Taking the liberty of sharing Enrique's letter, which makes a lot of
interesting points, with this list. FN
On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Enrique A. Chaparro wrote:
I've just came back from the III World Social Forum, held in Porto
Alegre, Brazil. The Forum is a response (and a rebuttal :) ) to the
World Economic Forum, and probably one of the most significant
political events in the world. This year, 100000+ people attended
the Forum; there were 20763 representatives of 5717 organizations
from 156 countries, and 4094 journalist of 1432 media covered the
The IT infrastructure of the event was deployed by Procempa (the
information services company owned by the Municpality of Porto
Alegre), based on free software. All the servers, and 80% of the
~750 desktops were based on free software.
Debian-RS (the Debian users group of the State of Rio Grande do Sul)
installed and operated ~80 machines at the International Youth Camp
for the independent/alternative press media.
The delegates' registration and workshop scheduling systems were
based on PHP/MySQL. The three internet centers for public access
were based on Linux (RH)/Mozilla/Evolution/OpenOffice; OpenOffice
was also deployed on almost all the desktops (including the few
We (hmmm... how to define `we'? a loosely coupled hacker community
from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Canada, Italy and Spain...) made
several workshops one very disparate subjects: from how to manage
a radio with free software, to the implications for human rights
of political (WTO - WIPO - DMCA) and technological (TCPA - Palladium)
Unfortunately, we were unable to control the Forum's official
website ( http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/
), M$-driven. One
of the workshops made the full conversion of the site to a free
platform (Zope), but I guess it was too late.
The Fourth World Social Forum will probably be held in India in 2004.
Thus, there are two open challenges for the indian free software
community: to make the WSF4 fully powered by free software; and to
increase the awareness of the relationships between software and
freedoms among the social organizations and the progressive forces
of the world. So, the challenges are open; now it's up to you :)
In other news...
I would like to contact Prof G Nagarajuna, who you told me was
working on the field of free software in education. UNESCO is
organizing an international seminar on free software in education
in Peru for next June; having a paper from him would be great.
I've been asked to write an article for `Le Monde Diplomatique'
in Spanish, on the relationships between software and society.
I will need lots of input, so I will be bothering you soon on
the issues in India, if you don't mind.
Warmest regards from the Far South.
: When we speak of free
Freelance Journalist : Goa India 403511 : software we refer to
Ph 0091.832.409490 : Cell 0 9822 122436 : freedom, not price.