slightly, they focus on the access to informationand communication technology (telephones, computers andinternet) and the skills people need to access information andknowledge that will increase the quality of their lives(Sciadas, 2003). Access is determined by many variables atnational, community and individual levels. Some countries inthe developing world have such a poor electricity andinternet infrastructure causing computers and internet to bebasically only available in the capital (Best et al., 2007). Insome countries access to internet is so expensive that onlythe top-earners can afford it (Sciadas, 2003) and there areeven governments that prefer to limit their citizens inaccessing information on the internet. But even when peoplehave access to ICT and internet, they still need to have toskills to use these technologies. Knowing how to switch a18
  17. 17. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentcomputer on and off does not automatically guarantee anentrance into the world of knowledge. It is important thatusers of ICT know how to use the computer to write a letterto their representative in parliament, or search and processinformation on the internet that will help them to preventtheir crops from being eaten by locust. This last is alsosometimes referred to as the knowledge divide. It is thecombination of access and skills (or better the lack thereof)that will determine the magnitude of the digital divide.A special dimension to the digital divide is presented bythe information that is available on the internet. Most of theinformation that one finds on the internet is produced by thedeveloped countries in the North (Europe and NorthAmerica). According to the Internet World Stats6, the top tenlanguages on the Internet, listed below, account for 81.8% ofall Internet use. English is the dominant language, accountingfor almost 30% of Internet users, with Chinese coming up.The LDCs have contributed considerably less to the publicinformation domain. This is partly caused by their limitedaccess to ICT and partly by the fact that potentialcontributors lack the necessary skills to add information. Aresult of this is that finding information that can be useful tothe lives of the people and that can directly increase thequality of their lives is more difficult. The production oflocal knowledge has been promoted strongly by initiativelike the Development Gateway7and the Drumbeat8, but thereis still a long way to go.Free and Open Source Software and Open Content canplay an important role in bridging the digital divide. FOSSlowers the barriers for people to have access to tools that willenable them to access information and contribute informationto the public domain and Open Content removes the barriersthat the publishers of information put up to distinguishpeople that can afford to pay for information from the ones19
  18. 18. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerthat cannot. We will develop this issue further in the courseof this book.3. How does access to information relate todevelopment? An exampleKEYWORDS:ICT4D, RURAL FARMER COMMUNITIES, UGANDA COMMODITY EXCHANGE,ICT4D CASE STUDYThe role of access to information for the strengthening ofcommunities can be argued from a theoretical perspective,but it can better illustrated with an example. Below we willpresent a project that is being implemented in Uganda: TheUganda Commodity Exchange (UCE). The description of theUCE is based on (Blommestein et al) Case: CombinedWarehouse and ICT-assisted commodity trading in UgandaA truck loaded with three tons of coffee rocks towards a bigand empty warehouse in Kabwohe, in Sheema district insouthwest Uganda. It is the first delivery coming from threefarmer societies. Instead of selling their coffee by means of themiddleman, the goods stay here till the farmers agree on aprice with the highest bidder on the electronic trading floor ofthe Ugandan Commodity Exchange (UCE) in Kampala.Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2004,at the beginning of the project, the per capita income wasestimated to be approximately US$250. Life expectancy atbirth remains low: 43 years in 2002, compared to 47 years in1990. Similarly, infant and child mortality has not improvedmuch over the same period and today remains at around 100respectively 150 per 1,000 live births.20
  19. 19. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentData on the increase in agricultural production is hard toobtain but it certain that the increase in agriculturalproduction is not keeping pace with the growth in population.The Uganda Commodity Exchange project addresses this issueas it aims to:Establish an efficient communication system to enableeffective collaboration between all stakeholders in theagricultural sectorProvide accurate and timely information from allsections of the agri-industry systemEnable rural farmer groups to produce and trade in amore commercial mannerThe Uganda Commodity Exchange was first established in1998 and acts like a stock exchange through the auctions ofagricultural commodities. In 2004 an information system(IS) was implemented to support the farmer groups. TheUCE-IS informs farmers on a whole host of issues such ascurrent prices, market trends, and price fluctuations, iscritical as this enables them to make informed decisionswith regard to production planning and pricing. The price/market information is collected by the farmer groups,shared, and disseminated using a variety of differentmedia: announcements posted at the centers, team leaderslinked to farmer groups who distribute the information tothe farmers (traveling from group to group on bicycles ormotorcycles), radio and SMS messages. At this stage theproject reaches three centers with 24 farmer groups, eachgroup with over 200 farmers, for a total of approximately4800 farmers.Analysis of the project impact showed an high increase ofawareness among the farmers about the price fluctuations androle of the middlemen in the pricing structure of the21
  20. 20. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercommodities. There are also strong indicators that productionhas increased and diversified. One of the participants in theproject stated: “With better prices, our standard of livingwill improve and we shall even improve further the quality ofcoffee. Later we hope to sell beans, peas and honey in thisway. Everybody will benefit”.Figure 1: Information Flow Diagram at the Uganda Commodity Exchange.Evidence shows that if and when farmers are able to accessrelevant and qualitative information regarding their productionmethods and commodities, they are able to increase theirproduction levels as well as obtain better prices for theirproducts. This benefits both the farmers and their families aswell as the national economy. ICT support this in a variety ofways (Blommestein et al., 2006):- Providing general information- Access to new markets22
  21. 21. Free and Open Source Software for Development- Empowering farmers to negotiate better prices- Enhancing position in the value chain- Optimizing usage and preservation of natural resources- Support improved (financial) management processes4. What are the major challenges for organizationsLDCs implementing ICT4D?KEYWORDS:LDCS, BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, CHALLENGES FOR ICT4D, CAPACITYCHALLENGES, FINANCIAL CHALLENGESAlthough ICT is an important tool to bridge the digitaldivide, the technology also brings along huge challenges fororganizations in LDCs. These challenges can be divided intotwo main categories:- capacity challenges- financial challengesWe will address both challenges below.Capacity challengesICT brought new and powerful technology for all LDCs.Where developed countries had already a relatively longhistory in which ICT has gradually been developed andintegrated in the daily and organizational reality, LDCs wereonly confronted with it in the last 10-15 years, depending onthe countries. Some countries like Kenya, Senegal orZimbabwe had some limited experiences with ICT for sometime, but countries with lower development levels, like Chad,the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Central AfricanRepublic have virtually no experience with ICT dating beforethe introduction of donor-supported projects.23
  22. 22. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerThe consequence of this late introduction is that there wasno or very limited knowledge infrastructure to support theuse of ICT. Primary and secondary education is notproviding basic computer-literacy programs, universities hadno programs in computer science or information systems (oroutdated and theoretical ones), decision-makers were notaware of the possibilities that the new technology was tooffer, there were no trained business support and so on. Inother words, the powerful technology landed in a knowledgeand capacity vacuum. Expensive foreign experts were morethan happy to fill in this vacuum.In order to bring down the costs of development,implementation and maintenance of the ICT infrastructure,capacity needed to be build rapidly and with the rightknowledge and skills. Old school university curricula had tobe replaced with programs that provide practical skills tostudents in order to be able to play an active role in the ICTdevelopment in the country. In most countries this process isstill underway. Universities are gradually changing theprograms and vocational training is offered for sub-university level students. Programs like the CISCO academyprogram for LDCs are important initiatives to improve theknowledge and skills levels to the required level.Financial challengesThe introduction of ICT also brought financial challenges tothose organizations eager to adopt the new technology. Nextto the costs of training and educating people, as we have seenin previous section, acquiring hardware, ICT governance andsoftware also poses challenges.Computer hardware is often a large expense fororganizations in the developing world, when compared toavailable financial resources. The costs of a simple computer(with internet connection and the necessary surge protection)24
