As I have mentioned in the dgplug summer training
page, focusing on the Free
Software movement is a big part of this year's training program. A
few weeks back there was a tweet from @gnome about travel ban, and
many could not figure out why Gnome was writing about this
topic. Amongst the many proper replies, Miguel de Icaza’s reply was to
the point. This incident made Anwesha and me stop and think; and then
made us rethink, about how we wanted to conduct the sessions on the
Free Software movement and Software Licensing.
I was born in the beginning of the 80s and Anwesha even later. Our
introduction to the movement was from the stories we heard (from many
people); from Levy’s famous book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer
and the seminal Free as in
My introduction to the FSF came through ilug-calcutta, and from
Sayamindu. Later, at foss.in 2005, I made another friend (for life),
Praveen A (he is from the same batch). And even later through out
various conferences, I was introduced to other members of FSF
2007, I was part of the 4th GPLv3 meet organizing team in
Bangalore. That was my introduction to RMS, and his personality (I
will write a blog post later about various incidents from that
conference). That had a big impact on me.
Coming back to the story of the tweet, we also saw similar ignorance
from newcomers, as they never got a chance to learn about the past,
nor did get to meet the various people involved (distance and time).
So, Anwesha and I, tried to write a brief
including the hacker ethic, and beginning of the Free Software
movement. A lot of stories mentioned in the article are from the books
mentioned above. At the very end, I have written about how the
different software we use everyday came about initially. I took the
help of various FSF bulletins for the same.
This Monday I took a
on the same topic in the #dgplug IRC channel. When I made mention of
the GNU C Library and the time Ronald McGrath started it,
Siddhesh called attention to an announcement he
(Ronald) made a few days ago (about stepping down from maintainership
of that same GNU Library). I also pointed that Siddhesh is now one of
the maintainer of Glibc. That gave the students a sense of impact and
immediacy; a feeling of involvement and ownership.
Today evening from 13:30 UTC, Anwesha took a
on Software Licenses 101 in the #dgplug channel on Freenode. There
will be more follow up sessions in the coming days.
Link to the article once again