RICBrochure Discussion Chapter9 Open Source And Online Repositories

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Jutta Croll: We should make clear the differences between open source software and open knowledge. I agree that RIC builds on open knowledge but not necessary on open source software.

As we learned from offering training on ICT for people in rural areas they are not interested in open source because that knowledge does not help them to get jobs. In most SMEs open source software is not used.

David Wortley:

The main issue I have with the recommendations of the report is the stance on Open Source against proprietary. I believe very firmly that there is a place for both and that open source has a role in maintaining an economic balance rather than being “the answer” to an equitable information society.

Sustainability has to be based on an ecosystem which balances inputs and outputs. Open Source very often represents, in my view, the metaphorical “free lunch” . There is no such thing as a free lunch and even in the beautifully descriptive analogy of the water mill, a price of some kind has to be paid for the use of such a free resource and I see it as the same with knowledge – we cannot take out freely without a reverse transaction to balance the books otherwise the whole process becomes unsustainable or out of control.

I am not against Open Source and I admire and marvel at the achievements of Linux, but Linux could not have been developed without being subsidised in some way from unconnected sources. I would prefer to see a more balanced representation of the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, making use of both open source and proprietary solutions.

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