>> MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this session. This is a birds-of-a-feather session on the broad topic of Free and Open Source Software on the context of the next billion users on the Internet. So we are setting up the streaming system. So there's a small delay here. So we are told this is take another couple of minutes at least. They're having a glitch in the streaming video they're trying to fix.
>> AUDIENCE: Is the technology Open Source or proprietary?
>> MODERATOR: We are rolling now. Welcome to the session. This is a birds-of-a-feather session. The original format was that there will be a panel of speakers and we will identify topics and assign these pop picks, which we've already done so far. The presenters will take about five minutes in the first round and talk about the topics, after which we will have an open discussion where the panel will address the issues raised.
My name is Satish Babu. This workshop has been organized by ‑‑ between people, Judi who works for FOSS Foundation for Africa. She's done these for several years. This is the fourth workshop on Open Source in different IGF meetings. Let me give you a very brief overview on what this session is and what we will try to address here.
Over the last two days we've been discussing about the next billion in different context. Now, yesterday in the same session about the next billion, but focused on Asia.
Most of the people are also not necessarily very well‑educated, not really. They're not tech savvy and it's quite likely the mobile phone is the only device to connect. Now, these issues actually raise a bunch of potential problems as we start to connect these next billion. We're all aware as Internet professionals about the risks that exist on the Internet. When you have a combination of new users who aren't tech savvy exposed to the risks, there is a potential for harm, which all of us would like to kind of limit and take precautions against.
We understand that the primary factors for the next billion are things like infrastructure, building, policy coherence and technology. As a secondary issue or factor, we believe that Free and Open Source Software is very important, if not critical.
Open Source provides many advantages, which most of us are aware. It's kind of public software. We're aware of what exactly is there in the software. We can audit the content of the software. We can do that so they don't steal private information and pass it down the line to someone else.
Community is very important in Open Source. The community is there to both support the software as well as to direct the revolution of the software from what the users want. As a feature, this gets added into the Open Source software. The case of non‑Open Source, we are at the mercy of companies that produce the software, and we don't have all that control over what they will put out in the next version of the software.
We also believe that Open Source lends itself to improved privacy, anonymity and confidentiality. Oftentimes the question is asked why should there be confidentiality? For many users from the mainstream in the developed world, there is no reason to be clamoring after something like confidentiality.
In the developing world, sometimes you can lose your life if the system doesn't like you, and there are situations where anon mitt isn't a luxury but a necessity. Any proprietary software, you have no guarantees, what it's tracking and reporting about you. Whereas, Open Source there are special tools. For example, there's a family of tools. Nothing is 100% foolproof, but it tries the best. It's perhaps the best solution we have for someone.
So the community and ‑‑ the reason it's a community of people developers included who believe in the particular approach to writing software, and Open Source is actually an outcome of that belief of that approach to writing software and the fact we have to contribute back to the community and such lofty values that are very important. So coming back to the next billion, we believe that the new literate on the Internet are exposed to things like ordinary users, children and the aged and students and girls and women, Civil Society activists. They'll be exposed to some of the issues we just talked about, which including cyberstalking, surveillance, cyber‑bullying, malware, spam, scans, identity theft, and so on. There are many issues that confront them.
This workshop is basically to discuss how these things interplay, and how the Open Source approach will help us to kind of address some of these issues for the next billion people as they come in.
As I mentioned, the format is we have identified a panel, and Judy will be running ‑‑ most of the workshop. I have my colleague from ICANN, Maureen Hilliard, who is handling the remote participation. We hope some friends join online, and that will be handled by Maureen.
And this is ‑‑ I'll just briefly touch on the topics and the speakers. First of all, we have from Gunela Astbrink from Australia. We have Olivier Crepin‑Leblond, and he's a very senior volunteer with ICANN and ISOC and so on. We have Glenn McKnight from Canada in the blue T‑shirt. He will speak about open hardware and humanitarian applications. We have Dev Anand Teelucksingh in the green shirt, and he's a volunteer with the ICANN. He's an Open Source activists for many, many years.
We have a young colleague, Arjun, who will talk about enabling trust for the next billion. Finally, we have Bishakha Datta who was on the board of directors. She's going to speak on Open Knowledge, and we have one remote who promises to join from Nepal, and we hope he joins us. This is the rough composition.
The format is five minutes per panelists and then the floor is open for discussions. Then at the end we have one or two minutes for panelists to wind up. It's over to Judi now.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for a very good opening and introduction. Yes, we have been called bird names, because people have already chosen their bird names. Should I do that? Thank you. So I will do that. I will keep us all in time five minutes, please.
So Gunela, I will give you the floor. What is your bird name? What are you?
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: That was very spontaneous. Hello. I'm Gunela Astbrink from Women with Disabilities Australia, and I have many other hats as we all seem to do working with ISOC and ICANN as well.
I have worked for 25 years on ICT accessibility for people with disabilities. Often it's very fraught in that people with disability either have forgotten about when a software is developed or it's an afterthought.
Well, we need to adjust software to make it a bit more accessible. And so it's always challenging.
Now, there are changes happening when it comes to the push to make accessible software. One area is public procurement in ICT. This is being adhered to by a number of countries in the U.S. and Europe through guidelines and also European standards, a particular standard that's actually just been adopted in Australia, too, by direct text adoption.