  23. 23. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentare often comparable to the annual salary of the person usingit.9The introduction of ICT, for example in a ministry in adeveloping country is accountable for a huge investment,which is in a lot of cases not available.Computer software is an often forgotten andunderestimated cost. Ghosh (2003) shows that what thedeveloped world considers minor costs for productivitysoftware like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office,becomes an exorbitant cost when it is related to the GrossDomestic Product of the LDCs. In figure 2 the price ofWindows XP is expressed in the GDP Months for severalcountries and regions in the world. Prices of commercialsoftware like databases, learning management systems,document management systems, software developmentenvironments etc. extend the costs of the ICT far beyond theinvestment costs of the hardware.Figure 2: Price of Windows XP expressed in GDP/capita months(based on data in Ghosh, 2003).Increased personnel costs are the last financial challenge thatwe would like to highlight. The introduction of ICT inorganization is always accompanied by new internal or25
  24. 24. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerexternal staff members providing ICT maintenance and usersupport. Users needs to be trained, day-to-day problems willhave to be addressed and solved, server and other systemswill have to be maintained and updated and importantinformation will have to be stored and protected. Soon afterthe first computers are introduced an ICT department isestablished. At national levels, the introduction of ICT maylead to new governing and regulating bodies, and increasingto the establishment of ICT ministries. These should be allconsidered ICT related costs.5. What is the role of the donor community inpromoting ICT4D?KEYWORDS:DONOR PROJECTS, DONOR COMMUNITY, ICT4D PROJECTS, DONORRESPONSIBILITIES IN ICT4DThe donor community has an important role to play inpromoting the use of ICT for development in the LDCs. Ingeneral terms, the donor community needs to guidecommunities in the LDCs in discovering the added value ofICT in improving the quality of life .ICT has a wide range of application areas and the firstrole of the donor community is to play a guiding role forcommunities that want to explore the possibilities of ICT.The ICT revolution has brought about enormous changes inprivate and public spheres in the developed countries. Accessand storage of information has never been greater and newinformation sharing and communication possibilities havereally created a global village. For the developed nations thishas been a gradual change, but the LDCs are confronted witha almost impenetrable range of possibilities. Many newentrants are paralyzed by these overwhelming possibilities.26
  25. 25. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentThey do not know what and where to search on the internetand they do not have an informed idea about the range oftools that they can use. Usually they end up using the internetfor leisure and the computer as a sophisticated (but veryexpensive) typewriter. The donor community has aresponsibility to guide LDCs as novices into a new world tomake sure that they are not lost and that the investments areused in an efficient and effective manner.This guiding role needs to be geared to discovery ofneeds and answers. When confronted with the new world ofinformation, communication and technology, people firstneed to be aware of their needs and desired improvement inthe quality of their lives. This will range from easiercommunication means, to access to information about theprice of commodities as we have seen before. At a nationallevel improved record-keeping of key economic indicatorsmay be a key need. Whatever it is, the donor will have toprovide assistance to governments, communities andindividuals in revealing and articulating needs andprioritizing them. Only when the needs are clear theappropriate technologies can be selected.Too often the donor community limits its role to a merefinancial funder of the ICT infrastructure. They makeavailable the financial means for the implementation of theICT infrastructure and forget that they have to be a guide tomake the potential beneficiaries discover the potential ofICT. This approach has resulted in many so-called whiteelephants, i.e., ICT infrastructures that are not used or fail tocontribute to an improved quality of the life in thecommunities they are meant for.The donor community will have to be serious about theimportance of its role. ICT4D requires specialists thatunderstand the context and have a good overview of thepossibilities that are suitable for LDCs. Hardware that does27
  26. 26. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagernot last in tropical and/or dusty conditions10or software thatrequires an online activation through a credit-card paymentare typical examples of solutions that are not suitable to beused in ICT4D. Open and low-cost solutions will have to bein the toolkit that is presented by the ICT expert of thedonors to the governments, communities and individuals inthe LDCs.6. What is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?KEYWORDS:FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE (FOSS), ORIGINS OF FOSS, PROPRIETARYSOFTWARE, BILL GATES, RICHARD STALLMAN, FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION(FSF), GNU, OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE (OSI)“Briefly, OSS/FS programs are programs whose licensesgive users the freedom to run the program for any purpose,to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copiesof either the original or modified program (without havingto pay royalties to previous developers).” (Wheeler, 2003)Finding an agreement on one definition of Free and OpenSource Software has proved to be difficult, but the definitionof David Wheeler provides a good description of the essenceof what FOSS is. It is software that is produced and issued bya community that likes to have their products open and likesthem to be shared freely with the others in the community. Itargues from the idea of a community that likes to learn andshare without leaving people out. The FOSS communitypromotes the growth of knowledge by allowing othermembers to stand on the shoulders of the giants in this samecommunity.At the philosophical level we find two major schools orparadigms in the FOSS world: the oldest is the philosophy of the28
  27. 27. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentFree Software Foundation (FSF) philosophy founded byRichard Stallman. On the other end is the more business-likeapproach expressed in the Open Source Initiative (OSI)philosophy.The Free Software Foundation has a long history rooted inthe academic principles of knowledge sharing. The FSFemerged in the early days of computer science and computerindustry when sharing software code became a problem andsoftware gradually became closed. Before this period softwarewas treated as most academic products. People were sharingcomputer code, algorithms or whole programs with their peers.This sharing was done on the basis that you could use it, but hadto acknowledge the origin of the information, the same waymost of the academic world is still functioning.The rise of industry and the commercialization of thecomputing industry changed this attitude. Sharing was graduallyreplaced by protection and academics that promoted opennesshad to make way for entrepreneurs that build closed/proprietarysoftware. By many, William (Bill) H. Gates now-famouspamphlet: “An Open Letter to Hobbyists” dated 3rd February1976, is considered a landmark in this change. In this letter BillGates rails against the prevailing culture of software sharing:“Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware,most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paidfor, but software is something to share. Who cares if thepeople who worked on it get paid?”The gradual destruction of the software sharing culture Gatesrefers to was reason for Richard Stallman, researcher at MITArtificial Intelligence Lab to stand up and promote the Freeand Open Source Software development and licensing. Hefounded the Free Software Foundation.According to the FSF, free software is about protecting fouruser freedoms:- The freedom to run a program, for any purpose.29
  28. 28. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- The freedom to study how a program works and adapt itto a person’s needs.- Access to the source code is a precondition for this.- The freedom to redistribute copies so that you can helpyour neighbor.- The freedom to improve a program and release yourimprovements to the public, so that the wholecommunity benefits. Access to the source code is aprecondition for this.At the heart of FSF is the freedom to cooperate andcollaborate. Because non-free (free as in freedom, not price)software restricts the freedom to cooperate, FSF considersproprietary software unethical. FSF is also opposed tosoftware patents and additional restrictions to existingcopyright laws. All of these restrict the four basic userfreedoms listed above.11At the same time the world and the FOSS community ischanging. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) hasbecome an international phenomenon, moving away fromrelative obscurity to being the basis of a full blown industry.Within the context of the approach of the FSF, businessinitiatives do not always feel comfortable. The approach ofthe Open Source Initiative likes to accommodate this. In thenineties, this group associated with FSF introduced the term“open source” to emphasize a break with the pro-hacker,anti-business past associated with GNU and other freesoftware projects and to place a new emphasis in thecommunity on the possibilities of extending the free softwaremodel to the commercial world. The new “open source”projects exist in the mainstream of the commercial softwaremarket and include operating systems, such as Linux, theApache web server, and the Mozilla browser.The OSI philosophy is therefore somewhat different fromthe FSF philosophy:30
