Eine leuchtende grüne Ampel neben einer roten, die mit dem Wort 'GO' beschriftet ist.

5.1.2007 | Von:
Atul Chitnis

The Fox of Innovations

And what are the limits?

There are a lot of things where open source cannot help. One of them is culture. The entire culture of dealing with people tends to be very unique to a particular country. If you go to Japan, there's a particular way in which you give a business card. You do it the same way in another country, and it doesn't work. In India, it is not a given thing that you automatically give out your business card.

These are things which are not going to change because they are largely influenced by the way the country itself functions. I wouldn't want to use an open source way of doing things to change that, because that's part of being unique as a country.

Another thing: Open source is not going to do away with debt and taxes, in any country. But I'm sure people are going to try and promise that, and that's a bad thing. I think at some level, people are overcommitting on what open source can do for them.

The thing I'm really worried about is the over-politicisation of open source. I run into people all over the world which are more interested in the political angle of it rather than the technical angle. Everything has its place, but I'm not so sure you should abandon the technical angle just for the ideological aspect.

What are the prerequisites necessary to make open source software work for developing countries?

I can only speak for India, which is the only developing country I deal with – unless you take Germany into account. Most people assume that India has a lack of resources. That's not really true. Computers are cheaper in India than in Germany. It's more a limitation of people not really thinking about having a computer at home. So not everybody has a computer at home. And that can be limiting.

Somebody might work from nine to five at his office, but even though he is willing to get involved in free and open source software development, he may not have the required resources at home, which is basically an internet connection and a PC. It's not that he can't afford it, it's more that he looks at it as: "This is what I do from morning to evening. I don't want to do the same thing when I get home." Which I believe is not exactly unique to India, but it is fairly strong over there.

In India, the software industry is largely seen as a high-gain thing. Being in that industry, you can earn ten times what your father used to earn. So people look at it from that perspective: It's a job. You run into people that literally say: "Well, that's my job, so I want to do something completely different when I come home." That's an issue we are fighting with. It's not that the resources aren't available. It's a mindset.


Creative Commons License

Dieser Text ist unter der Creative Commons Lizenz veröffentlicht. by-nc-nd/2.0
Urheberrechtliche Angaben zu Bildern / Grafiken / Videos finden sich direkt bei den Abbildungen.


Publikationen zum Thema

Gemeingüter

Gemeingüter

Wie lassen sich knappe natürliche Ressourcen so verwalten und bewirtschaften, dass ihre Nutzung dur...

Wissen und Eigentum

Wissen und Eigentum

Besitzen Autoren ihre Werke? Ist Wissen ohne rechtlichen Schutz vermarktbar, verwertbar oder wertlos...

Zum Shop

Dossier

Open Data

Open Data steht für die Idee, Daten öffentlich frei verfügbar und nutzbar zu machen. Welches Potential verbirgt sich hinter den Daten, die Behörden und Ministerien, Parlamente, Gerichte und andere Teile der öffentlichen Verwaltung produzieren? Das Dossier klärt über die Möglichkeiten offener Daten für eine nachhaltige demokratische Entwicklung auf und zeigt, wie Datenjournalisten mit diesen Datensätzen umgehen.

Mehr lesen

Dialog

Die Netzdebatte

Netzdebatte ist das Debattenportal der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Das Weblog greift Themen auf, die die Gesellschaft bewegen. Netzdebatte erklärt Hintergründe, bildet Positionen ab und bietet einen Ort zum Diskutieren.

Mehr lesen

spielbar.de

spielbar.de informiert über Computerspiele und erstellt pädagogische Beurteilungen. Pädagogen, Eltern und Gamer sind eingeladen, ihre eigenen Beurteilungen, Meinungen und Kommentare zu veröffentlichen.

Mehr lesen auf spielbar.de