Australia is the first country outside the European sector to do so. Having government guidelines on what should be purchased and including ICT accessibility in that really, really does make a difference to the marketplace. So I'm just saying that as an adjunct, but whether it comes to Open Source software, it's of great benefit, really, because there are a few examples that we'll provide to you where there has been commercial software available, which has been very, very expensive for people.
And to then be able to have something which people can take up and use for your charge, which is very important in developing countries and developed countries, because people with disabilities usually have low incomes.
One example I'd like to talk about specifically is one called NVDA, which is a screen reading software for blind people. So blind people use computers, websites, et cetera, and all the text is converted to speech, and in some cases to Braille on a separate keyboard. For those people who attended maybe some previous sessions, for example, the Dynamic Coalition on accessibility and disability earlier today, there was a blind person who used such software. NVDA is screen‑reading software written in Lenix and available on Windows software.
It was developed by a blind man in Australia together with his colleague, and it's free. It's absolutely free.
As a contrast to that is one piece of software called Jaws, which has been the main screen‑reading software used for many, many years by blind people. It costs about 1,000 U.S. dollars and needs to be upgraded and you have additional costs, maybe $100 a time.
While the costs might be coming down, to have something like NVDA, available in about 43 different languages it makes a difference. I'd like to talk about daisy, which is a digital‑reading system used by blind people, and a range of reading software in conjunction with Daisy means that, again, that is Open Source software, and it means that published books can be made available at the same time to blind people as to anyone else in the world.
I just wanted to also finish off by saying that in the Open Source software, we see some exciting developments in particular assistive technology for people with disabilities, and some is good and some is bad. And sometimes it's the enthusiasm of individual developers, and that's great. But there probably needs to be more consultation with people with disabilities in regard to the development, and sometimes systems are developed in isolation without the knowledge of existing software that might meet the same requirements.
So my suggestion is it would be great for the community to have a platform to share information about things that are going to be developed and are in the process of development so the community can share that together and learn from each other and hopefully not duplicate so much. So there's just some initial thoughts I have. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Gunela. If you have any questions note it down and take note of speaker. When we do the open session, you can ask it. Thank you.
Next we have Olivier, the Rooster. Five minutes.
>> OLIVIER CREPIN-LEBLOND: Thank you very much. I'm also known as the Rooster. I'm going to speak to a little story. I've been an Internet user since 1988, and during the '90s I was tracking the connectivity around the world, the spread of the Internet and especially in developing countries so Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, and there were many different initiatives. Initially it was end users, a few techies that had been to the U.S. primarily.
They thought it was cool and wanted to implement it in their own country. The way that they did it was to take Open Source software, whatever had been put together by hobbyists, and bring it over to the country and put a note together, get a little ‑‑ it wasn't laptops back in the '90s. It was mostly desktops and they got an Internet node running. Soon enough, they got a community together. In fact, many of the Internet service providers you have in these countries are actually starting like this.
Parallel to this in I would say the '96‑97, government thought hang on. We need to be on the Internet thing, especially the U.S. state department and U.S. aid thought, well, we have to bring the Internet to some parts of the world in a bigger way, and it deals with big manufacturers and big software companies, and they brought big systems down into those countries, which needed, unfortunately, air‑conditioning, proprietary software, all the problems you have with bigger systems.
Two years later, those systems were not working anymore. Well it's the little nodes put together earlier not by hobbyists because now they're professionals in their own field. They were still running, and the local population was able to adopt this.
What's the whole moral of the story on this? When you look at proprietary software, I can identify a number of problems and it's worse and worse today. Licensing is a huge issue. Licensing often includes having to use a credit card. Credit cards in the Global South are not something commonly used. Secondly, licensing is expensive. You have to renew it very often, and then you have this thing called product end of life.
Manufacturers love the product end of life. You have product updates, and just yesterday a person who had a fruit‑based phone or fruit brand that you might find out running a system to hail taxis on the phone. It was freezing and said, well ever since two days ago when I left it plugged in and there was an automatic update, my phone is freezing.
I think that company is telling me I have to change phones. It's terrible. They could afford to change phones, but in the Global South it's difficult to do that. Open Source allows for all of these things that if you have free software, free proprietary software somebody will pay for it, and it's probably your personal data shared and so on.
With Open Source you don't have that risk so you know what is in that software. Sometimes you might not know there's another side to it. You need certified Open Source software. Because you might end up downloading something completely different to what you intended to download. I have two suggestions to close off on my points.
First, be careful that Open Source isn't the poor person's software, as it's a copy of the proprietary but it has less features and a cut‑down version. We have to be careful that Open Source software is safe to use. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Awesome. Please let's give him a round of applause. Sorry. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Rooster.
I'll give the next opportunity to Glenn, the Chicken. Yeah, the Chicken.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: Why is he called Rooster?
>> OLIVIER CREPIN-LEBLOND: You're about to be cooked.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: Before I start, since I got that terrible name, I have how many minutes?
>> MODERATOR: Five minutes.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: But I brought you a coffee.
>> MODERATOR: Glenn, just do five minutes, please.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: How many people use Open Source or Lenix by a show of hands? This is great. I wasn't going to talk about this, but this is a real quick story.
