The Importance of FOSS and Open Standards


What to know why FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and open standards are important? South African Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi does a wonderful job explaining in her opening remarks for the Idlelo African Conference on FOSS and Digital Commons. A text version of her speech is also available.

Let's hope that more politicians and decision makers around the globe become as informed as those in South Africa.

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this video does not work with dollars franks euros cents.

this video is for adobe player.
it is noted that adobe inc.
seriously pissed off the international business world.
The perception may be that Adobe intends to control or monopolize the
legal structure of business in other countries.

FOSS and academic publishing

In response to the "Objective" Observer's post "Penguin Suicide Bombers -
The Terrorism of Open Source":

To be perfectly honest, the closest thing that I see to the FOSS movement
is traditional academic publishing. Profs. around the world work long
hours and publish papers to the public domain (more or less) for no
(direct) financial reimbursement. They work in independent groups with no
formal leadership. There is also a similar attitude of working for the
"common good" rather than for profit, if only common to the rather small
group of other professionals who would care to read, much less be able to
understand, the technical literature. Advancing human knowledge replaces
advanced computer use, but the analogies seem pretty clear. To the extent
that academic journals and presses hold the copyright to, and restrict the
use of, the articles and books they publish, they do a disservice to the
academic/educational community, and there is wide dissapproval of such
practices by those who write the articles. (There is also widespread
disregard for prohibitions of copying material for classes, etc.)

Frankly, I find the FOSS community and activities thoroughly refreshing and
a most modern reincarnation of the spirit of community intellectual effort
to just get things done and share with one another. The invention of the
printing press did wonders for widespread communication of ideas. The
invention of commercial publishing, while in its own way making published
works more widely available, has certainly created many obstacals to the
exchange of ideas in the name of profit. Let us hope, and to the extent
possible ensure, that the internet and FOSS stay free and open.

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