  29. 29. Free and Open Source Software for Development“The basic idea behind open source is very simple: Whenprogrammers can read, redistribute, and modify the sourcecode for a piece of software, the software evolves. Peopleimprove it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this canhappen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace ofconventional software development, seems astonishing.”(Wong, Sayo, 2003)The OSI is focused on the technical values of makingpowerful, reliable software, and is therefore more business-friendly than the FSF. It is less focused on the moral issuesof Free Software and more on the practical advantages of theFOSS distributed development method. 998, a groupassociated with free software introduced the term “opensource” to emphasize a break with the pro-hacker, anti-business past associated with GNU and other free softwareprojects and to place a new emphasis in the community onthe possibilities of extending the free software model to thecommercial world. These new “open source” projects wouldexist in the mainstream of the commercial software marketand include operating systems, such as Linux, the Apacheweb server, and the Mozilla.OSI defines Open Source as software providing thefollowing rights and obligations:- No royalty or other fee imposed upon redistribution.- Availability of the source code.- Right to create modifications and derivative works.- May require modified versions to be distributed as theoriginal version plus patches.- No discrimination against persons or groups.- No discrimination against fields of endeavour.- All rights granted must flow through to/with redistributedversions.- The license applies to the program as a whole and eachof its components.31
  30. 30. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- The license must not restrict other software, thuspermitting the distribution of open source and closedsource software together.This definition clearly leaves room for a wide variety oflicenses (see section 12). While the fundamental philosophyof the two movements are different, both FSF and OSI sharethe same space and cooperate on practical grounds likesoftware development, efforts against proprietary software,software patents, and the like. As Richard Stallman says, theFree Software Movement and the Open Source Movementare two political parties in the same community.But FOSS is more than a philosophy, it is also a softwaredevelopment approach that has resulted in the new andpowerful software, of which some dominate the currentsoftware spectrum.The changing concept and work approach that is used inopen source software development was well described andanalyzed by Erik Raymond in his book “The Cathedral andthe Bazaar” (Raymond, 1998). The cathedral and bazaaranalogies are used to contrast the FOSS development modelwith traditional software development methods.Commercial software development is similar to the waycathedrals were built in ancient times. Small groups ofskilled artisans carefully planned out the design in isolationand everything was built in a single effort. Once built, thecathedrals were complete and little further modification wasmade. Software was traditionally built in a similar fashion.Groups of programmers worked in isolation, with carefulplanning and management, until their work was completedand the program released to the world. Once released, theprogram was considered finished and limited work wassubsequently done on it.In contrast, FOSS development is more akin to a bazaar,which grows organically. Initial traders come, establish their32
  31. 31. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentstructures, and begin business. Later traders come andestablish their own structures,and the bazaar grows in whatappears to be a very chaotic fashion. Traders are concernedprimarily with building a minimally functional structure sothat they can begin trading. Later additions are added ascircumstances dictate. Likewise, FOSS development startsoff highly unstructured. Developers release early minimallyfunctional code to the general public and then modify theirprograms based on feedback. Other developers may comealong and modify or build upon the existing code. Overtime,an entire operating system and suite of applications developsand evolves continuously.The model of the bazaar is an interesting model for usersand software industry in the LDCs. Since they have not beeninvolved in the development of the software cathedrals ofmodern times, their needs have not been addressed. Requestslike translating e.g. Microsoft Office in local Africanlanguages (even the large ones like Swahili) land on deafears. In the bazaar model it becomes more easy to get theneeds of the LDCs integrated, through collaborating in thedevelopment of new applications or forking12of existingapplications.7. Advantages and disadvantages of FOSSKEYWORDS:FOSS, ADVANTAGES OF FOSS, DISADVANTAGES OF FOSS, NATIONALADVISORY COUNCIL OF ON INNOVATION SOUTH AFRICA, UK OFFICE OFGOVERNMENT COMMERCE, SUSTAINABILITYThe discussion about the advantages and disadvantages ofFOSS is a difficult discussion since there are lack ofobjective information available. We will therefore list someof the advantages and disadvantages listed by others.33
  32. 32. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerSouth Africas National Advisory Council on Innovationssummarizes the major benefits of FOSS and the adoption ofopen standards and software as promoted in the FOSSparadigm13:- Reduced costs and less dependency on importedtechnology and skills- Affordable software for individuals, enterprise andgovernment- Universal access through mass software rollout withoutcostly licensing implications- Access to government data without barrier of proprietarysoftware and data formats- Ability to customize software to local languages andcultures- Lowered barriers to entry for software businesses- Participation in global network of software developmentAdditional advantages that are identified the UK Office ofGovernment Commerce (OCG, 2002) are:- Supplier independence, limiting vendor lock-in- Patches or updates become available quicker, whichlimits breakdowns and security risksAt the same time there are also limitations and drawbacks tothe use of FOSS. The UK Office of Government Commerceidentifies the following factors that my limit successfulimplementation:- Available support for FOSS. In the past years supporthas been lacking a professional approach. In recent yearsthis has improved now that large software companieslike IBM, SUN and HP have started to join the FOSSmovement.34
  33. 33. Free and Open Source Software for Development- Finding the appropriate software: Since FOSS is notadvertised it can be very difficult to select theappropriate applications for the task it has to support. Amore active approach is needed from the users.- Documentation: The documentation that accompaniesFOSS software application is often idiosyncratic andsometimes non-existent. FOSS developers are motivatedtowards the technical aspects of the application thantowards the usability.- Limited best practices: There are very little known anddocumented cases of large scale migration fromcommercial software to FOSS.- Hardware – software fit: FOSS often lags behindconcerning new hardware. This is caused by the fact thehardware manufacturers fail to release hardwarespecifications in time to the FOSS community.The bazaar method of software development has been provenover time to have several advantages:- Reduced duplication of effort: By releasing programsearly and granting users the right to modify andredistribute the source code, FOSS developers reuse thework produced by compatriots. The economies of scalecan be enormous. Instead of five software developers in10 companies writing a single networking application,there is the potential for the combined efforts of 50developers. The reduced duplication of effort allowsFOSS development to scale to massive, unheard of levelsinvolving thousands of developers around the world.- Building upon the work of others: With the availabilityof existing source code to build on, development timesare reduced. Many FOSS projects rely on software builtby other projects to supply the functionality needed. Forexample, instead of writing their own cryptographic35
  34. 34. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercode, the Apache web server project uses the OpenSSLproject’s implementation, thereby saving thousands ofhours of coding and testing. Even in cases where sourcecode cannot be directly integrated, the availability ofexisting source code allows developers to learn howanother project has solved a similar problem.- Better quality control: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugsare shallow” is an oft-cited quotation in the FOSS world.It means with enough qualified developers using theapplication and examining the source code, errors arespotted and fixed faster. Proprietary applications mayaccept error reports but because their users are deniedaccess to the source code, users are limited to reportingsymptoms. FOSS developers often find that users withaccess to the source code not only report problems butalso pinpoint the exact cause and, in some cases, supplythe fixes. This greatly reduces development and qualitycontrol time.- Reduced maintenance costs: Maintenance of any softwarepackage can often equal or exceed the cost of initialsoftware development. When a single organization has tomaintain software, this can be an extremely expensivetask. However, with the FOSS development model,maintenance costs can be shared among the thousands ofpotential users of a software application, reducing perorganization costs. Likewise, enhancements can be madeby the organization/individual with the best expertise inthe matter, which results in a more efficient use ofresources.The advantages are alike for the developed and developingcountries, but some have more weight in the LDCs. The mostobvious aspect is the cost aspect, for FOSS users (individualsand organizations) pay no licensing fee. Cost reduction,especially recurrent costs, is increasingly important in Africa,36
