06 May 2008

Viva El Software Libre!

When you think of groups promoting the adoption of free software around the world, you do not probably think of staid old UNESCO; and yet this organisation is actually quite active in this field. Here's one of its latest moves:

UNESCO Office in Montevideo, Uruguay, in cooperation with the network of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) in Latin America and the Caribbean, published the Guía práctica sobre software libre: su selección y aplicación local en América Latina y el Caribe (Guidelines on free software: how to choose it and apply it locally in Latin America and the Caribbean).

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This easy to read and practical guide promotes FLOSS contribution to sustainable development. It gives practical advice on the selection of adequate FLOSS solutions with the requested functionality and addresses the issue of migration from proprietary software to FLOSS. To facilitate the exchange of experience, the book offers a list of organizations and country related contacts. It also gives an overview of the thematic and regional landscape of the FLOSS community through the hints on annual FLOSS conferences in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Even for those who do not read Spanish, there are some very useful resources in this (free) guide. For example, there is a very detailed table showing free equivalents of Windows programs, and a good list of the main free software organisation around South America.

So if you ever need to know about free software in Belize or about the Fundación Código Libre Dominicano, you know where to go. Two countries stand out: Brazil (no surprise) and Uruguay (a big surprise, for me at least), which has more than half a dozen organisations supporting free software.

All in all, there seems to be far more going on Latin America than I with my anglocentric bias would have expected. All very hopeful for the future - and great to see UNESCO doing its bit to push things along there.

3 comments:

vruz said...

Photo taken in Montevideo a couple of weeks ago, as part of FLISOL 2008

http://fedaro.info/wp-content/gallery/flisol2008/panoramasorteolibros1.jpg

The UNESCO guide being distributed among Humanities and Sciences Faculty students.

glyn moody said...

Many thanks.

So why is open source so hot in Uruguay?

elptuxman said...

For bilingual colleagues wanting to help translate a site dedicated to FOSS. please visit http://tinyurl.com/3e4sh8 - there are TONS of links and postings that could help bridge the digital divide...