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Software Libre!
August 29, 2001 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Software Libre! Local and national governments around the world are legislating in favor of open source, in a challenge to US corporate (read Microsoft) dominance. A liberating movement, or too much government intrusion?
posted by liam (11 comments total)

 
More like open sores
posted by jaynesbit at 7:11 AM on August 29, 2001


Operating systems should be considered part of the technological infrastructure. They, along with the physical network infrastructure, should not be owned by anyone.
posted by zanpo at 7:12 AM on August 29, 2001


I know next to nothing about coding software, but this definitely seems to be a positive movement. I find it to be exciting and feel as though putting source code into the hands of independent coding enthusiasts could produce excellent results. I am sure that tech companies are probably hesitant.
posted by wklang at 7:13 AM on August 29, 2001


hasta la open source sempre!
posted by adampsyche at 7:15 AM on August 29, 2001


Not only is it a good idea its probably the only way for these countries to get secure software without engineering their own proprietary OS or buying an expensive commercial UNIX. The US to the rest of the world is the land of Echelon, government/industry collusion, Big Brother, etc.

These governments can't get the source code for Windows for a security review and its track record is bad enough to make one paranoid for use for even non-classified applications. Toss in fears of NSA backdoors and MS's strangehold on the OS market and suddenly open source looks pretty good.
posted by skallas at 10:38 AM on August 29, 2001


I would love to see a viable alternative to Microsoft's OS and products. This will help.
posted by 4midori at 1:27 PM on August 29, 2001


Wow now there's a story beat up out of absolutely nothing. 4 cities in Brazil and Florence in Italy - I bet that's got MS and Lotus and all the other software companies in the world quaking in their boots.

I'm intrigued as to where these places are going to get their "free" software from. From Redhat? I guess they can get some free stuff from them, as long as they pay for it of course.
posted by Option1 at 8:27 PM on August 29, 2001


I love this line from Microsoft: "Technology should compete on its merits in a free market..."
posted by tranquileye at 3:46 AM on August 30, 2001


I would love to see a viable alternative to Microsoft's OS and products. This will help.

SuSE 7.2, Mandrake 8.0 ain't nothing but the beginning baby. I've found SuSE 7.2 to be such a smooth, glitchiness free distro. In fact, so easy that I'm recommending it to my mother, who herself is fed up with the invariable "oldie but newbie" confusion that obscures her understanding of what I've touted the modern computer as: "importantly much more than a word processor".

Linux and its various X environments (esp KDE) are very much on the cusp of being widely desktop viable.
posted by crasspastor at 4:17 AM on August 30, 2001


Fuck. . . I meant to cap this sentence off.

SuSE 7.2, Mandrake 8.0 ain't nothing but the beginning baby. I've found SuSE 7.2 to be such a smooth, glitchiness free distro. In fact, so easy that I'm recommending it to my mother, who herself is fed up with the invariable "oldie but newbie" confusion that obscures her understanding of what I've touted the modern computer as: "importantly much more than a word processor" *when she encounters the omnipresent "illegal operation".*
posted by crasspastor at 4:21 AM on August 30, 2001


I am not sure that we can really call this development a trend at this stage, but I for one like to see it become one.

Many developing countries, and even quite a few small government operations in the developed world, run on a technological shoestring at best. Why shouldn't they look at Open Source? Picking on Microsoft for the moment, Have they done anything substantial to bring their software and the technology needed to run to the developing world, in a way that solves real-world problems, and creates real-world solutions that make a difference to these countries? I think not. It's only my opinion and nothing more, but I'll bet that if we looked at the books of companies like Microsoft, we'll find that they have spent more money on lobbyists and copyright lawyers to deal with their corporate concerns over the use of computer technology in the developing world, than on teachers, consultants, and price-breaks for the poorest governments and NGOs.
posted by wiredgonzo at 10:57 AM on August 30, 2001


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