I, like Olivier, was involved with promoting Lenix certification for the late '90s and most of the first decade of 2000. I remember going around to the 40, 45 countries trying to promote Linux and we were more popular than red head. I remember being in Venezuela under Chavez and we were talking about Open Source, and it was one of the only countries that got it.
They understood the value. The only country that exports software is America, and this was a really good thing to do. I was on the podium with Professor Stallman. I used the world Open Source, and using that is forbidden. You don't do that sort of thing with Stallman. It's Free and Open Source Software. I understand, Richard, but sometimes he's a character.
Let me get to why my topic is important. I'm talking about not Open Office or Linux but getting access to the code for humanitarian purposes. I worked with the IEEE found day and U.N. foundation to look at three of the SDG issues.
One is reliable electricity. If you don't have reliable electricity, never mind. You won't connect them on a mesh network.
Second, come up with cost‑effective communication tools, which is the mesh networks and point‑to‑point systems.
Third was patient records or individual records in war‑torn areas. We worked on this, and we're working on prototypes. The area I worked on first was 1,000‑watt, the 1 kilowatt off the grid solar system, and then the earthquake happened in '80 and all that funding disappeared. It was an interesting culmination of IEEE engineers and people in the field.
We worked on one particular Open Source license with We Care Solar. So if you look it up, We Care Solar, it's a wonderful woman named Dr. Satchel, who created these suitcases that go on a plane, take it to different maternity wards in Africa where power was off. The women were actually having a high death rate. The lack of power. So this was a suitcase with solar panels.
It had walkie‑talkies and a number of devices in it, and we worked on an Open Source license. It's called TARP. We worked on this license to make this entire system available so that anyone in the world people can replicate this model. The kits were made with university students making them so that they would give back.
The costs of the kits were around $700, but there was no Open Source solar controller. There's so many things we did using this licensing protocol, and now it's just one example of a humanitarian technology we worked on. There's tons of other examples. How much time do I have?
>> MODERATOR: About two minutes.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: I'm pretty good. Open education. The issue of particular solar and meshed networks, we're working with making sure people can access open education through sharing in particular how to build an off the grid solar system.
I'm working with IEEE Smart Villages. This is a phenomenal project. Smart Villages look at templates and prototypes, nailing them down, and there's projects in New Guinea and we're working on a particular mesh network project. The idea is it's also Open Source.
When we first started to talk to I‑EEE back six, seven, eight years ago, they had it on the line that it will be Open Source. I don't think anybody got it. I don't think anybody understood what that meant. They didn't get it. Sounds good. It sounded pretty good, but nobody was really doing it.
As engineers or technicians, the biggest challenge is going back to the bureaucrats and other people explaining the real value. The way to explain stuff is to show them best practices that are really viable and inclusive, okay? Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Please give him a round. Thank you very much, Glenn.
I will give the next opportunity to Dev. What kind of bird are you?
>> DEV ANAND TEELUCKSINGH: Kiskadee. This is a popular bird in Trinidad. That's why it's called that, because of its bird call.
Now that everybody is aware of odontology explanation, while I've been passionate end user from Trinidad and Tobago computers beside back in the '90s before the Internet. We ran a bulletin board system at one time for the precursors to the Internet. One of the things that I got very familiar with was the concept of shareware and Free and Open Source Software, learning about it and so forth. It was a hard topic to understand, especially when you explain to general computer users.
Often, you know, we'll have meetings and some person will come and say, I have this problem, and I would like ‑‑ I'm running a browser for Windows and it has bars and pop‑ups happening every five seconds or something like that. It's kind of like ‑‑ when I asked them, how do you get it to this state? I downloaded this free software that's supposed to help me with something, and, of course, that free software was ‑‑ had some sort of Spyware, malware and so forth that changed it. It did all sorts of things.
I realize this was ‑‑ this lack of awareness for the Open Source software like Firefox and so forth, I need to create some sort of collection. That's what I did. I created the software called the TTTS collection and that OSSFW and it was Open Source software for Windows. When I first developed it in 2005, you know, broadband still was ubiquitous, and still isn't ubiquitous. I put it together on a CD with the intention of being able to give the person CDs and you know, say, here's some of the software.
I created a menu system for persons to navigate the software in different categories. That's the tools and desktop tools and sound and video utilities and so forth. I've included things like screenshots and related links, because ‑‑ and then to empower the end user like, okay, here's something you can discover on your own. Follow the web pages to the latest links, and if you didn't have the broadband and you had the CD and then or the DVD now, you can download the software on your computer and install it.
The TDDS CD became a DVD as I found more and more software to add. Now it's just a collection. You can Google it and still download it. I released a new version last week. So people around the world have adopted it in various countries. In Africa I learned it's used at school to give to students. I believe in Nepal a customized version was made and changed the language in Nepalese and used the software version VD for them and includes the software developed in Nepal and so forth, and it's been mentioned many times and used for promotions for the events, which normal you would know it's a day to celebrate software freedom and making people aware about software freedom and why it's important.
