Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

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Free software: Solution for e-governance[2002 article-Mr. Stallman to GoK]

Free software: Solution for e-governance Our Bureau


FREE software is ideal for a country such as India, especially in the e-governance area, according to Mr Richard Stallman, free software evangelist and author of the GNU operating system around the Linux kernel.

He was here in India to present a paper on “Free software and relevance to India”. The GNU/Linux system (wrongly referred to as the Linux OS, Mr Stallman pointed out) has some practical advantages such as offering huge costs savings over proprietary operating systems. The Governments can make as many copies as they want without having to pay.

More importantly, the software is `free’ in that the source code is available to users to make any modifications that they want. The source code also makes it possible for users to check for Trojan horses and viruses. “Most security experts recommend the use of free software for this reason,” Mr Stallman said. Also, there is no fear that the system will store away information for future use.

“Today, the State Governments are talking of making computers and the Internet available throughout the country. What they save on software costs can be used to buy more computers,” Mr Stallman said.

GNU/Linux also worked equally well on old, castaway models of PCs, which means the investment in hardware too could be minimal, he said.

Moreover, users can tinker with the system to learn computer science on the job, as it were, as GNU/Linux allows users to see the source code and make changes, and add features. To Mr Stallman, the freedom associated with GNU/Linux is part of his personal and political beliefs.

“I care about freedom, community and the welfare state. Proprietary software encourages an ugly social system, where nobody wants to share with their friends,” he said. Despite its pluses, GNU/Linux had not taken off, he admitted because of what he called “inertia”. Besides, “we didn’t have a graphical desktop for desktop users,” he said. Now, there was one, called the GNOME.

Brazil and Argentina moved to GNU/Linux because of threats from proprietary software owners, he said. There is a project on in Andhra where kiosks are using GNU/Linux. Mr Stallman had also spoken to the Karnataka IT Secretary, Mr Vivek Kulkarni, advocating free software.



November 14, 2007 - Posted by | Govt. of Karnataka - GoK

1 Comment »

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    Comment by Dropbox Enterprise | August 17, 2012 | Reply

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