Philippine FOSS Bill

FOSS bill

September 11th, 2006I read through the draft FOSS bill that Chin Wong provided and I have to say that while it was not exactly what I expected, it is a good start.
I was very hopeful on the FOSS bill (as I wrote here) and I had a couple of expectations:

1. It should recognize the legitimacy of common FOSS

licenses such as GPL.

2. It should raise awareness and understanding of FOSS

solutions.

3. It should urge Filipinos to develop FOSS solutions.

4. It should promote the use of FOSS in schools.

5. It should promote the use of FOSS in the government.

The FOSS bill has met my expectations, except for the last. And I think Teddy Casino’s bill overdoes it.

Section 6.2 reads that “the government shall apply only FOSS or FOSS solutions . . . in all ICT projects and activities.”

And while section 6.3 does allow for exceptions, it basically means that by default, the government can only use FOSS solutions. This, for me, is much too restrictive. I would have preferred that the wording of the bill to allow the government to consider FOSS solutions, not that the government shall only apply FOSS solutions.

And as I read through the bill, I believe that Teddy Casino has misinterpreted the concept of Free and Open Source Software. It’s “free” as in “freedom,” not “free” as in “free beer.” This is most evident in the statement of policy in Section 2, where he states that FOSS should be considered because of economic considerations, and in section 9, where the bill gives preference to FOSS solely on total cost of ownership. It does not give weight to design, quality, coding standards, security standards, scalability, robustness, and so forth. Just cost. In my experience, cost is not the sole determinant.
What worries me is section 8, which states that the government shall “obtain full rights and control over derivatives, modifications and customizations of software that it uses or adopts.” This goes against the whole concept of the “free” in FOSS. Does this mean that if the government modifies a software code, they can choose not to divulge the code as a matter of “control?”

But it’s a good start. I just wished Teddy Casino published it earlier to let the public air its comments and recommendations. Just like software testing—a “beta” version should have been released.

Just a feed back…

—==_d@rk_@ngel_==—

Linus Benedict Torvalds- “The man behind Linux”

Linux TorvaldsLinus Benedict Torvalds (pronunciation ; born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. He now acts as the project’s coordinator.

Linus was inspired by Minix (an operating system developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum) to develop a capable Unix-like operating system that could be run on a PC. Linux now also runs on many other architectures.

Early years

Linus was born in Helsinki, Finland, the son of journalists Anna and Nils Torvalds, and the grandson of poet Ole Torvalds. His family belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority (roughly 5%) of Finland’s population. Torvalds was named after Linus Pauling, the American Nobel Prize-winning chemist, although he prefers to claim he was named after Linus in the Peanuts comic strip.[citation needed] Both of his parents were campus radicals at the University of Helsinki in the 1960s.

Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a master’s degree in computer science. His M.Sc. thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System. From 1997 to 1999 he was involved in 86open helping choose the standard binary format for linux and unix.

His interest in computers began with a Commodore VIC-20. After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QL which he modified extensively, especially its operating system. He programmed an assembler and a text editor for the QL, as well as a few games. He is known to have written a Pac-Man clone named Cool Man. In 1990 he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PC and spent a few weeks playing the game Prince of Persia before receiving his Minix copy which in turn enabled him to begin his work on Linux.

Later years

Linus is married to Tove Torvalds (born Monni). She is a six-time Finnish national Karate champion, whom he first met in the autumn of 1993. Linus was running introductory computer laboratory exercises for students and instructed the course attendants to send him an e-mail as a test, to which Tove responded with an e-mail asking for a date. “Tove and Linus went on to have three daughters, Patricia, Miranda and Daniela.” (http://www.linux.org/info/linus.html) They also have a cat named Randi (short for Mithrandir, the Sindarin name for Gandalf, a wizard in The Lord of the Rings).

Red Hat and VA Linux, both leading developers of Linux-based software, presented Torvalds with stock options in gratitude for his creation. In 1999, both companies went public and Torvalds’ net worth shot up to roughly $20 million [1].

Torvalds moved to San Jose, California and lived there for several years with his family. In June of 2004, Torvalds and his family moved to Portland, Oregon to be closer to Linus’ place of work.

He worked for Transmeta from February 1997 until June 2003, and is now seconded to the Linux Foundation, a Beaverton, Oregon based software consortium.

His personal mascot is a penguin nicknamed Tux, which has been widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of the Linux kernel.

Unlike many open source evangelists, Torvalds maintains a low profile and generally refuses to comment on competing software products. Torvalds generally stays out of non-kernel-related debates. He has been criticized for his neutrality by the free software movement, specifically for having worked on proprietary software with Transmeta, and for his use and alleged advocacy of the proprietary BitKeeper software for version control in the Linux kernel. However, Torvalds has since written a free-software replacement for BitKeeper called git. Torvalds has commented on official GNOME developmental mailing lists that, in terms of desktop environments, he encourages users to switch to KDE [2] and he explained why [3].

Torvalds often finds himself in the middle of competing ideologies: on one hand he is an established icon of open-source and free software, yet on the other he has supported the use of the proprietary software BitKeeper to help manage the Linux kernel and has stated that Linux may include technology supporting digital rights management for pragmatic reasons.

The Linus/Linux connection

Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on his system which he replaced with the Linux OS. He first named it Freax (a combination of “free”, “freak”, and the letter X to indicate that it is a Unix-like system), but his friend Ari Lemmke, who administered the FTP server where the Linux kernel was first hosted for downloading, gave Torvalds a directory called linux (Torvalds & Diamond 2001:88).

Authority on Linux

About 2% of the current Linux kernel is written by Torvalds himself. Since Linux has had thousands of contributors, such a percentage is very respectable. Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what new code is incorporated into the Linux kernel.

Linux trademark

Torvalds owns the “Linux” trademark, and monitors [4] use of it chiefly through the non-profit organization Linux International. Linux’s wide and passionate userbase makes trademark abuse difficult as misuse is rapidly detected.

About Linux…

Linux is an open-source operating system that is generally available for free and can be used to run most computers, including Dell’s PCs.However, Dell does not break out how much it charges for Windows when it calculates the cost of a computer system.
The only operating system that Dell currently offers on its PCs is Microsoft’s (Charts) Windows. It also sells high-end Linux desktops designed specifically for use in oil and gas exploration.

Making Linux available on other Dell PCs has been the top request since the Web site was launched on Feb. 16, according to data posted on the site, as of Tuesday evening.

The second most popular request was that Dell offer another popular free software title, OpenOffice, which competes with Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

LINUX rules! And will conquer the IT world from Microsoft!

Well, LINUX is a very big threat for Microsoft, in my own opinion based on my experiences… After experiencing the “real power” of linux, that big company (?), hmmmm… (na ngayon napakaliit na ng tingin ko…) will surely pay for what they did, sooner or later! (monopoly). This is the reality… The truth behind the computer world.

Go LINUX!!! Conquer the world of IT! Let us all support the world of OpenSource worlwide! I’m proud to be one of the LINUX users here in the Philippines! The real and only one “AZTIG”…

That’s all! GOD bless us all!

You may download Bayanihan Linux 4 at http://www.bayanihan.gov.ph Philippines own Operating System! Why use other Linux distributions or Windows Operating Systems? We have our own!

—==_d@rk_@ngel_==—