Briefing notes on the benefits of Free Software?

MJ Ray mjr at
Tue Dec 8 13:45:21 UTC 2009

Peter Lewis asked: [...]
> As a result, I've been asked to send them some information on Free /
> Open Source Software which will help to inform them in making
> decisions about their new strategy and procurement. So, can anyone
> recommend a good briefing note or two which would be suitable?
> Ideally it would be aimed at voluntary / public sector organisations
> in the UK and accessible by general management (not IT specialists),
> though other good materials would also be useful.

Great!  My fellow cooperators at Bristol Wireless co-ran a Social
Source conference a while ago which might have some useful info
but I can't find any of the materials online.  I've just asked and
will feed back any reply.  Paul Webster has offered me his slides on
"implementation in the VCS" - can I forward them off-list if needed?

IMO, the big problem with promoting FOSS to the third sector is that
lots of UK government funding is wasted propping up a few hostile
organisations that claim to be agnostic and independent but have
entrenched legacy publishers as much as they can and excluded new
entrants from forums.  I lamented about that sort of thing at
back in April.  So well done for getting a vol org interested!

Most of the relevant funded FOSS-related publications like FOSS.CIAC
and FOSSVCS seem to have gone out-of-date and then offline, as is
usual for funded work which gets released various Non-Commercial and
No Derivative licences which make them hazardous or unusable to IT
support businesses. seem OK for the public
sector, but maybe not great for the third sector.

If there's nothing out there and anyone has a bushel of funding,
I'm sure, BristolWireless, FossBox, maybe M6-IT (not
sure of its state) could start something sustainable.

Hope that helps,
MJ Ray (slef) Webmaster and LMS developer at      | software        | .... co
IMO only: see | .... op

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