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Comment: Re:Can someone report back to me? (Score 1) 100

by fbonjour (#15354251) Attached to: FOSS documentary on BBC World
Hi Charlie, Bruce,

I waited for Part 2 before posting.

I agree with Charlie, but with one reserve: the main point of the documentary seems to have been to present the possible impact that the lower TCO of FOSS would have on IT in 3rd world and poor countries. Examples included Brazil (where the government has by law to consider FOSS for all public software purchase), India (where a school bus tours some country villages to teach kids computing skills, using FOSS) and Sri Lanka (where the Sahana project for disaster management was developed using FOSS).

As such, I think it was nice and I learned plenty.

However, as a first contact with FOSS, it was pretty bad: rather than making the point of the advantages of cooperation for development and the higher quality of software, the emphasis was almost entirely on the fact that it was much cheaper. I felt FOSS came out as very cheap software, and therefore (as the contrary wasn't specified) poorer quality when compared to proprietary. I think that only one journalist at the end (from The Observer) pointed out that he suspected that FOSS was a better model for large projects such as OSs. OK, there was some positive input (from IBM, Sun and others) about FOSS which wasn't specifically cost-oriented, but given the general aim of the documentary, it was a minor point.

Considering that the documentary included almost Jaywalk-like footage of people who were asked if they heard of FOSS ("FO... what was that again?"), it's hard to imagine that "The Codebreakers" wasn't at least partially directed towards non-technical people who have never heard of Open Source. As was pointed out several times in this forum, and by Charlie, Microsoft was the most quoted company --- although IBM, Sun, HP were quoted once or twice each.

Bruce, you and RMS were quoted, clearly from public appearances in meetings and summits. RMS was shown giving the definition of "free" and you were credited with rebranding "free" as "Open source".

Oh, in case you're interested to know what Microsoft think of FOSS, well first of all it's a big world out there, with room for everyone, and second, they love it, because it's such healthy competition, and it stimulates them to create even better software.



Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke