Original Message -----
From: "IT@School" <itschool(a)asianetindia.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 05, 2002 5:08 PM
> Mr.Manjush G. Menon
> We are not giving to depend totally on Ms. Products. Rather MS
> Office is taught along with open office and Windows along with Linux
> from this year. Arranging the resource persons for training an open
> software, making available the software, the maintenance of a help desk
> etc. are logistical issues which could not be immediately undertaken.
> We plan switch out to open software within three years.
> Executive Director
---- Original Message -----
From: Manjush G. Menon
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: Respected sir,
Manjush G. Menon,
Sofker Solutions Pvt Ltd,
The Executive Director,
'IT @ SCHOOL' Project,
SUB: In protest against the inclusion of products from multinational companies
in the syllabus of 'IT @ SCHOOL'
It's a very dissappointing fact that when the whole world is moving towards
Free software, we at kerala are going behind a major MNC - Microsoft. I hereby register
my protest in such an act from 'IT @ SCHOOL' Project team.
Breaking of prototypes will definetly help us in finding economical and high quality
products for our future generation.
For students and programmers, the GNU Linux contains 'GNU Compiler Collections'
which includes C, C++, FORTRAN, PERL, TCL etc. Also, for DTP and other publishing purposes,
it includes GNU Office utilities like Abi-Word, gedit, and other worksheet utilities,
all these with a nominal cost of Rs 700-800/-. The software as it is, is free and
the cost is accounted towards the media (CD + Documentation) included.
By this letter, I urge you to take this matter seriously and suggest necessary modifications
in the action plan of 'IT @ SCHOOL' project.
Wishing you all the best and wishing all 'Students @ SCHOOL' a bright future,
Manjush G. Menon.
Check out all the latest outrageous email attachments on the Outrageous Email Chart! - http://viral.lycos.co.uk
Thanks to George Lessard for posting this across. FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
PERUVIAN EFFORT COULD BAN MICROSOFT ON GOV. COMPUTERS
Peruvian Congressman Edgar Villanueva is pushing legislation to obligate all
public institutions to convert exclusively to open-source software.
Open-source programs, embodied by the Linux operating system, have
underlying code available to anyone who wants to modify or customize it.
Such software, in unadorned form, can be downloaded from the Internet for
free. Villanueva hopes his measure triggers activity in Peru's software
industry by freeing programmers from the constraints of working with coding
controlled by a few large companies. Open-source could take the expense out
of software upgrades; which is important for a country like Peru that owes
about $30 million in overdue software license fees.
[SOURCE: San Jose Mercury, AUTHOR: Associated Press]
Association For Free Software
AFFS Annual Conference, 17 May 2003
Norfolk, England, 29 April 2003 -- AFFS is pleased to confirm details
of its first Association For Free Software Annual Conference (AFFSAC),
to be held at Aston University in Birmingham on Saturday 17 May 2003.
This is a great opportunity for free software supporters and
developers to meet, share experiences and plan activities for the year
AFFSAC is a one-day plenary conference, with sessions about topics
such as networking, multimedia and activism. The conference is free to
AFFS members and those who have applied to join, with small charges
for optional extras. Online registration and electronic ticketing is
available on the AFFS web site at http://www.affs.org.uk/
Uniquely, the talks give priority to people developing and using free
software, with speakers announced by project rather than company.
Talks range from the 5-minute "lightning talk" to 40-minute keynotes,
followed by question-and-answer sessions. The full programme will be
published shortly before the conference and more applications from
speakers are welcomed until then.
The conference has been welcomed by the developer group, the
Association of Free Software Professionals. Neil Darlow of AFSP said:
"AFFS and AFSP can, through cooperation and individual effort, promote
the recognition of free software to a level where enterprises and
consumers of software will routinely consider free software as a
Later, at the same venue, the AFFS Annual General Meeting will hear
reports on the first year's work and current members will make key
decisions about the year ahead.
Association For Free Software
The Association for Free Software is a non-profit association with the
primary goal of promoting the adoption of FSF free software in the UK,
formed in 2002. The Free Software Foundation says that free software
is software that gives users the rights to use, distribute, modify and
redistribute modifications of it. AFFS is the UK associate body of the
Free Software Foundation Europe.
The Aston University Campus is in the centre of the exciting and
vibrant city of Birmingham, home to over 50,000 students. Birmingham,
Britain's second city, is flourishing and is now internationally
recognised as a leader in leisure, entertainment, business, shopping,
industry and sport.
