Weblog of Nazly Ahmed

Nazly Ahmed

Nazly Ahmed

Web Developer. PHP Addict. Wordpress Hacker. FOSS Enthusiast. (Micro)Blogger. Photo Hobbyist. Cricket Fanatic. Husband. Dad.

It has been a very informative day learning loads of stuff in the OpenSource World at FOSS-ed today. Today was the first day of the three day conference and workshops. There was also a Panel Discussion on addressing challenges to adopting FOSS in Sri Lankan institutions. Topics covered today were more on what FOSS is really about and how we can adopt to it in our day to day lives. I was really impressed with all the sessions today as it definielty would have cleared all minds which totally had a different idea about FOSS and why it should be choosen over Commercial or pirated software.

Almost on all sessions one important fact really stood up. A fact that most people have got all mixed up. The word "Free" has mislead a lot of people. Some even ask if its Free and Open Source Software Conference why they charge for it? Are they talking about free beer?

"Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer."

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

– The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

– The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

– The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

– The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Eagerly waiting for get there tomorrow as few interesting topics lined up including the keynote on 'The global adoption of FOSS' by Brian Behlendorf.

Posted on 13th February 2006 16:48:09