It’s one of the (may be ‘The one’) greatest free software event that has been held in Sri Lanka. RMS – The founder of the FSF (free software foundation), GNU project & the licence and Emacs is now in Sri Lanka which in itself is pretty cool, but today I got the chance to attend one of three public gatherings organized in his tour of Sri Lanka and it’s an unforgettable experience in my life.
I always liked reading about prehistoric free software details (in 1950’s when software was inherently free because computer wasn’t an industry yet) ,how commercial software came to the arena in about 1970’s, downfall of MIT and born of GNU, born of GNU/Linux and born of OSI and such, but it’s just that – “reading”; but hearing from a person who has been the main figure or a catalyst of all these events is so wonderful, it’s like meeting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after reading all Sherlock Holmes stories
But this doesn’t mean that I agree 100% with RMS. I don’t believe proprietary software are inherently evil or Open Source is bad. Some technologies such as compression technologies may be hidden from the public eye because the owning company may completely depend on that technology and releasing the source may mean basically the destruction of the firm. So my opinion is that sometimes we should be flexible enough to work with proprietary software and also Open Source should be used when adapting free software to a business model. But that’s me anyway.
However it has been a privilege to meet with this visionary man and to hear his speech. I sincerely hope that his speech today has turned many more young hearts to free software ideology.
(From left) Nadun, Sameera, RMS, Lakshan, me
Btw, also got a chance to play with a OLPC lap. Pretty cool stuff considering the price and very cute (eew, sounds …).