Materials used from:
Free and Open Source Software Asia-Pacific (FOSSAP)
Consultation 9-11 February 2004 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fiji Free and Open Source Event 3 March 2004, Suva, Fiji
Introduction to Free and Open Source
Regional Coordinator UNDP e-Pacifika project
JJ’s on the park
May 25th 2004
International Open Source Network (IOSN)
An Initiative of UNDP's Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme
Presentation Will Cover
What is FOSS?
What is Proprietary Software?
Examples of FOSS
Importance and benefits of FOSS
FOSS in Fiji
What is Free/Open Source
Free as in freedom, not FJ$ 0.00
Freedom to run, copy, distribute, study,
change and improve the software
Software that you need to buy – substantial costs.
Copyright resides with maker.
Can not see/use/copy the programming code.
Have to buy licenses to use software.
Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
Free as in Freedom
Freedom to :
run the program, for any purpose
study how the program works, and adapt it to your
redistribute copies so you can help others
improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public
Access to the source code is needed to:
Study the software
Copy the software
Improve the software
Hence the term ‘ Open Source’ :
You have access to the programming code.
Examples of FOSS
1991- Linux Torvalds, student at Helsinki
University, started development Linux:
Operating System (like Windows 2000/XP).
Other FOSS OS: Red Hat, Debian, BSD, etc.
Other examples of FOSS:
Apache (Web Server), Mozilla (Internet Brower),
MySQL (Database Software), Open Office
There are many more: Perl, Gnome, Zope, KDE,
Sendmail, BIND, etc.
Free Software powers the Internet to this day!!
So how is FOSS developed:
See the Linux Model
Complex software usually developed in a controlled,
coordinated way by a relatively small, tightly-knit
group of people.
Improved on by large numbers of volunteers
coordinating only through the Internet
Quality maintained by releasing very often and
getting fast feedback from many users.
In this manner only good quality code and useful
features are used.
Management might say:
"How can anything be good if it is free?!!!“
Management might say:
"How can open source be secure if it’ s open?!!!”
Free/Open Source Software Licensing
FOSS licensing falls into 2 main types:
What is there to stop someone
The creator/owner from converting a free software
maintains copyright to non-free software?
on the software Copyleft is used to prevent this.
Copyright Anyone who redistributes the
software, with or without changes,
must pass along the freedom to
further copy and change it.
Add in certain Guarantees that every user has
restrictions to freedom.
prevent E.g. GNU General Public License
(GPL) - free software and copyleft
to non-free F.e. Linux is distributed under a
GNU GPL license.
Much more permissive licensing than copyleft:
Permission to redistribute and modify
Permission to add additional restrictions to its
further distributrion and modification
This means that it is possible for someone to
take such software and make it proprietary
with or without modifications.
Importance and Benefits of FOSS
Importance of FOSS
Freedom to learn, redistribute and enhance
Prevents single vendor and technology lock-in
Promotion and preservation of open standards
Peer review and feedback will lead to:
More robust and reliable software
Better security and faster bug fixes
Promotes environment for positive competition,
self-learning, exploring and co-operation
Benefits developing countries – see next two slides
Benefits of FOSS to Developing Countries
Encourages positive traits - competition, self-help,
and mutual co-operation
Local developers to learn and participate in
systems software development
Builds up a critical mass of good coders
Ability to localise software oneself – benefits non-
Creates environment to stimulate and build up the
local software industry
Benefits of FOSS to Developing Countries - Ctd
Today, most technical products are driven by
software. It is crucial for developing countries to
cope with this increased dependence on software.
Ability to "look under the hood" and learn
FOSS in Fiji?
FOSS in Fiji? Yes!
FOSS is used in Fiji in (some examples):
ITC Services, Fiji Government,
South Pacific Tourism Organization
Cost savings, technical benefits, capacity
News: USP/IOSN Microgrant programme
for the Pacific
European Union produced a paper that stresses open
standards and encourages FOSS where appropriate.
Also creating FOSS centres and funding health-related
German city of Munich converting 14,000 desktops to
FOSS. German police force transitioning 11,000 users.
United Kingdom – emphasis on open standards,
especially after vendor bankruptcy left UK hospitals with
an unsupported and outdated system
Brazil – plans to migrate 80% of all computers in state
and state-owned institutions to FOSS.
South Africa – Prefers FOSS unless there are
compelling reasons otherwise
FOSS def. = Free(dom) and Open Source
FOSS offers viable alternative to proprietary
FOSS = many different types of software
FOSS licensing (Copylefted, Non-Copylefted)
FOSS benefits: costs, localization, freedom,
open standards, capacity development
FOSS is already in Fiji
Thanks to Dr. Nah Soo Hoe,
Malaysian National Computer Confederation
For more info see:
and/or write to:
Kenneth Wong (IOSN): email@example.com
Wooi Tong Tan (IOSN): firstname.lastname@example.org