1. For more information about AFFS see http://www.affs.org.uk/
2. For more information on FSF Europe see
3. For more information on Aston University see
4. Email contact: frontdesk(a)affs.org.uk
SIX PROPONENTS of Free Software from Kerala are to visit Goa shortly, and
to interact with those interested in issues they're working on.
Those coming are CV Radhakrishnan, CV Rajagopal, E Krishnan, Anil Kumar, S.
Rajkumar and KG Kumar. Some of the presentations planned for Monday, May 5,
2003 from 4 to 6 pm at the Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna
o Introduction to LaTeX and digital typography
o TeX as a business solution: a case study of the BSNL Trivandrum telephone
o GNU/Linux and Free Software in the Enterprise: with a case study of the
online bill payment system of BSNL Tvm.
o Free Software and its relevance in higher education (subject to
o Network security using Free Software tools.
All are invited to this interesting meet. If you'd like any particular
emphasis, kindly send your feedback to KG Kumar of the Indian TeX Users
Group at <kg at tug.org.in>
See you on May 5 at Verna! FN
PS: Below is a feature relating to the work of some members of the team,
which puts the issue in context...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Currents: Free Software Makes Telephone Users' Lives Easier in India
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003
Large prep and printing job made manageable and affordable with free tools.
Thanks to free software, one-third of a million telephone users living in
Southern India will no longer find locating phone numbers such a complex
process. Telephone directories often take a notoriously long time to be
published in India, meaning phone subscribers are lost when trying to locate
numbers they need.
GNU/Linux increasingly is attracting attention in Corporate India, not only for
its usually lower costs but also because of its high quality products. Last
weekend, the latest edition of the Thiruvananthapuram telephone
directory--from the regional capital of the south-western province of
Kerala--was processed and typeset using a range of free software tools.
These tools provided substantial savings in cost and time, while producing a
neatly laid-out and elegant publication ahead of schedule.
The two-volume directory, to be distributed to all subscribers of the
Thiruvananthapuram secondary switching area as of March 25, contains 1,200
pages and 320,000 entries. Some 400,000 copies of the directory currently
are being printed by the locally based St. Joseph's Press, using typesetting
software and programs provided by River Valley Technologies (RVT), also
based in the Kerala capital. RVT specialises in typesetting and publishing
solutions using free and open-source software.
For the phone directory publishers domestic telecom giant Bharat Sanchar
Nigam Limited (BSNL), this is the first complete directory to be published
since 1999. K. Sreekantan Nair, Principal General Manager of the
Thiruvananthapuram telecom district, said BSNL has spent Rs 35 million on
printing the directory.
Normally, an order of this magnitude -- a print run of 400,000 copies, each
with 1,200 pages printed on 48 GSM white paper in three columns of Helvetica
Narrow 7 point typeface, with 94 lines per column--would have taken six
months and involved around 50 employees wholly dedicated to the work.
In this case, however, the press was able to finish the entire printing
process in four months, using a smaller team. At present, SJP's printing
presses are operating 21 hours per day at their maximum capacity of 20,000
copies per hour to finish the printing.
Using software like PageMaker or QuarkXPress could have taken a longer time,
said RVT. Instead, they used a combination of free software programs to
extract BSNL's data, process it and typeset it into camera-ready copy.
RVT managing director C. V. Radhakrishnan said the BSNL data of telephone
numbers, subscribers names and addresses was supplied as files in dBase, an
outdated database software that goes back to the days of the DOS operating
system. Using a set of free software libraries downloaded from the Internet
and locally customised, this data was extracted into the PostgreSQL
relational database, also free software, and was then entirely recreated.
RVT wrote a Java program to pipe this newly generated database into TeX.
URL : http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=6784
Linux Community NYFairUse representatives staged a peaceful
protest at last month's DC conference supposedly aimed at exposing
free and open-source software to government officials.
NYFairUse representatives, costumed as the American Founding
Fathers, left the warm comfort of their homes at 4:00 in the morning
on March 17th, 2003, to go down to Washington DC. We left for George
Washington University in full colonial regalia in a 15-person
passenger van. The purpose of our trip was to protest the
mismanagement of the EGOVOS conference taking place that morning.
