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  • Praveen A
    http://bangalore.gnu.org.in/?VTU-FLOSS_Campaign Go to this page and sign the petition (already 62 people have signed it) also make changes to the petition
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2005
      http://bangalore.gnu.org.in/?VTU-FLOSS_Campaign

      Go to this page and sign the petition (already 62 people have signed
      it) also make changes to the petition itself to make it more
      effective.

      Vice chancellor, Visveswaraiah Technologies University, Belgaum, Karnataka.

      Dear Sir,

      There are thousands of engineering and polytechnic colleges in India.
      Each year lakhs of graduates and diploma holders earn their degree.
      They pay thousands of rupees as fees to get the best facilities. A
      part of this goes to buying the software's which they use either in
      college lab or for doing assignments at home.For every software which
      they use; there is an alternate Free Software program available. Now
      this shows the amount of money which we can be saved if we start using
      Free Software. This will bring down cost of education considerably.

      Other than cost benefits, Free Software has other advantages

      * No-fee licensing
      * Ease of license fee management
      * Better large-scale programmability
      * Easier integration
      * Better performance
      * Development convenience
      * Better support

      There are hundreds of Free Software's programs which colleges or
      universities can adopt. As Vishweshwaraiah Technological University is
      one of the biggest universities in India, its time for VTU to move
      towards using Free Software. This will make other Universities to
      follow suit. Let the VTU have the pride to be the first one to adopt
      Free Software in educational curriculum.

      Here I present you an example of three such alternative Free Software
      programs which can be used for technical education.

      * (1) Operating System: Windows v/s GNU/Linux

      As am unaware of the software tools prescribe in the colleges,I assume
      that most of those colleges use Microsoft Windows based operating
      system. We all know the best available operating system today is
      GNU/Linux. It is the best suited for any educational institution can
      have. Students can not only use it but also can study its source code
      to understand its internal workings.

      But many of the colleges use or have started adopting GNU/ Linux,
      starting with the server room, where it is well known for its
      stability and security now it has entered our labs and desktops.

      * (2) Simulation: Matlab v/s Octave

      Matlab is used in communication and electronics lab. Matlab for
      individual license for university (academic use) costs $500. Any
      college will have to buy minimum 25 licenses. Which means shelling out
      Rs.537500.

      Octave, which is a simulation software written by University
      professors. This usually comes with the GNU/Linux Operating System.
      The advantage to students is that they don't have to buy a limited
      student version to use at home. They can use Octave both at Lab and at
      home.

      SciLab? is another open source competitor for Matlab. It uses
      sophisticated algorithms to analyze data and produce lovely graphics.
      Now you have the choice which one you want to include in your
      curriculum.

      NG-SPICE is another GPLd Circuit Simulator which is based on the
      University of Berkley's Spice Version 3f5.

      * (3) Office software's: MS Office v/s Open Office

      Well, we all used Microsoft Word to submit our project documents for
      review and for other academic purposes. Now we have Open Office which
      is as good as Microsoft Office and has the same features.Microsoft
      Office lacks some features like PDF(Portable Document Format) support,
      compatibility with older versions of Microsoft Office, lack a vector
      drawing application,etc. Open Office gives you everything starting
      from word processor, presentation software to PDF generator [Fully
      compatible with Microsoft Office -- So already existing data in those
      formats can be used]. Don't you think it's the right time to save
      money of a poor student ?

      The above are just examples. There are many such software programs
      from which the students can benefit. We hope the university
      understands the urgency and the need. We would be happy to give the
      university any information/help that is needed.

      * (4) Computer Networks Subject Teaching: Ethreal, tcpdump, NS2 etc

      We use the above mentioned tools for the teaching of Computer Networks
      and Data Communication subjects. There are a number of other GNU GPLed
      tools which can be used in a number of other labs for teaching and
      learning.

      * (5) Content Management Systems: Drupal, PHP-Nuke etc

      For building websites and info portals for students to make online
      learning possible, Online Forums, we have a number of free options.

      Here by we urge the university to make an effort in this direction.

      Thank you,

      Please sign this petition
      --
      "There is no system but GNU, and Linux is one of its kernels."
      A proud GNU user
      http://www.gnu.org
      http://www.edathanattukara.com
      My Weblog at http://www.livejournal.com/users/pravi
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