Prepared by: Brendan Scott/OSAU
Last updated: 15 January 2003
Aim: The aim of this site is to provide resources for organisations in Australia considering the adoption of open source.
Open Source AU Digest:
Open Source AU produces a regular digest of stories of interest to users and potential users of open source in business and government. If you would like to receive this digest please send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Subscribe OSAU digest". If you have news items of (business) interest relating to open source, drop me an email as well.
How can I help? If you have implemented open source in your organisation and want to help others to do the same, download and fill out this form. Please don't feel intimidated by this form. Just fill out what's relevant and send it through to me. Alternatively get someone to interview you using this sheet as a prompt and send through the interview. Otherwise email me with suggestions - "email@example.com"
Plans: OSAU's ongoing plan is to include a list of links to resources
and a list of detailed case studies specific to industry sectors. These
will be put up as they become available.
What is free software?
Free software is not software for which there is no licensing fee. Free software is software which as a customer, you are free to do what you like with it (other than to restrict others' freedom).
Is Open Source the same as Free Software?
No. The two definitions are here:
Click here for the free software definition The GPL is a specific example of a free software licence.
Click here for the open source definition The BSD license is a specific example of an open source licence that is not a free software licence.
The practical difference between the GPL and other open source/free software licenses is that given a piece of software
later versions of that software can be captured by a vendor in the future
if not GPLed. However, if it is GPLed later versions
must remain GPLed as well. If, as a customer, you are averse to vendor lock
in, and all other things are equal, it is wiser to invest in GPLed free software
than in software licensed under other terms.
Taking this discussion at a philosophical level - one of the fundamental
tenants of free software is that there should be minimal government regulation
of the software industry. Open source permits government regulation
through the copyright law. Free software is the most capitalist/free
market of the three software models (lock in, open source, free software).
The Free Software Foundation has attempted to illustrate the distinction on this page.
Where to find Applications Which are Open Source or Run on Linux (or both)
This is not an endorsement or recommendation of any of the following applications.
However it is a suggestion of a starting point from which you can commence
your own evaluation. The best starting point is www.sourceforge.net.
Sourceforge is a place where open source software is developed collaboratively.
A lot of the projects are "in progress" or beta, but there are nonetheless
many production and mature packages available on sourceforge.
Specific things to look at are:
Email: Kmail, ximian evolution (interfaces with lotus notes and exchange), Mozilla
Office Suites: openoffice koffice, gnome office, 602 Software's PC Suite (these include, eg, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation)
Word Processing: (see also office suites above): Abiword
Web Browser: Mozilla (web browsers are also included in desktop and office packages, such as Gnome and K desktop)
Calendar: KOrganizer, ximian evolution, Mozilla (beta as at 1/03)
Home accounting: GNUCash
Project Management: Mr Project
Bug Tracking: Bugzilla
Run windows programs from Linux: wine ("wine is not an emulator"), Crossover Office (allows packages such as Microsoft Office and Lotus Notes to run from within Linux)
Graphics: The GIMP (free software Photoshop equivalent)
Multimedia (eg MP3, wav, CD, DVD) player: xmms, xine
Audio Editor: audacity
Video Editor: Heroine/Cinelerra
Telephony Application server: Bayonne
See also: The Open CD Project and their list of candidate programs, and the Linux Bootable CD Knoppix (try Linux without installing anything on your hard drive).
Caterworld (Catering Business, 50 PCs, installed free software on desktop, accounting and network. Interview 1/08/02)
Brendan Scott (Single user, legal office, desktop. Paper 07/02)
General (mostly my papers)
Empirical Data (Updated on an ongoing basis)David Wheeler: OSS/FS Look at the numbers article (review of empirical data relating to Open Source/Free Software)TCO - Total Cost of Operation (July 2002)
Brendan Scott: Free Software TCO must be lower article: Article showing that the total cost of operating free software must be lower than that for proprietary software in the long run.Four Free Software Fallacies (September 2002)
Brendan Scott: Four Free Software Fallacies: Article identifying four arguments against free software, and arguing why they are misdirected.
Open Source Policy in UK Govt (July 2002).
http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/news/newonsite/oss-policy.htmEU Pooling Open Source Software (June 2002)Report: http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/1115.pdfEU Study into the use of Open Source Software in the Public Sector (June 2001):
Appendix: http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/1116.pdfFact Sheet: http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/833.pdf
Use of Open Source in EU: http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/835.pdf
Open Source Market Structure: http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/export/files/en/837.pdf
Red Hat's Open Source Now pages: Open Source Now
Red Hat's Open Source Open Lab (sample computing lab specifications):Open Lab
Simple End User Linux Project: www.seul.org
SEUL-EDU (case studies and lists of open source educational software):www.seul.org/edu
Schoolforge (open source project for schools) www.schoolforge.net
Details on implementing Linux Thin Clients in k12 - (a) Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP); and (b) installation instructions.
Case study on implementation of thin clients at St Mary's Catholic School Florida: (a) at Linux Planet; and (b) at St Mary's School (note references to Melbourne Linux Users Group is to Melbourne, Florida, USA).
Koha Open Source Library System (full catalogue, opac, circulation, member management and acquisitions package): www.koha.org
Kim Brand's powerpoints on a Linux Implementation at O'Reilly OS Con 2002. Demonstrates the reliability and profitability of open source platforms in the small/private religous schools market. Describes the technical, economic and political issues surrounding establishing a small-school focused open source product strategy: conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/os2002/view/e_spkr/1228
Riverdale High School - Case study in the implementation of linux terminal server (with costings and pictures): k12ltsp.org/rhs_casestudy.html
The case for Linux in Universities: http://www.kegel.com/linux/edu/
OpenEMed is a distributed healthcare information system and includes sample implementations of the Person Identification Service, Clinical Observation Access Service, Resource Access Decision, and Terminology Query Service which have been adopted as international standards by the Object Management Group: OpenEMed