So I'm thinking this type of approach can also help with security and be like an education about the security issues as to what, you know ‑‑ why you need encryption. Why do you need, you know, not just on hard disk encryption, for example, in your case your laptop is stolen and your data is still safe, et cetera, and then promote these Open Source solutions that alleviate those concerns. I think it's important to say use this solution, you have to explain why it is. This will solve a need that you may not be aware you need, but you really do need it, and these entities will. I think I'll just stop there.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Kiskadee. Please let's give him a round of applause. Very interesting. Please make sure you download so that you could have the highlights from IGF 2016. Thank you.
I'd like to give the next opportunity to Arjun Jayakumar who will talk about enabling trust for the next billion. What kind of bird are you?
>> ARJUN JAYAKUMAR: Woodpecker. Probably because there's a lot in the state I come from. That's probably it.
Anyway, so he mentioned I work with an organization called the software freedom law center. We're big believers in the free software and we roadway the benefits that free software does, and we do our best to promote worldwide ‑‑ to provide Free and Open Source Software. We provide advice for free and open software in our work.
I'm here today in place our director who could unfortunately not be here because she was unwell and had to fly back to New York.
The technologist is lower than it would have been, so I'll define my intervention to a very few quick, broad remarks how Open Source will help to ensure the Internet that we bring the next billion onto is something we can truce and you feel confident in using it.
So the Internet's great success is because of the openness to participation. That is the public participation with this technology makes it possible. This whole idea of technology started with a Free and Open Source Software in the late 20th century. What FOSS did was to enable participation in software and so it was allowing people to copy, modify, our share their software without any restrictions.
Likewise, the Internet is a very open platform, because Internet protocols are always open and adopted by consensus, and everybody can implement these protocols which makes it a very open platform. This openness with both the Internet and free software is very crucial, as crucial as openness is and participating processes are to scientific research. We have already learned through numerous years of experience that maximum participation makes a better source of policy.
So then we know that the primary purpose of FOSS is to empower users to ensure we have our basic rights to use the software the way they want and copy and share and distribute how they want. More importantly, ever, in this context, there is no software we can tally trust as well as other software. That makes it possible.
It makes people ‑‑ it gives people the opportunity to look into the source code and go over the source code and make sure that it does what it says and it doesn't do anything as quickly under the table. So with Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013, we know there's a massive amount of surveillance sometimes under the authority of law and also exploiting and they tap into people's personal computing devices and keep a close watch what they do and say online. This makes people kind of fear for their right to privacy on the Internet and makes people not participate as much mountain public discourses the Internet permits them to participate in.
Okay. All right. So when you talk about proprietary versus Open Source software, proprietary has a distinct disadvantage because you can't go into the source code, and therefore it would be prudent to proceed under the assumption that is proprietary contains somebody's Everett to control and surveil somebody.
That must just be us. There are a number of Open Source software that enables people to ensure a certain amount of privacy in and around connectivities. There's layering of encryption and Internet browsing activities around the world to make sure you're not tracked back to what you do on the Internet. I guess I'd like to say that whether you're talking about brings the next billion online, it's essential to make sure the Internet they're brought onto is something they can trust and the use of Open Source software is a great way to accomplish this goal. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Now I get it, why you say woodpecker. I understand totally, but I'm glad that our captioners were able to pick on what you were saying. Thank you very much. We may need to put on a speed dial. Thank you.
I'd like to give the next opportunity to Bishakha Datta. Can I call you peacock? All right. Peacock. Thank you. Five minutes.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: I'll try my best to live up to the name. Okay. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk about something that's connected to Open Source but not quite Open Source. So if we go back to the beginning, which is when Satish introduced this panel, he talked about how the next billion users, many of them will not be tech savvy or have much education, right? Let's imagine a situation where many of these next billion have actually got access, the infrastructure is in place.
Let's say the Open Source software is in place. What is it they're going to find online, right? I imagine that they're going to have a bit of a shock when get online, particularly communities in India. The first thing they find is most of the content is in a language that they don't necessarily speak, think, dream in, count in, et cetera, right? It's an alien language, English for many, many people in India.
So this is where I feel that we have to actually broaden our framework to think beyond Open Source to other parts of the Open family. What I have in mind in two things. One is Open Knowledge. I will say that I'm part of the Wikipedia family, so for me this is a very obvious extension, right?
If we think of Open Knowledge it's like the Open Source of Knowledge. You produce knowledge in a way where anybody can add to that knowledge. The wind, which knowledge is produced, is very explicit and very clear. If you can go to the source of the knowledge, et cetera, right? So I think that's one of the really important things that we have to look at when we think about openness as a key enabler on the part of the next billion.
That there be Open Knowledge, and by that I mean in different languages and also, you know, from the time of Web 2.0, we've been talking about producers, consumers become producers, user generated content. Again, Open Knowledge offers the possibility for people to not just consume content but also be producers of content, and more importantly to be producers of content about people like themselves.
For example, if we refer to India, there's very, very little content that reflects the lives, the needs, the aspirations. You know, a whole bunch of stuff to live in rural areas. Who is going to produce that content? Right? So part of this is thinking about that. The other thing is we have to really think about open educational resources.
