By APCNews MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 16 October 2007
APC member Protege QV celebrated a belated but successful Software Freedom Day on Saturday 6 October 2007 with a Web 2.0 and web-based project management application workshop. The international day to educate the public about the importance of software freedom and the availability of free and open source software (FOSS) was officially 15 September 2007, but due to technical constraints, Protege QV pushed its plans ahead.
Software Freedom Day is a global, grassroots effort coordinated by Software Freedom International (SFI), a non-profit company based in the United States.
The workshop, led by Lontsi Chimene and Tsafack Balbine, development volunteers with Protege QV, focused on two objectives: Introducing the participants to Web 2.0 and introduction the dotProject, a web-based project management application.
More than twenty people, some representatives of civil society organisations, some university students and Protege QV staff, made up the attendance.
The first session on Web 2.0 covered the origin and principles of what some call the second generation internet, as well as how to recognise a 2.0 website and family applications, including online office automation, online commerce and jobs. This was followed by a practical session where participants created electronic mail accounts in Google and were shown how to create a document, where to save it, and how to share and publish it.
The second session, on the purpose and main functions of the dotProject, described this application as an open source alternative to Microsoft products. Participants were shown how to install the dotProject on their computer and given a review of its ten essential functions, examples at hand.
One of the trainers also asked participants to think about how they would organise an event such as the Software Freedom Day 2007. She demonstrated how to create a project in the dotProject, how to enter and allocate various tasks and events, grant access to employees, and how to check on the evolution and completion of the given project.
The workshop closed with a speech by Siyam Sylvie, Protege QV’s president, and a brief presentation by volunteer Yanz Alfred, of an Open CD -containing a collection of high quality open source systems.
Participants were also given the Ubuntu CD, a community developed, GNU/Linux-based operating system suitable for desktops and servers.
Protege QV, an NGO based in Cameroon, aims to promote individual and collective initiatives to encourage rural development, protect the environment and improve the well being of the community. The organisation joined APC as a member in April 2007.