The central issue that galvanized NYFairUse in this situation is the
increasingly irresponsible manner in which free and open-source
software advocates have been putting together conferences and events.
EGOVOS was supposed to be a showcase for free and open-source software
in government, be it local, national or international. The conference
had the potential to open up a stubbornly closed market by laying out
the legal, moral and practical foundations for the use of free
software in everyday government operation. Instead, it became a
platform and photo opportunity for the Microsoft organization--the
inevitable result when the $40 billion company dedicated to destroying
free software is invited to make a presentations.
As expected, Microsoft didn't let their shareholders down. The few
news items that came out of this conference were about Microsoft's
"Shared Source". Microsoft's money buys real loyalty in the technology
press, and in a conference with little media coverage the only
mainstream press was from E-Week, which ran a full article on
Microsoft's misdirections under the headline, "Microsoft's Matusow: No
Right Way to Create Software". The article did everything it could to
blur the differences between free software and the closed,
anti-competitive methods of monopolists. All of this becomes fodder
for their next $100 million campaign aimed at every CTO in the nation.
Worse than that, it takes food off the table of our free software
consulting industry and the developer community it supports. Their
presence crippled people who sell free software for a living. It
damaged those who could offer the uninitiated (such as the attendees
of the conference) a solid, firsthand presentation of the benefits of
free software. It leaves the public confused about the benefits of
free software in their businesses, jobs and lives.
Bad Leadership versus Good Advocacy
NYFairUse first heard about the problem with EGOVOS through the NYLXS
mailing list, as part of a follow-up on our experiences with the 2003
Linux World Exposition in New York. At the Expo, NYLXS member David
Sugar voiced his confusion about his product (the GNU/Bayonne
telephony system) losing the award for Best System Integration
Software to Microsoft's Services for Unix. NYLXS had its annual dinner
after the convention, and we spoke with Linux Journal editor Don Marti
about the award and its implications to our membership. Something
didn't seem right, but Don offered a reasonable explanation for the
turn of events. NYFairUse had an impromptu discussion about the award
and about the rumblings coming from SCO that suggested they might be
preparing lawsuits against the GNU/Linux community for infringing upon
UNIX patents. We decided to keep an eye on upcoming developments on
both fronts. A few days later. David Sugar e-mailed the NYLXS list
about Microsoft's presentation at EGOVOS.
We quickly had a broad and lively discussion about the situation, with
the participation of the Washington DC-area LUGs, developers from
California and Canada, members of the Free Software Foundation,
NYFairUse, GNU Enterprise, The Open Office Marketing List, a few
interested journalists, NYLUG and eventually Bruce Perens (who happens
to be a member of the group hosting the EGOVOS conference, the Cyber
Security and Policy Institute). I watched my e-mail account fill with
hundreds of private messages from people across the east coast, all
volunteering to protest Microsoft's inclusion. NYFairUse had an
internal discussion and decided that the last thing we wanted was an
unwieldy demonstration in front of hundreds of government officials
who might be investigating free software for the first time. We need
to reverse the trend of Microsoft getting a free public relations
boost at the expense of free software developers and advocates,
particularly at our own venues, so we decided that NYFairUse would go
in with a focused message presented by a small and prepared group. We
rejected the calls for a broad and raucous protest: if all the
volunteers showed up we would have outnumbered the actual conference
We had to figure out how to attract attention, raise the necessary
issues, put the open-source "leaders" on notice and still not turn the
conference completely upside down. The answer NYFairUse came up with
was exciting, fun and effective. We are fortunate to have associates
working on Broadway, and they introduced us to costume designers who
dressed us as Colonial Americans, circa 1776. Suddenly everything came
together, and NYFairUse was ready to move ahead in a constructive
manner. The core of the NYFairUse action included Joe Grastara, Dave
Williams, Cesar Vargas, Sunny Dubbey, Adam Kosmin, Tim Wilcox, Marco
Scoffier, Vincenzo L., Ray Connolly and myself. Dave Williams and Joe
Grastara helped us construct an effective message that became our
pamphlet. Ray arranged for transportation and drove both to and from
the event, a total of twelve hours. Cesar, Sunny, Ray, Tim, Adam and
myself dressed as Founding Fathers. Marco and Vinnie helped everyone
prepare. The entire enterprise was underwritten by NYLXS. Most of the
participants met in Brooklyn and stayed overnight at my home, where a
weekend-long InstallFest was taking place. Ray, as the driver, got
several hours sleep while the rest of us made final preparations. At
4:00 AM, NYFairUse embarked on the trip to Washington. We arrived
safely at 9:30 in the morning, fully dressed in costumes and ready to
make our case.
