The importance of FOSS for non-profit organizations


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An introduction to the importance of FOSS for nonprofit organizations. Slides as presented on BarCamp Brussel 2007, 1st of December.

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The importance of FOSS for non-profit organizations

  1. 1. The importance of FOSS for non-profit organizations If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  2. 2. Introduction • 80’s - 90’s - donated or “borrowed” - 5-year-old versions • now - unit or per-seat license - software as a service • more and more nonprofits running FOSS - on their servers (apache, mysql) - desktop applications (Firefox, - linux (Debian-NP, Ubuntu)
  3. 3. Why? • Free: free as in beer • Open source: free as in freedom • License: free for anyone to use
  4. 4. Free? ”When you buy proprietary software, you look for a good vendor. With open source, get a good developer you can depend on ... Find someone who will tell you honestly what's up and who communicates well – free software isn't entirely free – you need someone to tweak things.” Eric Squair, Web Manager, Greenpeace Canada
  5. 5. Total Cost of Ownership How much does this technology cost to implement and maintain? - software acquisition cost - implementation costs - hardware costs - training costs - maintenance fees - upgrade fees - administration & support
  6. 6. Strategic value Factors beyond the costs related to the technology itself, for example the impact on staff productivity, or on the quality of services delivered to clients. - customizing the software - vendor goes out of sale, still community support - philosophical
  7. 7. License • GNU General Public License • No unit or per-seat licenses • Make as many copies as you want, for no extra charge • Source code is available • Source code can be modified and re-distributed • No discrimination: anyone can use it
  8. 8. License JIRA is free under the Community License: - non-profit - non-government - non-academic - non-commercial - non-political - secular
  9. 9. Open source Anyone can contribute.
  10. 10. Open source • report bugs • request features • aid users on fora and other support channels • write documentation • help localize • contribute code
  11. 11. Users are developers • contribute bugs you fixed, • features you added, • modules you wrote, • to the core project
  12. 12. Why do users contribute? • their company needs things fixed • give back to the community • eternal fame! • Google Summer of Code • Google Highly Open Participation Contest
  13. 13. Many thanks to • CivicActions • Nonprofit Open Source Initiative • FOSS4US • Rossana Tarsiero: Scrapbook of My Life • Drupal Community