Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Chavez Announces that Venezuelan State Will Switch to “Free Software”: "President Chavez announced yesterday that “we are working on a decree to establish in Venezuela, in an official and obligatory manner, the support and adoption of free software in the public administration.” Chavez made this announcement during an event at which he opened numerous “info centers,” public internet access points, throughout the country.

"The objective of this decree is for Venezuela to achieve technological and informational independence. Free software is software that is distributed free of charge. The best known example of this is the Linux operating system, which has become the world’s most important challenger to the Microsoft Windows operating system.... Chavez added that the decision follows the principle of “national scientific independence, so that we do not depend on privately owned software. If knowledge does not have owners, then intellectual property is a trap set by neo-liberalism.”"

The concept of 'free software' is virtually self-explanatory. Why anyone would want to call it 'open source' I do not understand. There is a product called Open Office. What is that? Something that opens an Office document? Is it a Microsoft product? Surely it would be more accurate and effective to name it Free Office?

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