Reaching our Audience: Confronting Hostile Guards
Upon our arrival at George Washington University, the appearance of
seven historic American heroes astonished people, and cameras flashed
all around. After we picked up our badges and began handing out our
pamphlets, people flowed out of the main auditorium to surround us and
inquire about who we were and what we were handing out. We brought 400
pamphlets, and all but a dozen where given away. Each NYFairUse member
became a center of attention. We managed to talk personally with
nearly every member of the conference accept for Bradley Kuhn, who
refused to talk to any of us for some reason.
Our pamphlet strongly condemned the organizers of the conference for
not appropriately representing the free software movement and for
caving in to self-interest over the good of the community. We
explained that they were giving Microsoft a free public relations
opportunity to confuse the issues and to promote their "Shared Source"
disinformation campaign. The conference itself, although filled with
luminaries from the international Free Software Community, was limited
in its attendance. During our visit, no more than 500 people were at
the presentations, but the numbers might have been closer to 300. The
small gathering proved useful, as NYFairUse was able to contact nearly
every participant directly. We had nearly 100% penetration of the
conference, including both attendees and speakers. Many of us spent
several minutes talking to individuals, and I personally had the
pleasure of speaking about the problem with European Union Minister
Philip Aigrain, whom I had previously met in Bordeaux last year. I
also spent a few minutes talking to Georg Greve of the European FSF,
David Axmark of MySQL, Sarah Brown from Public Knowledge and many
others whose names I failed to get. The same was true for all of the
At one point while giving out pamphlets, the security guards came
over. Searching for the leader of the protest, one guard approached me
and asked who was in charge. I waved him off, and he became very
annoyed. He asked me my name, so I smiled and said, "George...like in
Washington, and you're in my University." I spotted journalist Grant
Gross and said, "Look Grant, they're throwing us out of here!" Grant
took out his notepad and the cameras gathered around. The guard
retreated and went to speak with Tony Stanco. They decided that it was
better to let us proceed than to face the bad press.
A few minutes later Tony Stanco came over to talk to me. I spent a
couple of minutes with him, during which he asked me if I got
everything I wanted out of the event. I told him that we'll know in a
few months, if Microsoft still is getting a free ride courtesy of the
Open Source community. Mr. Stanco reassured me that what we were doing
was okay. Having his approval was not reassuring. I made it clear that
it wasn't our intention to have a blood-letting. Our purpose was to
get a message across to the open-source leadership, explaining what we
require of them and what standards we expect. Mr. Stanco then pointed
to the crowd, saying, "You see these people? You'll never get through
to them with screaming and yelling." I replied, "Maybe -- it depends
on the need. In this case, we don't need to scream. In another
situation, a louder voice might be useful." Mr. Stanco then said,
"Have you ever heard Microsoft talk? They're going to be the best
promoters of Free Software when they open their mouths." I reiterated
my points: Microsoft's presence at the EGOVOS conference takes
attention away from other, more deserving individuals and focuses it
on themselves. Mr. Stanco refused to recognize the situation he
created. He also failed to understand that this was part of a broader
trend the community faces: the increasing encroachment of Microsoft in
venues designed to sell free software to the public. The public
By 2:00 PM, we essentially had spoken to everyone at the conference.
We made a lot of contacts, and in addition to handing out pamphlets,
NYFairUse members handed out literature about their own government and
business projects. In fact we took about 30 folders representing the
Free Software Chamber of Commerce, our New York Free Software
consultants network. Every folder was given out. We had a long
discussion with the head of Hewlett Packard Research in Europe, who
was very upset with us because he believed we opposed the
commercialization of Free Software. We spent some time explaining how
this was not the case, that we were upset because someone was giving
Microsoft a free pass to the Open Source movement without making them
The NYFairUse Position
People often have asked why NYFairUse discriminates against Microsoft.
