Open Source : A Positive feedback from a third World country
Open source has proved itself as the breath of fresh air, like the fresh sunlight coming from open windows to indian academic society. From Donald Knuth to Linus Torvald, the immiediate encourager of the present open source society, became famous; but all the delegates devoting continuasly to the different open source projects show us a new way of study in India like third world countries. They show us a new way of feeling communism, that being a part of friendly group with globally distributed experienced developers, a new student can learn more practical things than doing course work in university. Open source is the new way of getting accessability to the academic resources to the Indian students. This article gives some very important, interesting feedback from the Indian student society, shares some very inner viewpoints of the effect of open source system to our society,even in this hard time of the economics.
Transformation of Educational Pattern
The open source helps to transform the model of education in India. Over the centuries, being followed the standardized education, the open source system helps us to move towards "personalized education". Though, this movement is very silent and slowly. The less accessability to the resources is the most important problem to the indian academic society. Living in a country where the average per capita income is often less than the cost of a computer,is impossible to a student to buy softwares and become a user of a computer. To be a developer for a software was like day-dream.
But, because of GNU/Linux is open source, there are no mountains of secrecy blocking replicability. So prices of the same fall to a point which is dramatically low compared to proprietary software and thus affordable to the millions. For instance, in the previous five-six years, millions of copies GNU/Linux have been distributed across India, through local popular computer magazines, at a price of just around $2. That includes both the cost of a slick magazine and CD. This software can, of course, be legally copied across as many computers as needed.
This availability of free operating systems and softwares inspire a lot of students to start to do something in their student life. They get the all compilers in their hand default with the operating system. I know many students are feeling very inspiried to run their first “Hello World” programs in several programming languages simultaniously. They able to be expert in their favorite languages. They able to study the others code while they study their theories in the book. They start to think to be a writer of like such new softwares also. They able to learn from others work. They able to contact to the original authors of the programme. This accessibility to the resources helps them to learn how to utilise resources. They able to be an expert in their domain of interests before going to the insudtry. This gives them ability to use non-pirate softwares in their personal systems, even to start thinking about personal buisness also. The most important-side of this is that being an active part of an open source project is a lot different to spending all day on Orkut or different social networking site because some people (remember, the vast majority of the work done on open source projects – even high profile ones – is done by a small number of people) is getting something cool to put on their CV.
The Wikipedia is another most important open source project to the Indian students. This plays an important role as open library, which never closes. Many one is also interested to write new topics on the wikipedia freely. The number of the contributors from India are limited, but it is growing very rapidly.
Open Source in hard economic time
In this economic meltdown time the open source system is looking as recession proof! In India many people work different open source projects and get their pay cheque somewhere else. Open source is a important learning platform to them. In this hard economoic time, when the indian prior outsourcing based buisness society is mostly affected; the open source is showing a light of hope to indian buisnessmen and indian developers. To cutting cost, using linux, open office is looking better option to the indian buisness society to governmental projects today. The most important is many of the big open source projects have core staff that consists of developers. This means that even if all volunteer help dried up, the project could still live and breathe. Thats why in an Indian’s view the open source is the good thing today for the indian buisness society.
The open source system gives a very important positive aspect in the Indian society from both academic and economic viewpoint. This is like freedom to us, to learn, to be expert from this complex economic society, try to be somehow different. Students are feeling very excited when they are able to be a contributor of an interesting valuable open source project. Students are able now to think to be another Linus Torvald also, by doing work in their own way. Because, this is the original sense of communism they are feeling where no politics work.