  35. 35. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentto become less dependent on donor grants. The Total Cost ofOwnership, is often mentioned to be higher for FOSS sincemore development time (with expensive developer salaries)is needed. In the LDCs where salaries are significantlylower, this may tip the scales to the other side.However, the “openness” and flexibility of FOSS is moreimportant when considering the situation at hand in Africa.FOSS can be customized and constantly revised to developand change with the needs of the user. It is only now whenICT is implemented in the LDCs that the needs andrequirements for the software is gradually discovered.Moreover, where propriety software is very hardwareintensive, FOSS can be be modified to run on computers thatare “obsolete”. This will limit the need to replace hardwarefrequently.Of all the advantages and disadvantages the opensoftware development communities may prove the biggestadvantage of FOSS in for the LDCs. Lecturers and trainersthat are conversant with modern software technologies andtools are often hard to find in LDCs. This has a negativeimpact on the development of the technical capacity needed.Through the participation in bazaar like software developmentprojects, implicit training in software development becomesavailable though other participants, that would otherwise notbe accessible.8. Is donated software also free software?KEYWORDS:PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE, LDCS, SOFTWARE AS GIFT, PRICE OF SOFTWARE,BASE OF THE PYRAMID (BOB), UBUNTUAlthough it might be clear by now, FOSS is not the same asdonated software. In recent years the software vendors havediscovered the potential of the LDCs. The International37
  36. 36. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerFinance corporation of the World Bank group and the WorldResources Institute (Hammond et al., 2007) estimate themarket for ICT and ICT related services at the so-called baseof the pyramid (BOP) on USD 51.4 billion and growingrapidly. An interesting figure and the large proprietarysoftware producers and vendors are rapidly establishingemerging market divisions to tap into this enormouspotential.Well aware of the fact that the spending power of theseeconomies is not yet strong enough to afford expensivesoftware solutions, offering low cost or free versions of theirproprietary and more expensive commercial software isconsidered a viable first step to bind these new markets totheir companies. With success. Several countries in Africahave standardized their national database systems onproprietary software, universities have adopted proprietarytools to support the learning processes for their computerscience students and recently we see the development that insome countries national computer literacy exams forsecondary school students are only granted on the Microsoftplatform. The decision to adopt the proprietary platforms andsoftware is justified by idea that the software is donated bythe vendor at a low cost or even free.This notion of free should not be considered the same asthe notion free of that is used for Free and Open SourceSoftware. The donated software may not require (much)investment, but in all other aspects the software is not free. Itcannot be shared with other members of the community, theuser is not allowed to adapt the software to the local needs,and the costs may be low today, tomorrow the owner of thesoftware may ask you to pay for its use. In other words, thiscan be a free gift that will come with huge future costs.Where the donated/free software still uses the license torestrict the user from sharing and redistributing the software38
  37. 37. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentand limits the user from adapting the software to localconditions but thus getting back to the software producer,FOSS encourages this. This best illustrated with the text onthe Ubuntu CD cover14:“Ubuntu is software libre. You are encouraged and legallyentitled to copy, reinstall, modify and redistribute this CD foryourself and your friends”and“Ubuntu will always be free of charge, including enterprisereleases and security updates”Until software donations are performed under these conditions,the free will come with limitations and an expiration date.9. What softwares are well-known free and opensoftwares – desktop?KEYWORDS:FOSS, LINUX, LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS, PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE, USER SOFTWARE,BUSINESS SOFTWARE, SMALL BUSINESSES, SOFTWARE ALTERNATIVESSoftware is an essential element in the operation of everycomputer, from PDA to notebook, from desktop to server. Ata general level we identify two types of computer software:operating systems software and application software. Wecould introduce more complex classification of the differentsoftware layers, as the OSI model, but they are beyond thescope of this book.Operating systems software is designed the make all thedifferent hardware components in the computer, as well as allthe peripherals, work together and to make it operate as anintegrated machine. The operating system does interpret39
  38. 38. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagersignals from keyboard and other input peripherals, allowingthe user to input data, to process it in the central processingunit, store it temporarily or permanently on storage devices,and provide an output on output peripherals, as screen orprinter.Linux is considered the main operating systems softwareFOSS alternative. Linux is the runaway success of the Unixworld. The term Linux is often used synonymous with theLinux distribution . The distribution is the Linux operatingsystem software (kernel) bundled with application and/orserver software. In some cases the distribution is a bundlingof thousands of bigger and smaller applications. There ishowever only one Linux kernel and there are many Linuxdistributions. The best-know linux distributions15are listed inthe table below. We have distinguished between fully FOSSdistributions and partial FOSS, where FOSS is combinedwith some proprietary elements.Fully FOSS Partial FOSSUbuntu www.ubuntu.com SuSE www.suse.deSlackware www.slackware.org Red Hat www.redhat.comDebian www.debian.org Mandriva www.mandriva.comTable 2: The Major Linux Distributions with their Websites.Application software is designed to support individual usersor organizations in executing their tasks. Applicationsoftware is used on top of the operation systems software.For most tasks that users perform on the desktop there areFOSS alternatives available. In the table below we havelisted major tasks of the user and the most important FOSSalternatives that will support this task.FOSS is often regarded as software that is designed for theLinux platform. However this is not necessarily the case.40
  39. 39. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentMany of the FOSS applications work on the Linux operatingsystem as well as on the Microsoft Windows operating system.In the table below we have therefore indicated the operatingsystem the software will work on. We have selected, wherepossible, software that works on both Windows (indicatedwith W in the table) and Linux (L).16Task Application Website PlatformOffice productivitysuiteOpen Office www.openoffice.org W/LWeb browser Firefox www.mozilla.org W/LEmail reader Thunderbird www.mozilla.org W/LPersonalInformationManagement(calendars, tasks,addresses, emailsetc)ChandlerEvolutionKontactchandlerproject.org/www.gnome.orgwww.kontact.orgW/LLLImage Editing GIMP www.gimp.org W/LDesktop publishing Scribus www.scribus.net LMedia player VLC www.videolan.org W/LPersonal Database Open OfficeBasewww.openoffice.org W/LTable 3: The Main FOSS Alternatives for the User/Desktop Tasks.Business software is often more expensive than user/desktopsoftware and this poses a huge challenge for start upcompanies and small and medium enterprises (SME) in theLDCs. Although they are the driving force of manydeveloping economies, the profits are small, financialinstitutions are reluctant to support investment for theseorganizations and therefore large investments in software areoften not possible. However, in order to grow their41
  40. 40. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerbusinesses and expand abroad, the SMEs will have toautomate. FOSS provides a range of business applicationsthat provide good alternatives for the expensive proprietarybusiness software.Below we present a list of some of the most importantFOSS alternatives for common business tasks.Task Application Website PlatformCustomerRelationshipManagementSugarCRM www.sugarcrm.com W/LDocumentManagementAlfresco www.alfresco.com W/LFinancialManagementSQL LedgerGNU Cashwww.sql-ledger.orgwww.gnucash.orgW/LLProject Management Open ProjectGantt Projectwww.projity.comwww.ganttproject.orgW/LW/LEnterprise ResourcePlanning (includingfinancialmanagement)CentricCRMAdempierewww.centriccrm.comwww.adempiere.comW/LW/LKnowledgemanagementpbwiki www.pbwiki.com W/LWeb ContentManagementJoomlaDrupalwww.joomla.comwww.drupal.comW/LW/LWeb Site Design NVUQuanta Pluswww.nvu.comquanta.sourceforce.netW/LLDatabase MySQLPostgreSQLwww.mysql.comwww.postgresql.orgW/LW/LTable 4: The FOSS Alternatives for (Small) Business Tasks.42