Given that you have a lot of people coming online who may not be educated, why not look at technology and particular openness also as an opportunity to fill that gap. We don't live in a time and place anymore where people need to only go to physical schools, et cetera to learn, right? Why not think of open education resources and formats conducive to people who haven't been to school, which means maybe video formats or audio formats and particular if we think of people who are visually impaired I work with as well, the audio format is something that is very, very important and takes up less bandwidth.
We have to match the Open Source spot of it with the what happened after Open Source part of it. I think we also need to think about a couple more gaps. One we've seen in Open Knowledge. There's a big gender gap. We know, for example, on Wikipedia, which is the biggest source of Open Knowledge currently online that about 9%. People that contribute to Wikipedia are women, whereas an overwhelming majority are men. We know that, again, there's like a Global North/Global South kind of gap. All of these according to me having to part of our mention constructive enabling the next billion through openness.
In my final minute, two things I wanted to say. One is I think many of us are aware of the benefits of Open Source software. My question actually to all of us is, what is the policy push that we need? To be honest, I don't think Open Source software is really going to get onto people's computers and laptops if we just look at people individually puts it on. We need policy bodies whether it's schools or small municipal governments or in villages, communities, et cetera. Even if we can't huge national governments, so I think we need to think of policy in a sort of nuanced way, a different level to really popularize the adoption of Open Source software.
Finally, as somebody who uses Open Source software tag back to the other thing Satish said is we don't want it to be poor software, but we have to prettify the software a little bit. Sometimes Open Source is hard to use and is clunky it doesn't appear to the aesthetic bits of us, et cetera, et cetera. I think if it has to compete on an equal footing, then it has to look appeals, peacock‑like. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Bishakha Datta. Before Judi opens the floor, I want to make two remarks. Open Source has been combined to the body of developers who are kind of nerds and who have created ‑‑ erected these barriers to stop others from coming in. Now it's much more open and democratic. The other point I wanted to mention is that you might have seen me fiddling around with my phone all throughout. I'm tweeting all the time so the #44nextbillion. Feel free to tweet on any issue you would announced to public. Over to Judi.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Satish. You wanted to say something, Chicken.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: I think he's only speaking of himself. I don't think Dev is a nerd. Went to the province of Ontario in Canada. We laid out a solid case, why it was economically viable to migrate away from an Open Source platform instead of spending millions of dollars on licenses they intent on Microsoft.
A bureaucrat looked right in their eye and he said hell will freeze over before we adopt Open Source. It's been true. It's been a real hard go getting countries. I went into Africa where they have more Microsoft licenses than people. We don't have the money, the marketing money to promote it. It's like you said, us nerds, we feel it. We're passionate about it and really want to get it. I used to do that stuff, too. I said the hell with it. I'm not going to preach about it anymore. It's open hardware and focus on that area, and that's what I chose to do.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Chicken. Thank you. I'd like to open this session for questions. Yes, I see one hand up. Do we have a roaming mic? Any other questions for anybody? Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello. I'm Roger Matthews from India and represent mobile operators in India. Just two points.
First of all, Open Source is a great thing, but in terms of the practicality of connecting the next 1 billion, if you look at India, when we go to a person that has never used and has no data connectivity, they don't ask for the Internet. They say, when I buy a smartphone, they say, please load on Facebook, Google, what's up. All right? So there's a brand issue here whether people are unconnected, they don't ask for Open Source. They don't know because they haven't spent the money to do this.
This is the first point that crops up in terms of connecting the 1 billion. Once they're connected and you don't have the problem. It's a second order issue.
The second point I'd like to make is the issue that came up with Linux. If I adopt Open Source Linux and there's problems in terms of my network infringement, I'm on the hook. No Open Source person will offer my indemnification. It's a catch‑22 situation that comes up as a result of government licensing issues over operators that center to operate. Just two points with regard to Open Source.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. The second question. Yes.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. I work as a developer. It's quite long, but I will try to do it short and my English is so bad it won't be so long. First of all, I was there in another room talking about IPV‑6, and they say all operative systems are working on the PVC, only Windows and Mac, they forgot most at Lenix. This is out of the Open Source community to the people.
In the other room I said we're like the ugly boy in the family. We're systemically selected by the media and everything. In the other side we are like the galaxies who support lots, millions or billions of life runs, because nobody cares because there's already there are.
Hopefully in the community we work on Open Source and on the government. We are dropping licensing ‑‑ licensing stuff. Hopefully we can have the community and organization in the collaborative work, we attribute with other signs like social science, et cetera. That's my comment and question.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. A very valuable comment. Yes, please. Third question.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes, I'm Victor from Venezuela. I come from an organization where we want an Open Source society, because Open Source has four key core values. So I think that Open Source must go beyond technology to all kinds of societies. So we are doing one source politics and economics, and I wish to talk to you about this later. The government of Venezuela started to pass some laws according to Open Source and free software because you know it's kind of a social regime, and they say that Microsoft and all the software are from the Empire and it's bad. The thing is that we started to use Lenix in all the Polish institutions.
The developers of software in Venezuela were starting to grow up affected by this because Venezuela practically makes them criminals or something. In develops countries like mine that we want to develop software and we want to get involved in this, how could it be they translate ‑‑ what does it mean for the point? What can we do about that?
