Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
OTOH, will the scientific community brook interference
into its `affairs'? I mean, it is one thing for the FSF to help in
drawing up a memorandum; and quite another for FSF to send it.
Lest I am misunderstood; let me clarify that I am just pointing out
another aspect of the issue. I fully support the suggestion that
memorandum be sent by the FSF. This will have the advantage of not
having to `expose' scientists not willing to speak up for fear of the
At best, a memorandum is persuasive. We ought to assume that CSIR
would be open to views of the free software community and consider our
requests. I visited http://www.patestate.com/
and understood that we
have undertaken a very difficult task, that could be achieved only by
FSF-India, after long discussions with CSIR and not through any simple
memorandums. Given the current policy of CSIR, advocating the
philosophy of the free software movement to CSIR may require a more
sustained effort on our part. Fortunately, we already have the free
software philosophy ingrained in us through our very rich ancient
philosophy and traditions, and therefore, it is only natural that we
can expect CSIR to shift its policy towards free software rapidly.
"Truth Triumphs" is our national motto, and it is also the foundation
for scientific thinking. Since we always confine our discussions to
issues pertaining to use of free software, there is no question of
exposing anyone or fearing the establishment.
Contributors may briefly give their qualifications and
Did you mean people who sign the memorandum? ...
If you really mean people whose inputs go into the body of the
memorandum; I do not quite see why their qualifications or backgrounds
matter; nor do I see why the CSIR should talk to them; they should get
in touch with the people who send it; in this case, the FSF India, as
By contributors, we mean the members of this list who join this thread.
This memorandum could be a paperless affair, and we could send the
memorandum to CSIR by email, along with links pointing to www.gnu.org
and the fsf-discuss archive. To give credibility to the memorandum, it
is necessary to disclose identity and qualifications when making
suggestions to a high scientific body like CSIR. Anonymous requests by
faceless entities can usually be ignored without assigning reasons.
After all, it is only because people do not want to
disclose their identities that they seek to `hide' behind
Anyway, if it is a mass memo the signatories will put their signature
and names to it. It is not?
FSF-India openly promotes free software and could directly take steps,
and I guess that this exercise could make things easy for the future.
The ilugc inspires me a great deal, because they bring free software
philosophy to life through action - organising live demos and
fortnightly meets. The IIT's are very much a part of the scientific
community, and probably the academic community there has contributed
very substantially to the growth of the free software culture in India.
A hands on approach is very much required to promote free software, and
providing links to people who could directly help is very important to
convince CSIR to move in the direction of the free software movement.
CDAC and several other govt. organisations openly use and support free
software. Anil of Appropriate Technology Promotion Society (ATPS) wrote
about the efforts at Kannur to convince NIC to adopt use of free
software. We should highlight these examples and persuade CSIR to adopt
using free software for its activities.
A better idea will be for you to post a working draft; and list will
discuss it ... please do put up a draft so that we may discuss it.
Let us put in a working draft after a week after receiving points and
requests. But, if you already have a working draft in mind, please send
it, so that it could be discussed.