FSFE projects [was: T-shirts]

Lionel Elie Mamane lionel at mamane.lu
Sun May 20 14:38:22 UTC 2001

On Wed, May 09, 2001 at 06:33:28PM +0100, E L Tonkin wrote:

> * What about your average idiot, who thinks Windows is complicated?

And what about the generation in rising, that is beeing taught how to
use non-free OS's, calling that "taught on how to use a computer"?

Obviously, free means free as in free speech in this whole mail.

I strongly feel an overwhelming majority of education, both lower and
higher, (except theoretical computer science university-grade classes)
is not only using only proprietary software, but is teaching only the
use of proprietary software, without even letting the students know
that there is software that is free.

This already lead to the ridiculous situation where some IT
departments hire MSCP's for positions as ... *nix admins, because
there are MSCP's on the market, but no *nix skilled admins. E.g., my
school's IT department does. While GNU's Not Unix and my university's
IT doesn't quite use a free OS, I'm convinced they would do the same
if they were running a GNU variant.

Always taking my school's IT department as an example, these guys are
basically infiltrating the whole system, gradually moving more and
more of the server infrastructure to what they know how to run
properly... MS Windows. I don't thing this situation is local to my
school. Another university in the same city has some computers for
students to use for their work. Every single computer is running MS
Windows. Yes, even computer science students only have access to
Windows boxes. These students are the future admins and decision
makers in IT departments. The "next generation" of admins will
udnerstand only Windows. Thus making the use of free software the
difficult path.

There is no point in having free software if no one knows how to use
it. I think we should make some efforts leading to:

 - Developing free software to be used as a tool in any level of
   education: primaire, high school, supérieur.

 - Promoting the teaching of free software use. It can't be widely
   used if there's no widely spread knowledge on how to use it.

 - Increase the general exposure of the next generations to free
   software. Let them all, not just geeks, know it exists, and they
   have enormous benefits to reap from it.

Lionel Elie Mamane
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