  41. 41. Free and Open Source Software for Development10. What softwares are well-known free and opensoftwares – server?KEYWORDS:FOSS, SERVER SOFTWARE, SOFTWARE ALTERNATIVES, EMAIL SERVICES,DATABASE SERVICES, FILES SHARING SERVICES, WEB SERVICESWhen using computers in a networked environment, the useris only confronted with a small proportion of all the softwarethat is used. To connect and survive in a computer networkthe user is connected to one or more servers that containinformation and software. For the user this software is mostlyinvisible and applications on the user side are used to navigatethrough the network without knowing the networking details.However, servers are recommended when more computersneed to access the same data, and in many small and mediumenterprises this is the case.On the server-side, which is mostly operated by thenetwork administrator or network operator, a lot of differentapplications and hardware are used to enable the majornetworking functions or services:- Email services: In LDCs many small organizations usepublic email services like Yahoo! or Hotmail. When theorganization becomes more professional services need tobe set up a mailserver to send and receive mail.- Web services: Many organizations acknowledge theimportance of their presence on the World Wide Web(WWW) with a website with corporate informationbecomes more important. In order to do so, a web-serverneeds to be set up.- File Sharing services: When working in a network withinformation and data on a central server, there is needfor file sharing services.43
  42. 42. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- Database services: Getting information and storinginformation in the business is best done with databases.When an organization grows, central database systemswill be introduced.FOSS has a bigger impact on the server environment than it hadin the user/desktop environment. Many system administratorsfind FOSS interesting since it offers alternatives that require orlittle or no investments (Upadhaya, 2007). Presently, most of theInternet Service Providers and Telecommunication providers inthe LDCs use FOSS for their servers.Task Application WebsiteMail server PostfixSendmailwww.postfix.orgwww.sendmail.orgWeb server Apache www.apache.orgDatabase server MySQLPostGreswww.mysql.com/www.postgresql.org/File sharing server Samba us1.samba.org/samba/Content filtering server SquidGuard www.squid-cache.orgSecurity server NMap www.insecure.org/nmapAnti-virus ClamAVAmaviswww.clamav.netwww.amavis.orgSpam filtering SpamAssassin www.spamassassin.orgTable 5: FOSS Alternatives for the Server Environment.The server environment is often a major hurdle fororganizations in LDCs since there are limited expertsavailable that can setup and manage a complex serverenvironment with all the components above. In the FOSSworld there are some excellent Linux distributions that offerall the applications that are needed to set up a server.Currently one of the best examples is SME-Server. SME-44
  43. 43. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentServer provide a distribution that installs out-of-the-box awebserver, a mailserver, a network file server, a firewall,content filtering and more. A relatively new direction fororganizations in LDC is to use web-services like GoogleApps.17This service allows organizations to host their email,webserver, and most of the other services above for virtuallyno costs. The server management is done by Google in ansecure environment in the USA. This not really a FOSSsolution, but very useful in an environment where limitedqualified staff is available.11. Who are the main stakeholders in the FOSS arena?KEYWORDS:FOSS, STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS, SOFTWARE INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT,DONOR COMMUNITY, LOCAL SOFTWARE INDUSTRY, CIVIL SOCIETY, LOCALBUSINESS COMMUNITY, EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONSIn order to understand the FOSS we need to have an overviewof the different players that participate in the community and thestakes that they have. The main stakeholders are listed below:- Software industry: The key players in the FOSS arenaare the software manufacturers, both producing anddistributing proprietary software and FOSS. In recentyears, the proprietary software industry has shown anincreasing interest in the LDCs as a new sales frontier.Decision-makers and responsible government officialsare approached in order to standardize on proprietysoftware. Interesting free software deals are offered.Unfortunately, the FOSS vendors have shown relativelylittle interest in the LDC market, with the exception ofUbuntu.- Governments: Governments are the central players inthe arena. The other stakeholders fight for their attention45
  44. 44. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagerin order to make them create the right rules, regulationsand laws. In the LDCs governments are mostly corruptand therefore the outcomes of the decision makingprocesses are unpredictable and not transparent (Laffont,2005).- Donors18: In the LDCs the power of the donor is mainlydetermined by the amount of funds they make availablefor development of the key issues in the country. Almostall donors invest in ICT as part of their approach, butthere are only few donors that are specialized inexplicitly devising ICT solutions for development. Ingeneral donors have good relations with decision-makersand government officials. Few donors have relationswithin the (local) ICT or software industry.- Local ICT industry: The local ICT industry in LDCs isoften young, immature and with a low level oforganization. Individual businesses and entrepreneursare fighting their way into a new market. Because of theshort history of computing in LDCs these businesses arerun by young people, that have recently graduated fromlocal universities or expatriates that try to capitalize onthe skill and knowledge advantage. In few countries theICT industry has organized themselves in industrybranch organizations that are able to put pressure on thegovernment and decision-makers.- Local business community: The local businesscommunities increasingly depend on the ICT climate ina country. ICT is getting more and more important fortheir survival in the global economy and a good ICTinfrastructure is a precondition for their internationalsuccess. The local business community do haveinfluence on the direction of the government policies,but only to a limited extent.46
  45. 45. Free and Open Source Software for Development- Civil society: Like the local business community, civilsociety is aware that access to ICT and information playsa significant role in the countrys development. Theywill try to influence government and decision-makers toimprove regulations that promote access information andcommunication possibilities for all citizens. However,their influencing powers are limited.- Educational institutions: The educational systemprovides the next generation computer users and ICTexperts in a country. Most universities in the LDCs havea basic ICT infrastructure, train students to usecomputers and offer courses in Computer Science andsometimes in Information Systems. In an increasingnumber of secondary schools students have access tocomputer technology and some countries have madecomputer studies a compulsory subject for secondaryschool students. Governments set the guidelines forcurricula for schools and play an important role in typesof systems and platforms that are used.Figure 3: Stakeholders and their stakes in the FOSS Arena.47
  46. 46. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de JagerIn the figure above we have displayed the stakeholdersrelationships. The arrows display the direction of therelationships, and the thicker the arrows are, the stronger theinfluential relationship is.12. What licenses are used for FOSS?19KEYWORDS:FOSS LICENSES, OPEN SOURCE DEFINITION, GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE(GPL), COPYRIGHT, OPEN SOURCE LICENSE, FREE SOFTWARE LICENSE,CLOSED SOURCE SOFTWAREAll software comes with licenses. The license protects theauthor of the software from others copying the softwarewithout his/her permission. Basically the license is animplementation of the basic copyright laws that have been inuse for decennia in most countries around the world. Thisalso implies that copyrights apply, even when they are notregistered officially. When someone writes a small computerprogram for the school-bell to ring every 45 minutes for aperiod of 10 hours per day, but not on Sundays, the programis copyrighted simultaneously with its creation and is the soleproperty – barring any contractual abrogation of the copyright– of its creator. This counts for people in Europe, the USA,Asia and also for work that is done in most of the countries inAfrica.Open source licenses may be broadly categorized into thefollowing types: (1) those that apply no restrictions on thedistribution and (2) those that do apply such restrictions. Thishas resulted into two licensing paradigms: Free and OpenSource Software (FOSS) and Proprietary and Closed SourceSoftware (PCSS). Although both types of licenses are toprotect the ownership of the software, they greatly differ inthe extent to which they protect the rights to modify and48
