Free / Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) and Hardware

Session 17

ES/SO352 Sustainability - Session 17

S20: Free / Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) and Hardware

Required readings:



  • Learn Why FLOSS is more sustainable that equivalent propietary software
  • Learn the history of FLOSS:
    • where it came from,
    • who started it and how,
    • its evolution and current status, ...

To be answered later in class...

Why FLOSS is more sustainable?
Choose the 3 TOP reasons why FLOSS is more sustainable than its equivalent propietary software:

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...

Computer Software in Plain English (4')
A short explanation of how operating systems and software programs work together to make computers useful and customizable.

Introduction to Free Software and GNU/Linux (3')

Download: Full resolution | 1080p | 720p | 240p

Free software, free society: Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva 2014 (14')

Ubuntu GNU/Linux (3')


Code Breakers (38')

(38') A two-part documentary, “Code Breakers” started on BBC World TV on 10 May 2006, and release in a 38' single video with a Creative Commons license.

Code Breakers investigates how poor countries are using FOSS applications for development, and includes stories and interviews from around the world.

Some Notes...

Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS)

  • In contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code is usually hidden from the users.
  • Anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way,
  • the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.

Open Source ~ Free (Libre) Software

Open Source Software

  • Openly shared source code
  • Do not necessarily follow the Four essential Freedoms

The four freedoms

Four essential Freedoms of Free Software:

  • 0. Run the program, for any purpose
  • 1. Study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
    • Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • 2. Redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • 3. Distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
    • By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes.
    • Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

All Free Software is Open source Not all Open Source software is Free (freedom)

Characteristics of FLOSS

  • Created through collaboration (open and peer reviewed...like science)
    • Voluntary interest vs. profit
  • More user’s oriented: add functionality when new needs are perceived
  • Can be more secure
  • Combine knowledge from many persons (involving volunteers)
  • Constantly maintained and developed

Requirements for Sustainable Software

To be supported and extended over a long and useful life, software needs:

  • to be useful for different environments/users
  • to be adaptable to your current needs
    • including translations!
  • to have the ability of evolve as the users’ needs evolve
  • potential for reuse: saves time and money
  • a sustaining community of adopters sharing a common requirement of the software
  • learning and training by the comunity, so that knowledge transfer about it can be ensured to future generations.

Why FLOSS is more sustainable?

Choose the 3 top reasons why FLOSS is more sustainable than its equivalent propietary software:

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...

Linux 20th Birthday (in 2011)

If it was a film...


From Software to Knowledge and to Hardware

  1. First Free/Libre Open Source Software (GNU Project, 1983-...)
    • And the Copyright licenses of software:
      • GNU/GPL: General Public License (viral)
      • GNU/LGPL: Lesser General Public License (no viral)
      • GNU/FDL: Free Documentation License
  2. Then Copyleft (as idea)
  3. Then Creative Commons (as legal implementation of Copyleft into a different set of Copyright licenses)
  4. Then Open Source Hardware (aka. "O.S.Ecology")
    • 3D Printers, Electronic Circuits, MicroComputers... and even "Vehicles"!!!

See the next session: Session 18

Extra documents and other interesting readings & videos

  1. generic_en_a4_linux_brochure_watermarked_landscape.pdf (382.27 KB)
  2. 2008_SoftwareFreedomDay_Singaptur_GuideBrochureUbuntu.pdf (915.48 KB)
  3. 2008_SoftwareFreedomDay_Singapur_Presentation_Ubuntu_6x1.pdf (3.21 MB)
  4. Linux 20th Birthday (in 2011): http://www.linuxfoundation.org/20th/

  5. Other infos
  6. Other interesting readings:
  • Emmabuntüs OS Distribution & Jerry DIY
    • Emmabuntüs is more than a GNU/Linux distribution, for refurbished computers.
    • Jerry is an open source hardware project that is fully up-cycled and very low-cost.
      Jerry gives a new life to computer components that would otherwise go in the trash. About a year ago this project chose Emmabuntüs as a favourite distribution on the Jerry desktop version, and the JerryClan Ivory Coast work and create: JerryTub for the monitoring patients of tuberculosis, m-Pregancy for the monitoring of pregnancies and pregnant women, and OpenDjeliba a collaborative platform participatory citizens' information production by SMS from basic mobile phones.
  • http://www.r-bloggers.com/the-hidden-benefits-of-open-source-software/
Page last modified on Monday 07 of November, 2016 19:16:37