[Fsf-friends] Nations Present Open Source Argument to World Bank
ellakannada at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 19 18:17:16 CEST 2005
Nations Present Open Source Argument to World Bank
By Michael Herman ., The Press ., 09/17/05 5:00 AM PT
The group's report -- described as a blueprint for creating national policies for open-technology standards -- poses a threat to proprietary software makers who are already facing stiff competition from the OSM in the public sector of many developing countries.
Senior government officials from 13 countries were among a group of open-source advocates behind a report presented to the World Bank last Friday calling on nations to accelerate economic growth by using products based on what are called open-technology standards.
The group defines open standards as technologies that are openly published and which are not owned by any company. The benefit of open standards is that they allow information to be easily shared by different software programs, reducing user dependency on a single provider and making information more accessible to a wider group of people.
While the objectives of open standards differ from those of the open source movement (OSM), which promotes a collaborative style of software development using a network of programmers to build and constantly improve software that is distributed free to users, OSM and the software freedom philosophy it champions have been significant forces behind the growing acceptance of the need for open standards.
The group's report -- described as a blueprint for creating national policies for open-technology standards -- poses a threat to proprietary software makers who are already facing stiff competition from the OSM in the public sector of many developing countries and, significantly, was delivered one day ahead of the second annual Software Freedom Day (SFD).
Launched last year as a grassroots effort to educate people around the world about free and open-source software, Christchurch, New Zealand, once again had an SFD team on the ground and was joined by a Wellington team to represent New Zealand's computer users.
Sponsored internationally by Canonical, the distributors of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, local sponsors included InfoHelp Services, The Computer Broker, the local chapter of the GNU/Linux Users group and Avonmore Tertiary Academy.
The local SFD team were based at Avonmore Tertiary Academy last Saturday, answering questions about migrating to Linux and distributing copies of of the celebrated free Linux distro, Ubuntu.
Rik Tindall of InfoHelp, who led the local team for the second year, says visitor numbers were more than double those of last year and that people gained a much better understanding of the popular alternative to Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows OS.
Tindall says many users are still unaware that open-source software provides "high quality, well-tested free alternatives to many proprietary products" not only on the Linux platform but on Windows as well.
Tindall says the option to use free and open-source software is not only an important consumer choice, but is also a political decision as it returns control of an increasingly important resource to the people who use it rather than leaving it in the hands of commercial organizations.
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