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your question. There's a question from the gentleman here on this end.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm from Australia, but in this context I should mention I'm president of Lenix users of Australia and Open Source contributor. I've worked on send mail and know Richard Storman so far and so on. As someone who actually running an Open Source group, one of the things that I node is that in a developed country like Australia the membership is aging out. It's getting the same people year after year because I think one of the reasons is the platform level was changing.
Those that still develop and produce the software we use, we're in a time where you actually have to build that level. As we go to a world in which the platform is available and everything is done on the web and it's done at the application layer, there's less desire for people to learn that level of the stack. That's why raspberry pie has been helpful in that regard encouraging learning again and encouraging school kids to get involved in the low level hacking lair. That's helpful.
Some offer proprietary software plaques on the platform. We see new information from coming from arrivals from Australia. They come from Asian and Africa companies and look for an Open Source group to join so they can form connections and network and contribute, because they have the values that we heard before from an earlier question about the Open Source core values.
We get new arrivals to the ones who share the values. I hope the continuation of our group is mainly immigrants. I hope it goes up as well eventually.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I have one more question.
>> AUDIENCE: I want to respond to the nobody cares about Open Source part. We do. Our phones run ‑‑ our Android phones. We're increase going becoming involved in ‑‑ our engineers are increasingly becomes involved in Open Source. With the company's blessing and encouragement. Yes, some big companies do care about it and were ‑‑ we think it's important. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I'd like to open the floor to any of our members that are watch to our buds from ‑‑ I'm sorry. Any of the questions ‑‑ I'm sorry. The two of us on the farm.
>> SPEAKER: Thank you, Judi. The first point raised by my friend from India, is about the Lenix having a brand issue and not ‑‑ they're not being many takers for this brand. Actually, things have changed dramatically after Android. It's a common brand, and now I think about 80% in India use it. It's Open Source, and that takes care of the problem. We do not have a brand issue, and Facebook or anything will come on Android on the next.
So that is not an issue. That's indemnification. What is it? After the clouds come in, why did Microsoft move to Open Source? The whole Platt for moved last year. They strengthen the next position so much so Microsoft had to move in. Today the next cloud server is cheaper, and that's because of this very point of insurance. You can get much cheaper cloud instances today. That is a reality like none. So these problems are yesterday's problems, the second problem you raced. IBB6 and Lenix, you're actually right.
We have had the same situation, and we also say sometimes look at this here. Please look at this with this and to connect. So we can connect heavily and it's flash‑based. We don't use Mac or Windows. Please help us also. In fact, this workshop is a kind of direction of making that noise.
Then socialization and in this case, I have something to add on, but I think I won't because other people have things as well. So I'd like to open it up for other panelists.
>> OLIVIER CREPIN-LEBLOND: Thank you. It's Olivier Rooster speaking. In life everything is based on aesthetic. When you go to the restaurant if you see pictures of the dish outside and it looks like a dog's breakfast, you don't go to the restaurant. You rather have it looking good, and this is one of the main problems I think with Open Source.
There's much of ‑‑ the aesthetics don't look good enough for your average user. Yes, it's Open Source and it's got all the advantages and so on but it looks insert your four‑letter word there. You know the second thing is it needs to be intuitive. The second you write software that looks good and as great as apple products and at that point you're going to get so many people flocking to it, even if it's maybe doing a little less than the other softwares out there.
In fact, most people don't use all of the component parts of a software. Secondly, I wanted to touch on the liability issue. You're absolutely correct that there ‑‑ I work a lot with the private sector, and it's the same thing as with governments. You have sort of an IT, a CEO of a company working with you to roll out a new system, and they'll say, wait a minute. What is our guarantee it will work? Who can I sue if it falls apart?
There's also an issue of technical support. They like the predictability. The CIO might understand the Open Source concept, but then the accountant doesn't and the legal department definitely doesn't understand it. We can't sue anyone? We're not going for that. So that's also another issue.
But, of course, you know, one of the things that I do tell them, well, how many of you have heard of Apache? Since the early days of the net has been the largest supplier or largest number of web servers run Apache. It runs so well. Obviously, Microsoft is eating a little bit of this, but Microsoft never managed to eat more than Apache, and then you have NJINX but it's Open Source as well. The Internet service side has run on Open Source.
Why can't the other side work as well? Maybe it's because of aesthetics. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We'll get one reaction.
>> SPEAKER: Can I quickly respond? The concern about the user interface is a long‑standing complaint, and the reason is because good design requires designers that cost money, and the question is why don't we get skilled users and designers in the Open Source movement. One is because a lot of people that we do the programming about are in well‑paid jobs where they can afford to put in extra work on their time on their own side.
They're less likely to volunteer to do free user interface design. I don't know the solution until we have income or something like that. You can't force people to volunteer to user interface design, or you have to have government funding of Open Source so there's money to do it. That's a long‑standing compliant, but they need money behind it.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Thank you very much. I think that's why people keep talking about Open Source free and not as free as free. Somebody has to pay at the end of it.
>> SPEAKER: So it goes back to ‑‑ I think this is often one of the big challenges, is that, you know, people look at ‑‑ hear the word "free" and it's free costs. I don't have to contribute anything or give back. That's what you have to encourage users to do. If you're using the software, tell the developers to help them with better UI experiences, and also how to socialize it more from the person in Venezuela.
