March 29, 2005 5:12 AM PST

Brazil: Free software's biggest and best friend

Since taking office in 2003, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free-software movement.
The New York Times

The story "Brazil: Free software's biggest and best friend" published March 29, 2005 at 5:12 AM is no longer available on CNET News.

Content from The New York Times expires after 7 days.

14 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Software
Open source, like proprietary, has it's problems and issues. I think we sometimes bias on the side of open source because of it's free and open nature, but that doesn't make it the best choice. However, Linux is making strides into becoming a desktop replacement for Windows. Software companies like MySQL are making strides to becoming fully Enterprise class software. There is a lot of good coming from the Open Source communities. That doesn't mean that proprietary day's are numbered though. Even companies like Novell and IBM who are putting a lot of weight behind open source aren't release all of their software as open source and probably won't.

Even Microsoft has release a few things into the open source world. Albeit Microsoft probably did it to save face or strickly as a PR stunt. I say that because of their stance on open source.

Either way it's nice to see companies creating good quality software regardless of whether or not they open the source code up. It's also nice to see a government trying to save money instead of just taxing the crap out of them so they can play with billion dollar airplanes.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Software
Open source, like proprietary, has it's problems and issues. I think we sometimes bias on the side of open source because of it's free and open nature, but that doesn't make it the best choice. However, Linux is making strides into becoming a desktop replacement for Windows. Software companies like MySQL are making strides to becoming fully Enterprise class software. There is a lot of good coming from the Open Source communities. That doesn't mean that proprietary day's are numbered though. Even companies like Novell and IBM who are putting a lot of weight behind open source aren't release all of their software as open source and probably won't.

Even Microsoft has release a few things into the open source world. Albeit Microsoft probably did it to save face or strickly as a PR stunt. I say that because of their stance on open source.

Either way it's nice to see companies creating good quality software regardless of whether or not they open the source code up. It's also nice to see a government trying to save money instead of just taxing the crap out of them so they can play with billion dollar airplanes.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Space Port, Deep Water Harbour and Road... are Brazil's best friend
While is is quite interesting to read where the Brazilian Head of State has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. It is to be noted that information and communications technology issues alone should not be a priority of the Brazilian Administration as it has been for decades now that there have been plenty of rhetoric about the construction of an highway through Guyana's vast jungle to be complemented with a deep water harbor to facilitate the speedy conveyance of essential commodities to Northern Brazilian cities.

These to my mind should be the priorities of the Brazilian Government as it is assumed that much greater social and economic benefits would be derived from activities such as these rather than getting involved in software development and utilization issues. I am quite sure that market forces will resolve the question of whether to use free and open-source as against proprietary software. Lets see how the folks from the "Indian" sub-continent feels about working for free; also, why not ask IBM to open up the source code for OS/2 Warp and fund its development and deployment!

With Microsoft now focusing on the jet aircraft industry perhaps the Brazilian administration should consider some form of arrangements with the Guyanese people for the establishment of Space Port facilities... with the IBM's PC Unit already in their pockets (Lenovo) - I would say, not the Russians this time; but, the Chinese are coming!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
somewhat agree
Cost cutting is an important practice for organizations or governments with high expenses. Brazil's emphasis on Linux is suggested to be a cost-cutting move. In my opinion, the economic situation in Brazil would benefit more from profit-generating activities, and projects to remove barriers to growth. Invest in infrastructure first, cut costs later. Besides, if all of Brazil were running on Linux, the possibility of a revenue-generating software company in that country would be virtually zero.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Space Port, Deep Water Harbour and Road... are Brazil's best friend
While is is quite interesting to read where the Brazilian Head of State has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. It is to be noted that information and communications technology issues alone should not be a priority of the Brazilian Administration as it has been for decades now that there have been plenty of rhetoric about the construction of an highway through Guyana's vast jungle to be complemented with a deep water harbor to facilitate the speedy conveyance of essential commodities to Northern Brazilian cities.

