Choosing open source software: Decision-making materials for civil society organisations

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By APCNews

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY, 29 March 2004

Free and open source software (Free Software Foundation ">FOSS

) holds a great deal of potential for "What is civil society?", initial working definition adopted by the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics">civil society organisations

. The most obvious benefit of FOSS is that it is often free to use or low-cost. However, it also offers more including -crucially- better "African journalists trained in how to communicate securely online" (APCNews and Toni Eliasz, 30 September 2004), Take Back the Tech! and APC Internet Rights Charter">security

(did you know that if your computer uses the GNU/Linux operating system you don't have to use anti-virus software? No more days or data lost recovering from the latest virus...). Plus, FOSS is based on the kind of collaborative and cooperative principles that many civil society organisations embrace.

The materials available in the MultiMedia Toolkit's latest unit on FOSS provide an introduction to FOSS, tackling questions like 'what is open source?' and 'how will it benefit my organisation?' They also include practical advice on how to review open source software packages and select the right ones for your organisation. The guides are planning and decision-making tools not a detailed technical manual.

Introductions to selected OpenOffice website">OpenOffice tools. OpenOffice is fast becoming known as the real challenger to Microsoft Office - and it's available for free! Take a look at the MMTK units available on OpenOffice Writer (it's like Microsoft WordTM) and OpenOffice Impress (which is similar to Microsoft PowerPointTM).

These materials are part of the ItrainOnline Multimedia Training Kit (MMTK). The MMTK provides an integrated set of multimedia training materials and resources to support community media, community multimedia centres, telecentres, and other initiatives using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to empower communities and support development work. The six units on FOSS were developed by APC for the MMTK with the support of UNESCO.

The materials are online free to Style information: N/a

Source: Learn the Net Glossary, cited on TechSoup Glossary ">download

. They are designed to be used by trainers for face-to-face group training work, however, if you are interested in the guides you should look for materials labeled 'handouts'. http://www.itrainonline.org/itrainonline/mmtk/opensource.shtml

Questions about MMTK? Want to receive the MMTK on CD-Rom? Write to mmtk@apc.org

Author: --- (APCNews)
Contact: communications@apc.org
Source: APCNews
Date: 03/29/2004
Location: MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay
Category: Training and ICTs

(FIN/2004)

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