Well, Open Source software is multiplatform, and I think that's one of the great selling points of it. It doesn't matter whether you run a fruit‑based system or Windows or whatever. You can use software that's available on all three platforms, and by using it on one platform, even if you decide to switch or try a different operating system, you can take your data with you, and that's one of the key benefits of Open Source software.
Your data ‑‑ I suppose it could be not, but in more cases than not the data is an open format, and of course open formats means that, you know, you can take your data to any platform or form or whatever.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Peacock.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Yes, on cue. I wanted to jump in the aesthetics question. I think the winner is actually Android. I think Android actually looks very nice and many of us who use it don't have complaints about the user interface. I also wanted to say we have the exact parallel issue in the Open Knowledge movement. We've been talking about changing the user interface of Wikipedia for years. We introduced, first of all, the way you edit, we could be there and you basically have to write and work with code, which is weird for people posting on Facebook and Twitter and et cetera and not interfacing with code. The Wikipedia experience becomes different from the rest of your experience on the Internet as a producer. That's totally weird.
We did introduce something called the visual editor to make it more contemporary, but I think for us it wasn't so much, you know, funding and stuff like that. I think in some of the movements where there are communities, communities are also used to a certain look and feel. Some find it hard to conceive of it, and I imagine at some level Open Source is also a community, right? Some of those are also issues.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I'd like to give you the opportunity to Chicken.
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: We talked about skills and professionalism, and I think that Aussie at the end of the room there dealt with this issue a bit. I think the LAMP certification is good. All that culmination. Schools need to, you know, have a coordinated effort in their skills training and accreditation process and that's what we worked with in Australia working with the Open Source community creating a certification, and then we marketed that around the world and then we helped my SQL and BSD groups and all of these.
We realized in certain countries like Germany and Japan in particular, they really valued accreditation and certification. It was important to let the companies know that these Open Source professionals were accredited, and I think I'll give you an example. CVCRM is probably one of the best Open Source softwares out there. In my dealings with these people, they have gotten together as groups of consultants that work together and have a good professional image and are at trade shows sharing leading, professional booths, giving a real professional look to the public.
Not every geek is in the basement and never moved out of their home. There is people that really take, you know, a very professional approach in creating the best product possible. As you said, it's not free.
Remember, you're not paying for the software, but you pay for the support. That's where the money is. Remember, there's only 15% of the cost that's software and hardware. The rest is teaching andsupport. That's where the money is.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I'd like to give ‑‑
>> SPEAKER: It's hard to find a word for me. Very quick because we're running out of time. One point about the aesthetics is there's another side to the whole question of aesthetics and in India all the government schools run on Linux and then they developed or customized many software, and they're not experts in the user interface or UX designs.
For people who have only used Linux, that's not an issue at all. The gentleman was asking about the middle way, and I think an important thing. We had a colleague who used to come with us for this idea of Open Source sessions. His name is Fernando, and he's blind. He's been ‑‑ he's from Brazil, and he runs this company called ‑‑ I forget the name of the company. F1, 2, 3.
So he has found a sweet spot for himself using only Open Source, but being able to kind of, you know, make a living for himself and his employees. There's the possibility. I'm sure we can look out under the lines. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Gunela, quickly.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: I'm a cockatoo. Just a matter of aesthetics, for example, with Wikipedia, while it ‑‑
>> AUDIENCE: No, it's okay.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: I am not ‑‑ well, okay, I'm a cockatoo.
>> AUDIENCE: She's getting punchy.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Cockatoos in Australia are exciting birds, actually. Exactly. Moving right along. With Wikipedia, for example, one could say, okay, the look and feel isn't exciting, but it has an air of being there for a long time and respectability, and we have so many trends in web design. It moves from one aspect to another, whereas, Wikipedia stays the same.
I think that's ‑‑ that's a sign in itself. I just wanted to also say we aesthetics and user interface design, if there's going to be more emphasis and funding for intuitive design, obviously think about accessibility. Web accessibility, and the web content accessibility guidelines is just fundamental. Thank you
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Gunela. I'll give an opportunity to two reactions and then close. There's a lady in the blue and there's Jerry.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm from Brazil, and I came here through the youth program. Please don't misunderstand me. I love Open Source, but unfortunately, I'm not sure if the government is prepared to use FOSS, the government of my country isn't using FOSS and bought Microsoft for the public server. They said it's more expensive to use the kind of software than buy leases.
This didn't prove this. This makes me think this case should be studied.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Jerry.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. Jerry Ellis from Dublin, Ireland. And I ain't no turkey. It's difficult for the ordinary person to get involved with Open Source, because it tends to be developed using very complicated systems and very complicated programming and so on. So it tends to be geeks that do Open Source programming, people who are used to doing things the hard way. Maybe you're not worried about the interface and so on.
My idea for Open Source is to try and develop APIs and various other stand systems which then can be used by people with lesser skills, and those people with lesser skills are closer to the average user and make them easier to use. One last comment I'd make is referring back to Judi's talk about Open and Knowledge, the big thing is it nooks which is massive online courses completely on time and completely free. It's just to promote three produced in 2013 for people with disabilities. I'm blind myself. There was one done by the international telecommunications union, but by the Georgia institute of technology with a group and one by third level institutions around Europe. They're all available for free. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Jerry. That's a good way of finishing it. I'd like to give 30 seconds to my fun members. What you would you like people to leave here with? 30 seconds.
