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Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development

image of Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development
Free and open source software (FOSS) technologies transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to usher in a new paradigm where volunteers collaboratively develop software for the commons. The political economy of FOSS technologies has far-reaching implications because of the centrality of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). The global trend in the diffusion and adoption of FOSS technologies is a testimony to the socio-economic and technological impact the software has for both developed and developing economies. While FOSS development, education and business potentials may appear as a phenomenon for the developed world, a sizable number of developing countries have undertaken bold measures to bring about innovation, sustainable ICT development and technology independence.

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Making sustainable open source software infrastructures by federating and learning in the global context

I think that if the developing country is serious about not just seeing ICT as a cost center, but as a requirement for national development, the real advantage of open source ends up being able to build up your own knowledge base. And that is not cheap in itself – you’ll likely pay as much for that as you’d pay for a proprietary software solution. The difference being that with the proprietary solution, you’ll never catch up, and you’ll have to pay forever, without ever learning anything yourself. (Linus Torvalds, quoted in Weerawarana and Weeratunge, 2004)

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