These to my mind should be the priorities of the Brazilian Government as it is assumed that much greater social and economic benefits would be derived from activities such as these rather than getting involved in software development and utilization issues. I am quite sure that market forces will resolve the question of whether to use free and open-source as against proprietary software. Lets see how the folks from the "Indian" sub-continent feels about working for free; also, why not ask IBM to open up the source code for OS/2 Warp and fund its development and deployment!

With Microsoft now focusing on the jet aircraft industry perhaps the Brazilian administration should consider some form of arrangements with the Guyanese people for the establishment of Space Port facilities... with the IBM's PC Unit already in their pockets (Lenovo) - I would say, not the Russians this time; but, the Chinese are coming!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
somewhat agree
Cost cutting is an important practice for organizations or governments with high expenses. Brazil's emphasis on Linux is suggested to be a cost-cutting move. In my opinion, the economic situation in Brazil would benefit more from profit-generating activities, and projects to remove barriers to growth. Invest in infrastructure first, cut costs later. Besides, if all of Brazil were running on Linux, the possibility of a revenue-generating software company in that country would be virtually zero.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
"...to see if there's a way Microsoft can help"....
...itself to expand its monopoly to Brazil. M$ is so full of it. Does anyone out there really believe that M$ is tring to "help" anyone but themselves? If so, I've got a bridge you might be interested in.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your (not) right
MS is trying to help themselves. The United States should not have the riches company in the world. We should continue to give away our best hopes of staying ahead in the world. I'm looking forward to buying my next pc from china with a Chinese version of the Linux on it. I will feel so much better knowing that they made all the profits instead of the US. Really, some one is going to profit, why (not) us?
Posted by TheMidnightCoder (61 comments )
Link Flag
No Clue
A business deal exists when all parties have a need that can be fulfilled through cooperation. Your statement is just silly. And blatently anti-Microsoft.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
"...to see if there's a way Microsoft can help"....
...itself to expand its monopoly to Brazil. M$ is so full of it. Does anyone out there really believe that M$ is tring to "help" anyone but themselves? If so, I've got a bridge you might be interested in.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your (not) right
MS is trying to help themselves. The United States should not have the riches company in the world. We should continue to give away our best hopes of staying ahead in the world. I'm looking forward to buying my next pc from china with a Chinese version of the Linux on it. I will feel so much better knowing that they made all the profits instead of the US. Really, some one is going to profit, why (not) us?
Posted by TheMidnightCoder (61 comments )
Link Flag
No Clue
A business deal exists when all parties have a need that can be fulfilled through cooperation. Your statement is just silly. And blatently anti-Microsoft.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Choice not an issue
Choice of hardware and/or software by individuals is not an issue for this project. They are talking about a cheap internet "toaster" for the masses. As long as it can reliably browse the internet, provide basic productivity applications, and provide reasonable security from viruses, worms, etc, then it is a success. Rock solid integration is more important than "choice" in this project, and by limiting "choice" they stand a better chance of providing tech support for the product, not to mention getting volume discounts when purchasing the hardware. "Choice" is a luxury for those who can afford it.

If the Brazillian desktop ends up being either a standard Linux distro or a slightly modified distro, I want to know the details for my own volunteer work.
Posted by C.Schroeder (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Choice not an issue
Choice of hardware and/or software by individuals is not an issue for this project. They are talking about a cheap internet "toaster" for the masses. As long as it can reliably browse the internet, provide basic productivity applications, and provide reasonable security from viruses, worms, etc, then it is a success. Rock solid integration is more important than "choice" in this project, and by limiting "choice" they stand a better chance of providing tech support for the product, not to mention getting volume discounts when purchasing the hardware. "Choice" is a luxury for those who can afford it.

If the Brazillian desktop ends up being either a standard Linux distro or a slightly modified distro, I want to know the details for my own volunteer work.
Posted by C.Schroeder (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.