On Saturday 15 September the world celebrates Software Freedom Day. Software Freedom Day aims to promote some thought about how important software is to our modern lives. It highlights the need to consider the importance of open software. As we come to rely more and more on technology to live our lives, fully engaged with society, it is crucial that we consider what closed systems mean and celebrate and support open platforms.
Pia Waugh’s write up on the Software Freedom website is worth a read. She highlights the connection open software has to basic human rights. We are so dependant on technology to help us function successfully that our freedom becomes defined by the openness of the software that we use. Some open software you may already be familiar with:
Moodle - Our learning management system
Linux - free operating system
LibreOffice - personal Office suite (docs, spreadsheet, presentations, etc.)
Firefox - Web browser
Chrome - Web browser
Audacity - record audio & podcasts
GIMP - photo and image editing
WEKA - data mining - developed here at Waikato!
There are many many more check out the wikipedia page for an example.