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How to help Free/Open Source Projects Print E-mail
How to help Free/Open Source Projects

I am writing this article after I took into account if i was doing
something for promoting Open/Free  Source Projects .

How many times has that rescue CD we use has saved Us?

How many times has the free/Open source software that comes bundled
with some Gnu/Linux Distro proved a lot to us or that Live Gnu/Linux
Cd helped us and we have felt proud of possessing that
Software/Distro?

How many times we have been able to stand up against pirated software
with our help high along with the Free/Open Source software that works
along with other copyrighted Platforms as well ?

How many times have we been helped by some expert on any forum?

I hope not many of us can take into account the above in pure numeric terms .

What Have we done to promote Free/Open source related projects?

Very few of these projects have the support of sponsors(maybe 2%-5% of
these projects)These projects do require some encouragement and some
monetary encouragement also to survive with the resources required to
keep them running.
Good projects receive some donations in form of Money or resources
such as Internet Bandwidth (Mirror for downloading software),Computer
Hardware for their development or Server . I do not know about any
team that has been making big profits from the donations they receive
. These just suffice them to keep their projects alive and kicking.

Helping these projects is necessary as they provide this premium
collection of software for free .Else they will also start charging
for the premium version or to sign up for some help forum.Already some
Distros and Software Vendors have started following this
strategy.After all they too need to upgrade themselves to survive.

These projects can e helped in some way or the other
some of them that i could think of

Donate some Money directly to these Organizations.
A good way can be through affero.net ,from where you can choose
various organizations who will benefit from any money you donate.(the
minimum amount you can donate is 5$)

Buy the Free Cds that are available for download, directly from these
Organizations ,that way also you can help them and you can get some
more premium service.

Many of these Organization carry ads of their sponsors, these can
fetch some some money(although meagre) for the User Clicks they
generate.Visiting their sponsors can also help them.

Help them while offering a Download Mirror for their Software/Distro,
this wil reduce the Bandwidth Cost for such Organizations.In india
there is dearth of such download mirrors.Corporates/Educational
Institutes can get involved here if they provide the required
bandwidth for non-office hours only.

There are many other ways for helping these organizations. I do not
know how many of us might have helped such Organizations but i think a
sum of 5$-20$ can be donated on a yearly basis to any such
Organization.
gaurav masand
linux4all[at]gmail.com

Free software Print E-mail
What is free software?

``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer.''

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

??? * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
??? * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
??? * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
??? * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
???
??? follow this link for more reading
??? http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

What is a Free GNU/Linux System?

All GNU/Linux distributions can be categorized in
Free Gnu/Linux distributions
and
non- free Gnu/Linux distributions

Free GNU/Linux distributions are those that have a policy not to include, or recommend, non-free software.Such is not the case with non-free GNU/Linux distributions.

We use Linux-based GNU systems today for all of our work, and we hope you will use them too. Today there are many different variants of the GNU/Linux system (often called ``distros''). Most of them include non-free software--their developers follow the philosophy associated with Linux rather than that of GNU. But there are also completely free GNU/Linux distros ,like

  • UTUTO-e, a GNU/Linux distribution containing only free software. In both Spanish and English.
  • Dynebolic, The instant bootable GNU/Linux
  • BLAG, blag linux and gnu
  • GNUstep, another instant bootable GNU/Linux distribution

So what we are using might be a Gnu/Linux system since it consists of the Linux kernel and Gnu software but it might not be a Free Gnu/Linux System

A simple example is

http://packages.debian.org/stable/allpackages

look for the non-free software in the above package list

With debian you have the option to get a debian distribution that does not contain non-free software,but such is not the case with all Gnu/linux distributions.

What is non-free software?

Non-free software is any software that is not free. This includes semi-free software and proprietary software.

? follow this link for more reading
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#non-freeSoftware

Is Opensource same as Free software ?

No,In 1998, some of the people in the free software community began using the term ``open source software'' instead of ``free software'' to describe what they do. The term ``open source'' quickly became associated with a different approach, a different philosophy, different values, and even a different criterion for which licenses are acceptable. The Free Software movement and the Open Source movement are today separate movements with different views and goals, although we can and do work together on some practical projects.

??? follow this link for more reading
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html





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