>> SPEAKER: Shall I start in responding to Jerry's question, it's hard to use, et cetera, right? Why? I think it's hard for people to also understand why they should use Open Source beyond the point. I think one of the things, and I don't think your name but the speaker from Venezuela talked about the role of Open Source in building an Open Source society. Right? I think that's a nice approach to think about the kind of society we want and the role that Open Source can play in that.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Rooster.
>> OLIVIER CREPIN-LEBLOND: Rooster speaking or singing. I'm not quite sure. I think that the point that I've heard today and that has struck me as being different from previous years because we have spoken about this on so many different occasions. We know the problems about the user interface, the lack of intuitiveness of the user interface and so on.
One thing I found is we often find examples of Open Source being used because of a conscious wish to not use proprietary software. I wonder whether that's the right way to do it. For the next billion, people would want to use Open Source, not because they don't want to use proprietary software because but they want to use Open Source.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Yes.
>> DEV ANAND TEELUCKSINGH: So somebody had mentioned national policies that promote the use of Open Source software, and in that context, I wanted to mention in India we have national Open Source policy which makes it mandatory for the government to first consider Open Source software as the mode of implementing the technology solutions and then only if it turns out to be infeasible through this method that they go to proprietary software.
I believe they have the instrumental role to play in bringing about a policy in the state. I'm not sure how many government, in fact, have this policy, but I want to bring it up and put it out there. That's a good way to further the adoption of Open Source software as well.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Thank you very much, woodpecker. Yes.
>> ARJUN JAYAKUMAR: Thanks. I think what's important is that going out to the challenges that they have with the particular program. I think it's important and I think it doesn't happen often that instead of saying this is too hard to use, forget about it. You really do need to interact with the developer and the community there. They may think, well, the developer developed it and looks completely fine. If you showed them, hey, this is not working or it's too confusing, and offer ‑‑ and you know interact with the developers, some developers will take it on.
If there's enough people that believe you in that, hey, this is not dealt with, somebody could even fight the project and create a complemental feature on enhance a feature, and that's happened very often in Open Source projects. It's not just you got to give feedback and get involved to get feedback, and again, support the developer in that way. If you're not able to financially support, you know what? Helping in that direction is successful and greatly needed.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Cockatoo.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: I wouldn't even try to make the sound of a cockatoo. Just a final thought is that in terms of a particular piece of software used by blind people, NVDA I mentioned before, screen reading software, the people in developing countries might have an edge on using Free and Open Source Software because many blind people in the developed countries have been using Jaws, which is an expensive piece of software for a long time.
Jerry might debate this with me, but as I understand it, learning a screen‑reading software is quite a lengthy, complex process. And therefore, for people who start off using free software, Open Source software like NVDA, and that's going to happen more and more in developing countries, I believe thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Chicken, do you have a closing?
>> GLENN McKNIGHT: I'm still getting used to the name. It was a real pleasure so share the last hour and a half with all of us, and I really believe that the ‑‑ we haven't seen the killer app to change the general population.
It's still going to be fairly fringe in many ways, but you know, as the gentleman from India USA in both mobile Internet, that is what a lot of places are going to be using to get access on the Internet, and as we know, Android is a big player in that. It's really exciting to be part of it, but, you know, I've been waiting for the wholesale switch, but it hasn't happened the way I thought it was going to be over ten years ago.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I'll also take a minute to kind of wrap up and Judi will formally close the session. I think there are many positives that center come out today, and Open Source is not an isolated ‑‑ this stuff anymore because it's influenced a lot of other domains outside software, so we have open data and we talked about Open Knowledge and open standards and open formats. Glenn talked about open design, open research, open access publishing and open farming and open politics.
Politics, we're talking about fake news and so on. This whole openness issue influenced many other domains as well. That's actually a point to the fact that there is actually an aspect of Open Source, of free software, which has an appeal to even nonsoftware people. We have seen a lot of change happening in the last one or two years with the Microsoft and other companies that are so far completely proprietary have moved on for their own reasons and they don't take the decision lightly.
They have their own reasons and the commercial Open Source has become very strong. What we're looking at is generally directed at the individual user, the end user of the Internet comes into the ‑‑ new user coming into the Internet. For them we see solutions like Android there, but there are still many hurdles to go on the whole trust issue or understanding issue about Open Source.
So on the whole, I see a lot of positives and a few issues to be addressed as well. So with that, I'd like to, you know, pass it on to my colleague, Judi.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Thank you very much, Satish, and thank you for joining us. I'd like to officially acknowledge them by their names so you don't bump into them on the streets and just start calling them cockatoo or Chicken or anything like that. Cockatoo was Gunela Astbrink. That's her correct name. Rooster was Olivier. Chicken was Glenn McKnight. Dev Anand Teelucksingh was Kiskadee, and Bishakha Datta was the peacock.
Feel free to interact with us. We're still available and here till Friday. Thank you for your time and patience. Thank you.
(Session ended at 16:31 CT)