The truth is that NYFairUse has no such bias. Our approach to
Microsoft is the same as it is toward any company that warns
businesses to avoid the GPL (as if a standard Microsoft EULA would
withstand legal scrutiny). After all, they publish detrimental lies,
such as this one from the current Microsoft web site:
The GPL is designed to prevent commercial development of software
distributed under the license. It does this largely by requiring
licensees to make available, at little or no cost, the entire
source code for any program that incorporates any amount of GPL
code. Given that requirement, commercial developers cannot recover
their research and development investments by charging reasonable
and appropriate fees for their original software if it uses any GPL
code. Free-software developers have every right to pursue this
Microsoft's concern is the resulting degradation of the software
ecosystem that would be triggered by widespread acceptance of the
GPL, particularly within the governmental and academic research
sectors. This ecosystem has sustained unparalleled innovation
throughout the industry for the past quarter-century. The principal
role of government and universities in the ecosystem is to
undertake basic research and to dispense the findings both into the
societal base of technical knowledge and to private enterprises and
individuals capable of developing these innovations commercially.
Commercial enterprises, in turn, engage in applied research to
develop products that advance the state of technology, generating
jobs, profits and tax revenues that boost the economy (funding
additional basic research in the process). Commercial enterprises
also disseminate innovations directly into the larger
Microsoft uses its monopoly to thwart free software projects, such as
SAMBA when it bans companies from releasing CIFS tools under the GPL,
and when it participates in the Digital Rights Management scam that
will end the practical use of free software through the Palladium
"trusted computing" platform. But it wasn't Microsoft that we were
upset with on this occasion. We are mad at people such as Tony Stanco,
who discriminate against free software developers and distributors for
their own personal advancement. And we let them know about it.
As a footnote, after our trip to George Washington University,
NYFairUse made a trip to Capitol Hill while still dressed in our
costumes. We got big smiles all along the halls of Congress,
especially at Congressman Weiner's office. He's a member of the the
sub-committee on Intellectual Property and the Internet. We have a
handshake deal to install a GNU/Linux system in his office, so stay
I just saw the FSFIndiaPoster.pdf
the colours used are fine except on the "weave your own code".
the text that reads "Weave your own code".
the colour of "Weave" is green you used. It appears on top and the
colour for "Code" is saffron.
It should be interchanged because saffron is on top in our national flag
and green is at bottom.
NEWSFACTOR: DEVELOPER'S DILEMMA: CHOOSING AN OPEN-SOURCE LICENSE
"The GPL is not perfect, but it is the preferred option, says
Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB. 'GPL is like democracy--not
perhaps an ideal system, but most definitely the best one
available. We have no regrets as to choosing GPL.'
More IT Management stories: http://linuxtoday.com/it_management
While searching web I came across these projects and
thought it may be interesting.
Is a patch to MySQL that allow users to write procedures in a scripting
language called LUA Allow to write a MySQL procedure in a scripting language,
without rebuild the server.
PHP functions 4 MySQL
Is a user defined function for MySQL that allow users to write functions
in PHP. It allow users to write a MySQL function in a scripting language,
without rebuild the server.
DBTCP is a proxy server for ODBC connection.
Allow to make a query from a linux machine to a database in a Windows machine
trough ODBC. Allow to connect all ODBC compliant databases from a Linux server
from shell scripts, perl via DBD and PHP.
Why a proxy for odbc connections ?
The main reason for using dbtcp is the lack of support for a few odbc
databases under Linux and the fact that you can use multiple dbtcp clients
on a pay-per-odbc-connection database management system.
Example: COUNT.LUA - Append a column to the result with the row number
linux: $ mysql mysql
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 2 to server version: 3.23.32-gamma-log
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer
mysql> select user from user procedure lua("/usr/src/mysql/sql/count.lua");
| user.User | Counter |
| | 1 |
| root | 2 |
| | 3 |
| root | 4 |
4 rows in set (0.01 sec)
-- Called when the procedure is initialized
function init ()
-- Modifica un campo del risultato
-- Change a field definition of the result set
function set_field ( num, name, type, length )
if ( FIELDS[num] == nil ) then
-- Richiamata per cambiare le definizioni delle colonne
-- Called to change the columns definition for the result set
function change_columns ()
set_field ( FIELDS.num, "Counter", "STRING", 10 )
-- Richiamata appena prima di inviare il set di risultati al client
-- Called just before sending the result set to the client
function end_of_records ()
local idx, new_tab, idx2
-- Crea la struttura vuota per i valori
while ( idx<ROWS.num ) do
Do you Yahoo!?