  47. 47. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentredistribute and sell the product as well as the underlyingsoftware code.The fundamental purpose of open source licensing is todeny anybody the right to exclusively exploit a work.Typically, in order to permit their works to reach a broadaudience, and, incidentally, to make some sort of living frommaking works, creators are required to surrender all, orsubstantially all, of the rights granted by copyright to thoseentities that are capable of distributing and thereby exploitingthat work.Within the FOSS community, we identify two majortrends in licensing: Open Source (OS) licenses and FreeSoftware (FS) licenses.FS licenses are the OS approach in its stronger form. FSlicenses propagate indeed complete freedom to use thesoftwares source code for any purpose and in anyenvironment. The user of the packages released under FSlicenses are granted complete access to the source code, aswell as the right to all modification, to redistribute copies sothat you can help your neighbor, and to improve the softwareand to release the improvements to the public so that thecommunity can benefit. No constraints are allowed, and FSlicenses in its strongest form, the GNU GPL license, are self-propagating, id est every modification to the source code of apackage, which had originally been released under GPL,must be released under the same license. A package releasedunder GPL can only evolve and be used in other packages,which are released under GPL themselves. The details forFree Software licenses are defined in the GNU Manifesto20and under this license high quality software has beenproduced since 1984.The OS licenses are defined by the Open SourceDefinition. The Open Source Definition builds on the GNUManifesto, but tries to provide credits to the originator of the49
  48. 48. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagersoftware and to protect a product that is already in the marketfrom misuse. At present there are more than 30 differentlicenses that are harbored by the Open Source Initiative.They differ from each other in the extend to whichmodification, redistribution and (re)selling of the software isallowed. Most important, packages released under some ofthe OS licenses, which still comply with the Open SourceDefinition, do not necessarily have to be released under thesame license. Theoretically, a package released under CSlicense could then be built on top of another package releasedunder OS license, even if the original OS licensed packagehas to be distributed along with the added CS components.21Notwithstanding these secondary differences, FS and OSlicenses are perfectly compatible, and FS licenses are indeedall Open Source Definition compliant, that is FS licenses areall also OS licenses, whilst the opposite is not true.22Within the Closed Source Software community, it isnormal practice that each software producer designs theirown license that goes with the software. Large softwarecompanies like Microsoft and Oracle has specially designeduser licenses, smaller organizations mostly work withstandardized licenses to protect the intellectual property oftheir software. More information about the license thatproprietary software producers use can mostly be found ontheir website. The information for the Microsoft products canbe found at: www.microsoft.com/about/legal/useterms/When a consumer purchases a piece of PCS software,say, Microsoft Excel, he or she acquires, along with thephysical copy of the software and the manual (if there aresuch physical copies), the right to use the software for itsintended purpose – in this case, as a spreadsheet program. Byopening the plastic wrap on the box, the consumer becomesbound by the so-called “shrinkwrap license” under whichs/he is bound not to copy the work (beyond the single copy50
  49. 49. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentmade for her or his own use), not to make derivative worksbased on the work, and not to authorize anyone else to doeither of these two things. The elimination of these threerestrictions is the foundation of open source licensing.Over the past decades several a growing number oflicenses have been put forward to protect the products thatare produced in the Open Source Arena. The most importantlicenses are:- MIT- BSD- Apache, Versions 1.0 and 2.0- Academic Free License (AFL)- GNU General Public License (GPL)- GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)- Mozilla Public License (MPL)How can one choose between the type of license required?First of all in practical and realistic terms, copyright issueslead their own life in LDCs. Most of the countries in Africahave a thriving illegal software market. Not only are illegalcopies of most PCS software sold in markets and smallroadside shops, there is also a lucrative business that installsillegal software and provides maintenance services on it.The illegal use and distribution of PCS software iscommon practice in Africa (and large part of Asia) and thereare good reasons for that. We will list the main reasons:- There are limited outlets that sell legal copies of PCSsoftware. One will have to search for official outlets,while illegal ones are readily available.- There are limited possibilities for local support –vendors of illegal software provide better services thanthe official dealer. When a help-desk needs to be calledfor support, this is in most cases outside the country andtherefore not affordable.51
  50. 50. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager- Software is unreasonably expensive when related toincome of people. For details, e.g. the comparison ofLicense Fees and GDP Per Capita by Ghosh (2003).- Finally, most users are not aware and education on thenature and implications of software licenses, both Openand Closed. This is ignorance is made worse since mostcomputers are bought with pre-installed illegal softwarefrom official hardware dealers.Second: The choice of the correct licensing model is beyondthe scope of this book. More information can be found atwww.fsf.org/licensing/licenses and www.croftsoft.com/library/tutorials/opensource/13. What is the essence of the GPL?KEYWORDS:FOSS LICENSES, GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE, GPL IN LDCS, FREE SOFTWAREFOUNDATIONThe GNU General Public License (GPL License or just GPL)is one of the foundation Open Source licenses and was createdby the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Characteristic of theGPL is that it explicitly requires that derivative works bedistributed under the terms of the GPL and also thatderivative works may only be permitted to be distributedunder the terms of the license.The purpose of the GPL is explained in detail in thepreamble that is attached to the license. The preamble clearlyand concisely sets out the three main purposes of the GPL.The first, and by far the most important, is to keep softwarefree, in the sense that it can be distributed and modifiedwithout additional permission of the licensor. This imposes amirror-image restriction on the licensee: while the licensee52
  51. 51. Free and Open Source Software for Developmenthas free access to the licensed work, the licensee mustdistribute any derivative works subject to the samelimitations and restrictions as the licensed work. The secondpurpose of the GPL is to ensure that licensees are aware thatsoftware under the license is distributed “as is” and withoutwarranty. The third purpose (which is really a variant of thefirst) is that the licensed software be free of restrictivepatents: to the extent that a patent applies to the licensedsoftware, it must be licensed in parallel with the code.23The GPL is one of the most used software licenses in theFOSS world, but at the same time very suitable in the contextof LDCs. It allows the free distribution of software withoutthe violation of any copyright laws. It allows the localsoftware industry to take up a piece of software in the publicdomain and start localizing or changing it. The skills to writesoftware from scratch is mostly lacking and localization(language, currency, etc) of the software are mostly needed.The result of adaptation of the software will then again beavailable for other people who cannot afford or do not havethe knowledge to make the changes. In this way, softwaredevelopers build on the work of others while servingdevelopment goals.14. What is Open Content?KEYWORDS:OPEN CONTENT, FOSS, FREE SOFTWARE MOVEMENT, OPEN CONTENT FORLDCS, GNU FREE DOCUMENTATION LICENSEWhen talking about FOSS, one also needs to bring up theissue of Open Content. The developments in ICT are markedby the possibilities of greater dissemination of informationand knowledge. Yet at the same time, stricter copyright lawsthat have been implemented over the last decennia (Lessing53
  52. 52. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager2006, 2004) have created an invisible barrier to knowledgeaccess and creativity in the information age. A number ofscholars have used the metaphor of ‘second enclosures’ as away of illustrating how the ‘commons’ of knowledge andculture are increasingly being fenced by the imposition ofstrict property protections on the intangible domain ofintellectual property. It is in this context that ‘OpenContent’ (and also FOSS) have emerged. These initiativesrecognize that the future depends on proactively nurturing avibrant ‘commons’ of knowledge and cultural resources.Open Content derives philosophically from the FreeSoftware movement and attempts to achieve for the world ofgeneral content what FOSS did for software. The word‘content’ itself may sometimes be misleading as it refers to awhole range of subject matter, from music to movies andliterature to learning materials.The best known example of Open Content Developmentis Wikipedia.24Wikipedia is available under the GNU FreeDocumentation License. The encyclopedia’s contents arewritten collaboratively by readers and are not subjected toany formal peer review. Readers can also edit the articleswritten by someone else. When using the material one doesnot have to pay for the use, but a reference to the source doesneed to be made.A good example of an Open Content project directlyaiming at the Developing World is the Global Textbookproject.25The aim of the project is to develop, under theCreative Commons license, textbooks in the area ofInformation Systems, Computer Science and BusinessStudies that can be used by students in the developing worldto overcome the prohibitive costs for traditional books. Theproject also provides the opportunity to use the basic textsbut replace the examples with contextualized examples, i.e.Examples that reflect the situation in the country in which the54
