Say NO to vendor lock-in in education - draft letter to VTU VC

Published on: 2008-11-23

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Say NO to vendor lock-in in education - draft letter to VTU VC


Intellectual self-reliance, which is an essential step towards economic self-reliance, can be achieved by ensuring that our education is not a subject to market forces. The syllabus and curriculum needs to be free from vendor lock-in. We need to focus on concepts, applications and on non-proprietary technology rather than on products. We want our students to be free to explore technology, learn from it and then apply this knowledge to develop India's economy. Read more The success of this campaign in Bangalore is very important - knowing very well that today's students are going to be tomorrows developers and decision makers, Microsoft has started seriously peddling its stuff to students (check out stunts like DreamSparkIndia ) - we have to get the word out loud and clear that rather than "chasing your dreams and creating the next big breakthrough in technology" (as the DreamSparkIndia site tells us), you are more likely to end up as a glorified typist at any one of the "big" Indian outsourcing firms (that is, if you are lucky - with recession already setting in, even that might be beyond the reach of many people) if you go after Microsoft technologies. These days, you are much more likely to be chasing (and achieving) dreams and doing wonderful things with technology if you grow up with Free Software. The hypothetical "benefits" obtained by working with so-called "professional" quality tools which MS has to offer pales into insignificance compared to the real world engineering (and social) skills a student learns by working side by side with talented developers all over the world on Free Software projects. I am sure Bill.G understands this - and that's why we will definitely be seeing more and more stunts like DreamSpark in the future ...


Thu Nov 27 11:44:26 2008

here u see the light..stand up for your right.. ---bob marley----


Wed Nov 26 10:52:41 2008

Sir, Again my bad. I said that the letter showed an element of desperation to non-FSF enthused readers. I hope this time it is clear. Thank you sir.

Pramode C.E

Mon Nov 24 17:34:03 2008

Dear Hiran, In case you missed, I too am a "Free Software enthusiast" and I don't see myself or any of the other enthusiast-friends getting desperate! I understand your concerns - the only solution I can suggest is getting to know the Free Software community in India at a closer range (maybe, participate in some user group meetings and have direct discussions with community members). (By the way, saw your profile on INXS site - it's cool! )


Mon Nov 24 14:49:52 2008

Sir, a) May be I didn't make it explicit. But what I pointed out was that, the letter showed that FSF enthusiasts were also desperate. b) There is politics, and it is there everywhere. It is getting dirtier day by day. But dirty politics is always highlighted whenever money is involved. c) In highlighting negatives of `closed standards`, also involves an element of politics. But we don't see it because, we don't see it as it is. d) No, you don't have to be in prison, to appreciate the benefits of being free. e) Once again, if people always see light, how will they appreciate it

Pramode C.E

Mon Nov 24 10:42:32 2008

Hi Hiran, Maybe, you were in a hurry when you wrote the post, but there are a *lot* of things which you have not thought of (or are not aware of). I would like to highlight a few: (a) If there is somebody who looks "desperate" here, it is Microsoft. (b) Big corporations (like MS) indulge in a lot of "politics" behind the scenes. (c) Why should we stay away from "advertising" the negatives of proprietary s/w, patents etc when these negatives are very real and have significant impact on the community? (d) Do I have to be in prison to appreciate the "benefits" of being Free?

Pramode C.E

Mon Nov 24 12:18:29 2008

Dear J: (a) At least in India, Free Software experts have no problem getting jobs. (b) This is how MS plans to give you "choice" - Bill.G goes around lobbying vice chancellors (and politicians) asking them to make sure that *only* MS stuff is used in the syllabus. You call this choice?


Mon Nov 24 06:01:47 2008

Sir, I wanted to post a comment, but it extended to a post.


Mon Nov 24 02:47:29 2008

I get your point but I disagree. I' ve seen DSpk for a while in other countries and it's a lot less about brainwashing and forcing anything and a lot more about choice. In so many classes around the world professors grow up on Unix then default to Linux and teach students a ton of things while interesting, don't really help them get jobs. To think that somehow MS starting a program like this is an infringement of rights is ridiculous and smacks of paranoia. Anyone who wants to can use or not use it. I think that if you are tryign to stop somethign liket this than you are what you think you're fighting - you are trying to remove choice. Professors teach principles, not products unless you are in a training school and then thy teach what is beind hired for. Market dynamics at work. My advice - let it play out and you will see that what everyone needs is balance - see it all and choose what you want. Make your own choice. J