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ZDNet: Watching them get it

Nov 10, 2000, 09:56 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

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"It's not yet safe to assume that the world understands the benefits of open source...."

"On the same day I had the honest joy of watching the look on people's faces as the real benefits and opportunities from using open source software and development techniques sank in. I was making a presentation in front of a room full of public school educators, my third Linux session in Jamaica this week, and it elicited an extremely enthusiastic response. You can almost freeze the moment when you see the change in people's eyes as they 'get it.' You see it coming from the kinds of questions, skeptical at first, then curious, then people nodding while taking an increasing amount of notes...."

"The answer, of course, is to ensure that Linux and open source software are perceived as real production alternatives and not experiments. This change in perception is happening, but not as fast as Linux enthusiasts might like. Besides seminars like mine, there are other efforts helping to change perceptions, such as the Jamaican Linux Users Group (whose website isn't yet functional but should be soon)...."

"In addition, I sense an openness (pun intended) on the part of the Foundation to explore more aggressive initiatives to enhance the role of Linux as a genuine and trustworthy alternative. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the local institute for higher education, the University of the West Indies, has recently standardized on Linux for its computer lab."

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