Microsoft Windows remains the standard operating system (OS) for most personal computers throughout the world but advocates for the open source Linux-based OS Ubuntu are pushing its benefits for personal, educational and organisational uses, not least because it is free and community developed.
The upcoming Software Freedom Day 2008 event, organised and run by Ubuntu Ireland, will gather together all Ubuntu users from around the country and aims to educate the wider public about the benefits of free open source software (FOSS).
“We’re still in the early phase of planning the event and looking for sponsors and people to give talks on free software in general and related subjects,” said organiser Maciej Danielski.
Danielski said Ubuntu Ireland wants to encourage everyone to participate in the preparations and to share ideas for the event on its wiki page (wikis are editable, collaborative web pages) at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IrishTeam/SFD2008.
The main event will be held at Camara’s offices in the Digital Hub in Dublin. Camara is a small charity organisation that together with volunteers takes old computers and refurbishes them with open source software before shipping these on to developing countries.
However, it is hard to get people involved in the free software community, said Danielski, “and it’s even harder to keep them motivated for a long period of time.”
“It’s our hobby, and we do it in our spare time. We noticed a lot of rotation within the group. People come, help out, contribute and leave, then someone new comes along, as is the situation in most communities.
“In my opinion, the Irish Ubuntu Community holds great potential. We now have an Ubuntu drop-in centre in Dublin where anyone can call in, ask an Ubuntu-related question, help others, show off their achievements with Ubuntu or just have a chat with other ‘Ubunteros’,” he added.
Ubuntu Ireland already has its sights set on bigger plans: “In the near future, we’ll try to organise monthly events like: workshops, presentations and tutorials.”
By Marie Boran