  53. 53. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentbook is used. This is important since business and technologycontexts differ greatly in the developed and developingworlds.15. What are the characteristics of Open Contentlicenses?KEYWORDS:OPEN CONTENT LICENSES, CHARACTERISTICS OF OPEN CONTENT LICENSES,CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSEMost Open Content licenses share a few common features thatdistinguish them from traditional copyright licenses. These canbe understood in the following ways (Liang, 2007):Basis of the License/Validity of the LicenseWhile being a form of license that allows end users freedom,it is important to remember that the Open Content licenses,like Free Software licenses, are based on the author of a workhaving valid copyright. It is on the basis of this copyright andthe exclusive rights that it grants him/her that the author canstructure a license that allows him/her to impose the kinds ofrights and obligations involved in using the work. EveryOpen Content license therefore asserts the copyright of theauthor and states that without a license from the author, anyuser using the work would be in violation of copyright.Rights GrantedThe premise of an Open Content license is that, unlike mostcopyright licenses, which impose stringent conditions on theusage of the work, the Open Content licenses enable users tohave certain freedoms by granting them rights. Some of theserights are usually common to all Open Content licenses, such55
  54. 54. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageras the right to copy the work and the right to distribute thework. Depending on the particular license, the user may alsohave the right to modify the work, create derivativeworks,perform the work,display the work and distribute thederivative works.Derivative WorksAny work that is based on an original work created by you isa derivative work. The key difference between differentkinds of Open Content licenses is the method that they adoptto deal with the question of derivative works. This issue is aninheritance from the licensing issues in the Free Softwaremovement. The GNU GPL, for instance, makes it mandatorythat any derivative work created from a work licensed underthe GNU GPL must also be licensed under the GNU GPL.This is a means of ensuring that no one can create a derivativework from a free work which can then be licensed withrestrictive terms and conditions. In other words, it ensures thata work that has been made available in the public domaincannot be taken outside of the public domain. On the otherhand, you may have a license like the Berkeley SoftwareDistribution (BSD) software license that may allow a personwho creates a derivate work to license that derivative workunder a proprietary or closed source license. This ability tocontrol a derivative work through a license is perhaps the mostimportant aspect of the Open Content licenses.Commercial/Non-Commercial UsageAnother important aspect of Open Content licenses is thequestion of commercial/non-commercial usages. For instance,I may license a piece of video that I have made, but only aslong as the user is using it for non-commercial purposes. Onthe other hand, a very liberal license may grant the person allrights, including the right to commercially exploit the work.56
  55. 55. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentProcedural Requirements ImposedMost Open Content licenses require a very strict adherenceto procedures that have to be followed by the end-user if s/hewants to distribute the work, and this holds true even forderivative works. The licenses normally demand that a copyof the license accompanies the work,or the inclusion of somesign or symbol which indicates the nature of the license thatthe work is being distributed under, for instance,andinformation about where this license may be obtained. Thisprocedure is critical to ensure that all the rights granted andall the obligations imposed under the license are also passedonto third parties who acquire the work.Appropriate CreditsThe next procedural requirement that has to be strictlyfollowed is that there should be appropriate credits given tothe author of the work. This procedure applies in twoscenarios. In the first scenario, when the end user distributesthe work to a third party, then s/he should ensure that theoriginal author is duly acknowledged and credited. Theprocedure also applies when the end-user wants to modifythe work or create a derivative work. Then, the derivativework should clearly mention the author of the original andalso mention where the original can be found.The best-known license in the Open Content domain isthe Creative Commons license (www.creativecommons.org).The license is based on the philosophy that a large, vibrantpublic domain of information and content is a pre-requisite tosustained creativity, and there is a need to proactively enrichthis public domain by creating a positive-rights copyrightdiscourse. It does this by creating a set of licenses to enableOpen Content and collaboration, as well as acting as adatabase of Open Content. Creative Commons also serves to57
  56. 56. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagereducate the public about issues of copyright, freedom ofspeech and expression and the public domain.The Creative Commons license comes in three mainattributes:1. Attribution – Gives permission to copy, distribute,display, and perform work and derivative works basedupon it but only if credit is given.2. Noncommercial – Gives permission to copy, distribute,display, and perform work and derivative works basedupon it but for noncommercial purposes only.3. No Derivative Works – Gives permission to copy,distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copiesof work but not derivative works based upon it.4. Share Alike – Gives permission to distribute derivativeworks only under a license identical to the license thatgoverns the original work.Figure 4: Creative Commons license as used by Eric von Hippels bookDemocratizing Innovation.58
  57. 57. Free and Open Source Software for Development16. Is FOSS only for LDCs?KEYWORDS:FOSS FOR DEVELOPMENT (FOSS4D), DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL, ECONOMICDEVELOPMENTWe may get the impression that FOSS is something that isonly applicable to the situation in LDCs. That is definitelynot the case, however, the LDCs can benefit hugely fromFOSS (Dravis, 2003). Weerawarana and Weeratunga (2004)conclude on the basis of case study research conductedmainly in Asia that careful exploitation of FOSS will enableLDCs to establish a global position in the IT drivenknowledge economies of the future.Ghosh and Schmidt (2006) list reasons why technologicallyadvanced and LDCs alike should adopt FOSS as part of theirICT policies. In addition to the obvious cost-advantages, thestudy of FOSS developers and users communities demonstratethat the process of learning and adapting software enables theusers to become creators of knowledge rather than merepassive consumers of proprietary technologies. Through asystem of informal apprenticeships where the FOSScommunity takes care of the training of novices, local ICTcompetencies are being built. This new capacity, combinedwith the low entry barriers of FOSS, provides an excellentstarting point for local business development. This linkbetween FOSS and the rise of small ICT businesses isimportant given the tendency of proprietary vendors to ignorelocal needs, especially in developing and economically weakregions.59
  58. 58. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jager17. How can initiatives in FOSS be qualified?KEYWORDS:FOSS LICENSES, MICRO LEVEL, MESO LEVEL, MACRO LEVEL, ICT POLICYThe FOSS arena is a complex world. It ranges fromindividual developers designing and writing programs thatare offered to the public through a license like the GPL, topolicy makers that promote national ICT policies to bechanged to FOSS based ICT policies. This complexity makesit difficult to study and report on FOSS4D. Where to beginand what to address?When we consider FOSS in the development context wehave to concentrate on multiple levels in order to get a goodunderstanding of the impact of the different initiatives. Theimplementation and the propagation of FOSS is performed onmicro, meso and macro levels. At the micro level we like tothink about individual users or small organizations (< 10members) that decide for or against the use of FOSS. Forexample a user that prefers to use Open Office to make his orher texts, or a small NGO that decides to use a Linux mailserver in stead of proprietary server software. At the meso levelwe consider organizations that take actions to integrate FOSSinto their total software solution. These are organizations with amore complex organizational decision and governance structureand in most cases an already established (information/communication) technology infrastructure. In order to reach at adecision to implement FOSS, projects will need to haveproposed and approved by the management of the organization.For example a university that likes to implement an OpenSource Learning Management system like Moodle26will have toseek approval at different management levels in the university(faculty, senate, executive committee, ICT committee etc)before the project can be started. Finally, the macro level60
