MACLUG Inauguration at New Delhi

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Today I attend the inauguration ceremony of MACLUG - Maharaja Agrasen College, GNU/Linux Users Group. I was honoured to have been invited among many esteemed guests to light the lamp of this wonderful new beginning. This reminded me how nine years ago I along with a bunch of enthusiasts started JMILUG.

I shared my thoughts on «Freedom - Community - Science - Innovation»

Four Freedoms

Let me begin with the Four Freedoms. A program is free software if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Why are these freedoms important?

It won’t take much to realize how these Four Freedoms are. For example, lets take parallel between Four Freedoms and other things that affect our lives daily. Take note that these freedoms are applicable for more things than just software programs:

  • Science - standing on the shoulder of the giants
  • Literature and entertainment - Comics books turned into Super Hero TV Series and Movies
  • Internet - wouldn’t be possible if Tim Bernes Lee didn’t share his idea and the technology

What if Newton or Einstein and many other scientists didn’t share their theories? There wouldn’t be modern science. What if all the literature was kept secret? There wouldn’t be no entertainment. And list would go on and on.

We must be aware of the freedoms we carry with chores of daily life.

How do we take these freedoms forward?

We can spread the awareness of the Four Freedoms only through a Community. Community is a social unit of any size that shares common values. The people invest with shared capital ( such as belongingness ) and people communicate ( via words, art, emotions etc ) to share their views. Community consists of creators ( or contributors ) and consumers. All of the people have different roles and it better be organic, so that it can thrive based on these parameters:

  • Motivation
  • Passion
  • Goals

We need to ensure a thriving community keeps everyone aware of these freedoms. I am confident that MACLUG students have these qualities, and I wish them good luck.

Welcome to the world of Free and Open Source Software :-).

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