[ox-en] LinuxAsia '05 in Finnish researcher's blog (Modified by geert lovink)
- From: Jhinuk chowdhury <jhinukchowdhury yahoo.com>
- Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 07:13:57 -0700 (PDT)
LinuxAsia2005.com, reflected in a blog, Slashdot, etc
Finnish researcher Niklas Vainio had this blog entry
about the recently-concluded Linux-Asia event. This is
where the event got Slashdotted and Technetra's link
to the event. Quote from Niklas: "The most interesting
session was an ad-hoc session right after the official
program about why Open Source still hasn't gotten off
in India yet. This session had the most discussion and
argumentation, about piracy vs. free software etc."
After Asia Source, Linux Asia was a boring event. The
difference between community events and
corporate-driven conferences is that the latter have
lots of PR talk and you need to work to find out what
is the reality. But I also wanted to see the corporate
side of FLOSS. Some random notes below.
First day was on Linux on desktop and support.
Professor Deepak Phatak gave some interesting figures.
In India, there are 7 PCs per 1000 citizens, in China
that is 37 per 1000. Average price of computer is now
30 000-40 000 Rs. First 500 million computers are in
the developed world, the next 500 million should come
from Asia and Africa. To make that possible, there
should be more investments in India and the cost of
computer, including software should drop to 1/4th of
current, i.e. to 10 000 Rs. At the moment, India is a
?net taker? in the open source movement, but in few
years it should become a ?net giver". Dr. Phatak is
currently running a program to get computer science
students involved in open source development.
Matthew Szulik of Red Hat said basically that
customers don?t want operating systems, they want
solutions and that Red Hat doesn?t sell operating
systems, it sells subscriptions. Jürgen Geck of Novell
SUSE had an interesting parallel of the early history
of automobile industry. Henry Ford didn?t only invent
the assembly line, he also created open standards -
standard screws, bolts etc.
Second day was about storage and high performance
computing. I was getting flu and wasn?t so interested
in the topic so I skipped most of the day.
Third day was the most interesting for me. Jitendra
Shah spoke about his Janabhaaraati Live CD with
localized software. He said a couple of things I
hadn?t thought about the use of IT in government
offices. For government use, you need: Indian language
support, office tools, printing, network,
communication utilities, document management, search
in Indian languages, name translitteration, GIS and
low-cost support (can IBM/Red Hat/Novell do that?).
The most interesting session was an ad-hoc session
right after the official program about why Open Source
still hasn?t gotten off in India yet. This session had
the most discussion and argumentation, about piracy
vs. free software etc. Somebody from the audience
criticized David Axmark (of MySQL) that it?s easy for
him to develop software and give it away since he?s
from a social democracy. On one hand it?s very true
that FLOSS has hidden assumptions on the background of
the free software hacker. A large part of free
software is software somebody wrote on their free
time. Not everybody can afford that. On the other
hand, freedom of the software is part of the strategy
of MySQL - it wouldn?t have become so great piece of
software if it hasn?t been free. Same applies to
Linux, gcc, KDE, Firefox and many others.
See the story at:
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