  59. 59. Free and Open Source Software for Developmentapplies when government policies and actions areconsidered. At this level we will also find sector policies likeeducational policies that are proposed by governmentagencies or industry branch organizations. When a NGOrepresenting e.g womens initiatives in a country publishesguidelines and recommendations to their members to useFOSS tools, we consider this to be an initiative at macro-level.Figure 5: Framework for categorizing FOSS4D projects.When considering the impact of projects, we also identify thepossible effects the initiative can have on other organizationsor individuals. The effects can take place in organizationsand individuals within the same level, but it can also trickledown or up to the other levels. A school that has a verysuccessful implementation of FOSS can serve as an examplefor other schools (meso level), but it can also make parentsadopt FOSS on the computers at home (when applicable) orin the internet cafe around the corner, and ultimately, theexperiences at one school may end up on the desk of a civilservant at the ministry of education who takes it as input forMicro levelMeso levelMacro levelTopdowneffectBottomupeffect61
  60. 60. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageran ICT policy for the sector. These effects need to bepromoted in the projects and programs that are initiated. Atthe same time we need to realize that not all projects have animpact as described above. Many individuals and smallorganizations that decide for the use of FOSS remainunnoticed.In the three questions that will follow we illustrate thelevels with examples that were found on the Africancontinent. The examples will make the concepts more clearand provides some empirical evidence.18. What are the key examples at a Macro level?KEYWORDS:SUCCESS FACTORS MACRO LEVEL, BRAZIL, GITOC SOUTH-AFRICA, FOSSFA,SCHOOLNET NAMIBIAGovernments provide a huge potential for FOSS, not only assite for implementation for the software, but more importantlyas propagators of the philosophy behind the FOSS movement.Over the past years, a growing number of countries arestarting to consider FOSS as a serious alternative (Hoe, 2006,Wong, 2004, Nicol, 2003). Brazil has been one of thecountries that has actively pursued the FOSS model. It was inBrazil that the first law regarding the use of Open SourceSoftware in the world was passed in March 2000. Thecountry is one of the places where policies regardingadoption FOSS have been successful, notably in the states ofRio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco. Also, the BrazilianNavy has been using FOSS since 2002.27In Africa, the South African government is the forefrontplayer. In the wake of the developments, the South Africangovernment released a policy framework document inSeptember 2002 by the open source work group of the62
  61. 61. Free and Open Source Software for DevelopmentGovernment Information Officers Council (GITOC).28TheGITOC Policy document (GITOC, 2002) recommends thatgovernment “explicitly” supports the adoption of opensource software as part of its e-government strategy after acomprehensive study of the advantages and pitfalls of FOSSfor government requirements. Next to adopting FOSSsoftware GITOC also recommends that the governmentpromotes the further development of FOSS in South Africa.There is an huge potential role for South Africas SMEindustry in the production and implementation of FOSS aswell as in setting up user training infrastructures. At the sametime, the FOSS approach does represent a powerfulopportunity for South African companies to bridge thetechnological gap, at an acceptable cost.Some success factors need to considered in order to tapthis potential:1. Implementation should produce value: Value is relatedto economic value, i.e., the reduction of costs andsaving of foreign currency; and social value, i.e., awider access to information and computer training.2. Adequate capacity to implement, use and maintain:There needs to be enough trained people to supportand use the FOSS solution. Training users anddevelopers needs to have a high priority.3. Policy support for an FOSS strategy: Support for FOSSneeds to expand to all key players at governmentallevel, departmental level, IT professionals and computerusers in general.Governments Department of Communication has alreadybegun the move to Open Source by adopting Linux as theiroperating system. The South African government plans tosave 3 billion Rands a year (approximately $338 millionUSD), increase spending on software that stays in their63
  62. 62. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jagercountry, and increase programming skills inside the country.South Africa reports that its small-scale introductions havealready saved them 10 million Rands (approximately $1.1million USD).The government of Malawi has integrated the promotionof FOSS in the Malawi Nation ICT for Development PolicyDocument of September 2005:“Advocate for the use of open source software as a viablealternative to proprietary software” (Section 3.3.2.1.1)Other countries are following.Worldwide, similar moves are discussed by Taiwan, China,Viet Nam, the United Kingdom and Germany. Unfortunately,little governments in LDCs follow this direction.An initiative with good potential that tries to bringtogether scattered FOSS society in order to get FOSS onpolitical agenda is the Free and Open Source Foundation forAfrica (FOSSFA).29The initiative started as the offspring ofan ICT policy and civil society workshop in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, in February 2003. During the workshop theparticipants agreed that FOSS is paramount to Africasprogress in the ICT arena. The mission of FOSSFA istherefore to promote the use and implementation of FOSS inAfrica. Herewith it began to work on a coordinated approachto unite interested individual and to support open sourcedevelopment, distribution and integration. FOSSFA envisionsa future in which governments and the private sector embraceopen source software and enlist local experts in adapting anddeveloping appropriate tools, applications and infrastructuresfor an African technology renaissance. They support South-to-South cooperation in which students from Ghana to Egypt andKenya to Namibia develop softwares that are then adopted bysoftware gurus in Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda in orderto narrow the digital divide.64
  63. 63. Free and Open Source Software for Development19. What are the key examples at Meso level?KEYWORDS:MESO LEVEL, IICD, UGANDA MARTYRS UNIVERSITY, SCHOOLNET NAMIBIAThe International Institute for Communication andDevelopment (IICD)30, investigated the use of FOSS inorganizations in three countries in Africa: Uganda, Tanzaniaand Burkina Faso (Bruggink, 2003). The objective of theresearch was to find out how, where and why organizationsfrom all kind of sectors use FOSS, what problems can beobserved and what opportunities for development areavailable. The findings of the research show that FOSS inAfrica is being used, but it is not yet very widespread thoughthere are huge differences between countries. FOSS is mostlyfound at the server side of Internet Service Providers (ISPs)and is sometimes used by government and educationalinstitutions. This means that FOSS operating systems, mainlyLinux and derivatives, web servers, email servers and filesservers are found where the day-to-day computer users arenot aware that they are actually using FOSS. Large andhierarchical organizations that have migrated completelyfrom proprietary software to FOSS (server side and userside) were not noted in the report. Most of the organizationsthat are using FOSS are small organizations. When the threecountries are compared, it is concluded that Ugandanorganizations show most initiatives, while in Burkina Fasoorganizations do not show interest to move away from CSS.The research of the IICD highlighted several reasons whyorganizations in Africa do not take up the challenge ofFOSS. In the first place there are some false perceptions onFOSS. Many organizations believe indeed that FOSS isLinux only and that FOSS is user unfriendly and onlysuitable for the ICT specialist. Secondly, there is limited65
  64. 64. Victor van Reijswoud, Arjan de Jageraccess to FOSS. Most of the FOSS is distributed through theInternet and with the limited and low bandwidth Internetconnections, the access to FOSS is limited as a by product.Software companies, including FOSS companies, see littlemarket potential in Africa (outside South Africa) and theavailability of FOSS is low. This is also reflected in in theamount of resellers for FOSS. Finally, there is little expertiseavailable to provide certified training and quality support forFOSS and eventually consultancy in migration processes.A recent and interesting example of the introduction ofFOSS at an organizational level is Uganda Martyrs Universityin Nkozi (Uganda). This migration is a role model foreducational institutions on the African continent (Reijswoud,Mulo, 2006).In 2002 Uganda Martyrs University embarked on amission to be the first large organization in the region tocompletely migrate to FOSS. The main reasons for thisdecision were reduction of licensing costs and capacitybuilding. At the start of the migration (August 2003) theuniversity had about 250 desktop computers for students andstaff, plus a variety of servers, connected in a campus wideLocal Area Network. In 2002 the university started tomigrate the server side (mail servers, Internet connection andfile servers) of the network to FOSS. In the second phase ofthe project, which started June 2003, the university embarkedon the migration the user side, after the university senatedecided that all standard desktop computers of lecturing staffand students were to be equipped with a Linux operatingsystem and FOSS applications like Open Office as areplacement for the popular Microsoft Office suite.At present, next to the servers, all public (library) andstudent labs are migrated to FOSS. Staff computers have notbeen migrated, although a growing number uses FOSSapplications in the Windows platform.66

×