Sorry, I had been a bit late in drafting this post due to loads of personal and official work. Tuxmaniac’s blog about SFD in Bangalore has finally yielded me to stop procastinating further and write this post. Here I go…
Software Freedom Day or SFD, as it is famously known, is a day for Free Software Enthusiasts to celebrate as an awareness creation day. The main aim is to carry the message and benefits of embracing FOSS to the general public, who otherwise are in the mist of proprietary software. This is not celebrated only in India or one part of the world, its a universal celebration to mark the success of Free Software worldwide.
What is Free Software ? Its the software which offers its users four freedoms which bestows the user the right to use the software as he/she wishes and share it with others. The 4 Freedoms are,
- Freedom to run the program for any purpose the user wishes to,
- Freedom to study and adapt the program, with the help of the source code of the program,
- Freedom to redistribute copies to any one we wish,
- Freedom to modify the code and improve the program, release the program to the community so as to benefit the entire community, along with the modified source code.
These Freedoms are consider very important for software to grow, develop, mature and reach the far ends of humanity. The community which was built around this 4 freedom philosophy is the Free Software commuinity. And, this community has grown stronger and larger that the Free software has really started reaching the common man. To add fuel to this fire, SFD is aimed at taking the benefits fo Free Software further to the comman man. To know more about Free Software visit FSF.org.
So, as a part of FOSS community what did Indian Linux User Group Chennai or ilugc do ? A lot things were proposed in the past couple of months, most of which melted in air. The main thing amongst them, which is still being displayed an yet to be replaced, is Freedom Walk. We actually planned to go for a walk, atleast a kilometer or two, enchanting the philosophies and benefits of Free Software. We did have enough men to join, with a few engineering colleges around the town supporting us. But, as there more political measures needed to make this happen, it was dropped down. But, another plan was proposed by one of our LUGie, who also runs a Lynus (Training) Academy, was a small public show in a avenue near his training center. So, we finally decided to settledown with this plan, a 2 hour show encompasing Philosophies and Benefits of Free Software at Asiad Colony, in Anna Nagar – West.
SFD 2006 by ILUGC started at the community park named “Asiad-Rohini Park”, a quite spacious greenary situated inside the boundary of Asiad Colony. To say the truth, this was the first 100% public show that I had participated as a part of ILUCG in the past two years. so, it was indeed a different show this time. And, as the audience was non-techy general public, we decided to have 99% tamil show. The show started with Thamizh Thaai Vaazhtu (Prayer for the Tamil Mother) and then Raman gave a brief introduction, followed by a special duo show by Thaygarajan (aka Thimingilam Thayagarajan and Thalaivar Thyagu) and ILUGC’s SuperMan Raja. It was an interactive play, where Thyagu played the part of a computer-negligent father who wishes to get his son a computer but doesn’t want to spend much and Raja as a Linux community representative. The show was awesome, but restricted as we were running out of time. This was followed by display of 3D desktops by Shrinivasan and Bala Vignesh of ILUGC, further followed by briefing about Open Office tools by an enthusiastic student from SRM. The show was compered by Priyadharshini and Srini from Jaya Engineering college. Raman also had a quick hands on session for kids with GCompris.
The another notable part of the celebration was, we had quiz competition where questions were asked based upon the topic which was last discussed and the prize was a 6 month *free* subscription to LFY magazine. There were around 11 people stealing away the prizes and this made people come out of their shells and participate in the show 🙂 Thanks to LFY. I had to thank the people involved in making the arrangements, the projector and sound system people , and all those physical volunteers invovled in the show.
urgh, forgot! There was a surprise presence of two foreigners who saw the advertisement in the news paper and came to watch the show. Kudos to both of them 🙂
So, it was a different but indeed a great day to celebrate the Software Freedom. We are determined to continue our efforts to create awareness about FOSS in nook-and-corners of India 🙂 I have posted the snaps in my flickr album.