Just to share with you: I've come across this fascinating presentation by an
EU official in Vietnam, who argues that 'development' organisation in the
First World should throw their weight behind Free/Libre and Open Source
This is a fascinating set of arguments. So far, few in the 'development/NGO
network' (apart from rare exceptions like Sunil Abraham of Mahiti.org in
Bangalore and the Sarai network in Delhi, and the Dehradun-based
publishers of 'Software Freedom') have appreciate the power of, or worked
seriously on, FLOSS.
[Disclosure of interest: I have received a print-media fellowship from
Sarai in the past year.]
Interestingly, this document is released under the terms and conditions of
the GNU Free Documentation License. Surely a worthy read. I would
encourage everyone interested in taking this debate forward to please
If you would like a copy, just send mail to fred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the
subjectline FLOSS-PRESENTATION. Thank you. FN
PS: My apologies for reducing very interesting arguments to a few bytes of
poorly-represented text. My limited abilities did not allow me to convert
the speaker notes, words he used and graphics into extracts in text
suitably. The presentation does a better job of that.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FREE/LIBRE OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE AS OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT AID
EC Delegation to Vietnam
- The text represents the author's opinions only
- Text released under GNU Free Documentation License
- Request copies to the author
- FORTHCOMING: Global Implementation Plan
Developing countries can neither miss the benefits of the IT revolution, nor
afford its cost (IPRs in particular)
Donors and multilaterals have a responsibility to provide an alternative, if
FLOSS is today the only alternative available
ODA-FLOSS will be implemented. Why?
The question is: Who will be the first to do it?
I.T. REVOLUTION IN
IT is today's Industrial Revolution
Ability to leapfrog into latest technology
Complement Industrial Development
Small IT clusters, even in remote areas...
"Cost Windows XP + MS Office: Standard Version $560. Professional Version
$800. a) COST (for a country like) VIETNAM (where the GDP per capita
$440/year) XP+Office = 1 Year 3 months. XP+Office (Pro) = 1 Year 10 months.
a) COST (III) Cost-Equivalent for the US (GDP per capita $30,200/Year).
XP+Office = $38,436 XP+Office (Pro) = $54,909. (Is it very surprising that
the) percentage of pirated Software in Vietnam (is) 97%" Source of
information: Amazon.com (13 May 2002)
"Microsoft 2000 localised in 24 languages. There are 8,500 languages in the
world.... Open Office can be localised in 2 weeks."
"Like science, FLOSS builds as a community, on top of past work."
"No backdoors + No spyware."
"All software (on a sponsored distro) must be Free/Libre as defined by the
Free Software Foundation.... All applications must be fully localised and
documented... Include Open Office. Why? ... The first version must be
"Pareto's 80/20 Rule applied to software -- (20% of applications solve 80%
of needs). Substitutes a key application. Example for users that Open Source
works. Other candidates: Mozilla, MySQL, Gimp, ... (suggestions welcome) Why
a Windows FLOSS CD-ROM? MS Windows is the way towards a full FLOSS system
(for private users).... Microsoft Windows runs on 94% of desktops. Private
users cannot be forced into FLOSS. We must earn their trust in FLOSS."
"Cost of a FLOSS CD-Rom: (quotation: www.goldenrom.com). 10.000 Copies -
$4,600 50,000 Copies - $17,500 100,000 Copies - $32,000 500,000 Copies -
$135,000 1,000,000 Copies - $250,000. Cost of ODA-FLOSS CD-Rom for
one-fourth of 'pirate' computers."
"Recycling legislation: Cheaper shipping PCs to developing countries than
recycling them (also tax deductible). Donated PCs tend to be stripped of
parts, software or licenses, using a FLOSS OS is an obvious choice."
"India (Simputer), Brazil, etc... are creating low-cost computers targeted
to low-income communities"