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

5.1.2007 | Von:
Ronaldo Lemos da Silva Júnior

Open Source means sustainable developemt

For developing countries, free software doesn´t only mean saving money. With it, a whole generation can learn the skills neccessary for the 21st century.

Ronaldo LemosRonaldo Lemos (CC)

The Brazilian Government promotes open source software – why?

I think for several reasons. One of them is an economic reason: Open software is cheaper than proprietary software. The other reason, that I think is even more important, is that open source software is dissemination of knowledge. For a developing country like Brazil, if you want to be developed in the 21st century, you have to deal with information, and you have to deal with technical information like software. So open software provides you with the possibility to deal with the code, the source code. And by doing that, you allow an entire generation of people to use that code to learn how it actually works and possibly to develop new code. So I think it is for economic reasons and also for knowledge reasons.

  • German Interview

  • Can you name particular initiatives?

    There are several examples for that. For instance, the main company for data processing within the Government, which is called SERPRO, has a very big and important program about migrating not only their servers, but also their whole desktop software to open source. But its not only that. Several ministries – for instance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Planning – are also migrating their servers and desktops to open source software – free software, to be more precise.

    Also, within private initiative, the example has been followed by companies. Big retail companies are using free software as well, and other types of companies are following their trail. So basically, you have not only the creation of an environment inside the Government, but also you have companies, small and medium sized businesses, selling and making money out of open source and/or free software.

    What open source software products are right now being developed in Brazil, or have already been published?

    Inside the Government, you have initiatives like the one called "Terra Crime". This is a software that has been developed to control criminality, so it is going to be distributed to police stations. It has georeferential data, so that you can know what areas are facing more problems with public safety and similar things. This is one example, but we have other government initiatives spreading everywhere, things like office applications, e-mail programs that are being developed and given away under free software licences in Brazil.


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