Thursday, September 21, 2006

Software Freedom Day 06

The software freedom day 2006, on 16 Sep 06, seemed to be quite successful, considering the crowd seen on that day. However the success will lie upon the coming days and how FOSS Nepal tries to create FOSS-awareness in Nepal and among the Nepalese. It's going to take time; well Richard Stallman has been in this movement for 2 decades and still advocating for Free Softwares and believes that there's still a lot to done to make his dream come true. Now his dream is not his anymore, thousands of people around the world share the same dream.

What I like about FOSS Nepal community is that they also have such communities in colleges, mostly technical/engineering colleges. I think college students are the best target group of FOSS movement. If FOSS-Nepal can arouse the needs of FOSS, then no body can stop them from embracing the FOSS philosophy. And the future world can see the proliferation of FOSS, though it may take a long time, say 10 years from now.

On that event day, there have been several paper presentations on various subjects, mostly related to FOSS, there was also one technical paper on IPv6. Most presenters was novice, many from colleges. I didn't attend last two presentations. Well i had a comment then. They didn't manage time for lunch. So i reluctantly left the presentation hall.

Then there were open space discussions and I was one of the initiators of Drupal Community in Nepal Group. Our objective was to create a drupal user group where we would be sharing our views on one of the most popular CMS, discuss on ways to create awareness of drupal in Nepal, possibly by organizing writeshops (this was an idea proposed by Bibhusan from Bellanet), helping our nepalese drupal developers learn eachother. We have also created a google group to further discuss on drupal and help drupal community grow in Nepal.

The SFD ends with a documentary on code-breaker. I could not stand heat inside the hall; unwillingly left the show. I also bought a FOSS T-shirt, costing Rs.250/-. Fair enough!. I liked the penguin :).

This is a hard yet must-do job. I think FOSS Nepal should come up with some strategy with what they are going to do next, say for another year to lessen their distance from their goal. As i have mentioned before, students are the easy yet effective target group of FOSS. Their focus should go beyond technical/engineering colleges to other faculties (commerce, social-science...) also. Other effective step would be convincing governmental organizations; they are wasting huge amount of money paying for MS products. And this is almost impossible unless people start FOSS as their business, well there should be plenty of choices to choose support from. The most important thing is to create FOSS entrepreneurs in Nepal and at the same time create an environment to make the FOSS business posible. I don't see this as an easy task. Long and difficult road ahead. I just hope they don't abandon it before.......

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