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Computers and Composition Online: A Monocultural Alternative: The OpenCD

Nov 22, 2003, 07:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Cesarini)

"In April of last year, Henrik Nilsen Omma was discouraged. He and other enthusiasts of freely distributable Open Source Software (OSS) such as the Linux operating system grew increasingly frustrated at the lack of widespread appeal of this and similar software, beyond the so-called "techie" crowd. They knew the problem was not with the software itself. Free software such as the excellent Mozilla web browser was feature-rich compared to its often-patched, yet feature-bereft Windows counterpart. The same could be said for OpenOffice, a full-featured, free office productivity suite that included many standard features unavailable in then-current versions of Microsoft Office. Nilsen Omma voiced his concerns in an article on Newsforge, one of the premier sites devoted to Linux and related OSS. In this article, titled An Idea for a Free Software CD, Nilsen Omma argued that:

"'there are many hurdles when persuading people to switch to Free Software. Most people will not change their entire operating system just for fun; it's too unfamiliar, and they will lose the use of all their favorite programs at the same time. ...The key, as I see it, is to encourage people to use the high-quality Free Software now becoming available in the OS they are already using' (Nilsen Omma, 2002)..."

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