Quite a few don’t see how FLOSS can be the right way to do IT but it is. FLOSS lowers the cost of IT and the barriers to entry for small businesses and start-ups. That’s good for everyone.
“The digital revolution, also called the third revolution, has changed the entire landscape of the business world. After the industrial revolution, no other revolution has changed the fabric of the society as the Internet revolution has changed it. It has given rise to organizations that thrive on volunteers, peer production, and collaboration. Wikipedia, the Mozilla Foundation, WordPress, Red Hat, and many more are competing today with some of the best financed and resourceful enterprises across the globe.”
see Open source boosts entrepreneurship and social good through collaboration | opensource.com.
In education, the business with which I am most familiar, there is no huge lock-in because ODF, PDF, HTML and such are all widely used standards for documentation and the ubiquitous projector brings everything to light in a classroom or small group project. LANs empower every school using FLOSS to share resources school-wide. Properly exploiting FLOSS is as easy as installing Debian GNU/Linux and searching the repositories for useful software and data.
apt-cache search database
finds such gems as
- anymeal – A cookbook database for storing recipes
- piwigo – photo gallery software for the web
- wordnet – electronic lexical database of English language
- tracker – metadata database, indexer and search tool
- tora – graphical toolkit for database developers and administrators
- redmine – flexible project management web application
- postgresql-9.1 – object-relational SQL database, version 9.1 server
- phppgadmin – web-based administration tool for PostgreSQL
- phpmyadmin – MySQL web administration tool
- mysql-server-5.5 – MySQL database server binaries and system database setup
- mongodb-server – object/document-oriented database (server package)
- libreoffice – office productivity suite
- dictd – dictionary server
- apache2 – Apache HTTP Server metapackage
- …and many more
Only someone brain-dead could not see the possibilities.
apt-cache search search finds over 1000 items. No need for budget planning or purchase-order requisition, just a little reading and installation in minutes to try stuff out. Using FLOSS cuts the time needed to set up a great IT system in a school from years to days.