Tekkru Media Blog

First Nations Youth Perspective

2009 ICT Summit

Open Source Software

Wikipedia defines open source as an approach to design, development, and distribution offering practical accessibility to a product’s source. In terms of software this means having permission to view the source code for the software, and in turn alter it to meet the user’s specific needs. Open source software in many cases is the more cost effective solution, as opposed to proprietary software, making open source much more popular in these tough economic times. There are a variety of open source products available, with things like office suites, mapping programs, and even operating systems (e.g. Ubuntu which is a Linux based OS) The diverse array of applications available makes open source very popular among non-profit and low budget organizations such as bands or tribal councils because it helps keep the cost down for such businesses. Now some open source products are quite capable to meet most users need right out of the box for example office suites such as openoffice which is downloadable free of charge and is fully functional right away. But do not be mistaken open source software is not always cost free, nor is it always able to meet specific needs upon installation, as some applications (e.g. mapping applications) require someone with technical knowledge to customize the code to fit the organizations specifications, in some cases this can be very costly, but it can also be a great opportunity to have someone in the community trained to do such things so that skill set can be readily available when required.

In the end it is all about the specifications required of the software, which is what makes open source software great it is fully customizable to the users specific needs, and with the types of applications becoming more and more diverse it makes the possibilities of what you can do with open source software endless.

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March 1, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 ICT Summit, Media Events

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