The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
Thanks to Tom Koelman and others at http://gmane.org
fsf-friends(a)gnu.org.in is now available as a news group
at server : news.gmane.org
groupname : gmane.org.fsf.india.fsf-friends
U can set it up in ur news reader with the above information
or by clicking
in mozilla browser/mail reader
U can also view it online at
Arun, Thanks for ur willingness to allow fsf-friends(a)gnu.org.in
If v want to hav our old mails available at http://gmane.org
V hav to import old mail archives into Gmane
Here is the instruction (from http://gmane.org/import.php )
Importing Archives Into Gmane
Mailing list archives can be imported into Gmane.
Archives to be imported can be in one of two formats:
Either a tar file of a one-message-per-file directory,
where the files have names that increase numerically,
or a Unix mbox file. No other formats are acceptable.
A Unix mbox file is preferred.
If you wish to have an archive of a mailing list you
administrate imported into Gmane, send a mail to Lars
( larsi+gmane(a)gnus.org )
with the URL of the mailing list archive, and which
group it should be imported into.
The list admin/owner should OK this before the archive
is imported. If you're the list admin, please say so in
the email where you request the import. If not, please
get in touch with the list admin first and get an approval
before you request the import. The list admin often has
access to an mbox format mail archive for the list, so get
the URL for the archive at the same time.
For the technically inclined, here's how a mailing list
archive import is done. It's not always as straightforward
as it may seem.
* If there are no articles already in the group,
the archive is simply imported.
* If there are already articles in the group, things
get a bit more complicated, since Gmane tries to keep
at least a loose correlation between the order of the
article numbers and the sequence in which the messages
1. Let's say there's already articles 1-1000 in the group,
and there's 2000 (unstored) articles in the archive.
2. Reception of new articles for the group is temporarily
3. The archive is imported into the group, ignoring any
articles that have already been stored in the group.
The articles from the archive get article numbers
4. Articles 1-1000 are renamed to 3001-4000.
5. Using a hacked-up version of the prunehistory inn
command, the storage tokens for these moved articles
6. The overview file for the group is regenerated.
7. Any articles that arrived while doing this operation
are handled and injected into the group.
This means that if you've read articles in the group before
doing the import, they'll suddenly become unread again,
since they're assigned new article numbers. This is
inconvenient, but it's a one-time inconvenience.
Having the articles permanently out of sequence would be a
The web interface to the articles will still respect the
old article numbering, as well as the new.
http://article.gmane.org/gmane.test/348 both refer to the
same article after one of these renumberings.
--- Tom Koelman <tkoelman(a)xs4all.nl> wrote:
> The following message is a courtesy copy of an article
> that has been posted to gmane.discuss.subscribe as well.
> bijumaillist(a)yahoo.com writes:
> > #gmane.fsf.india.fsf-friends fsf-friends(a)gnu.org.in
> > An open list which invites questions, proposals, suggestions, comments to aid the
> FSF-India\'s activities.
> > mailman dummy
> > encode=encrypt
> A subscription message for the requested mailing list has been sent.
> The resulting group will be created when the first message arrives
> from the mailing list. New groups that are created are announced in
Do you Yahoo!?
The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2003
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Oppn soft on Linux, wants no Windows
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [spacer.gif] [ FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003 11:05:12 PM ]
NEW DELHI: In a sign that the cyber age has well and truly dawned
inside Parliament, the Opposition on Thursday warned the government
against the Microsoft monopoly over software.
It urged that open source software like Linux be given preference in
The government, they said, should not insist on proprietary software
while issuing tenders for computers, since open source software is
available at one-tenth or even one-twentieth the cost of proprietary
software like Windows.
Participating in the discussion on the working of the communications
and information technology ministry in the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP
Prithviraj Chavan referred to competition between proprietary and open
source software as a "clash of civilisations".
Referring to the recent developments in Iraq, Chavan pointed out that
cheap alternatives to Microsoft are available and that countries like
China, France and Germany are sponsoring the
development of this software.
He pleaded that the "user should have a choice" of
software and that the government should not restrict its procurement
only to proprietary products.
Replying to the debate on Friday, IT minister Arun Shourie said that
the government was not thinking in terms of a rigid policy framework
as the life of technology in the information technology sector is just
"It is not a good idea to have a detailed statutory framework" as this
could impede growth in this sector... Policy must be technology
neutral," the information technology minister said.