Here we List out different questions asked to us by college going students, and possible and given answers.

Is Free Software Secure than proprietary software?[edit | edit source]

As to how is Free Software more secure than proprietary software even though the source code of Free Software is available for everyone to edit whereas the source code for proprietary software is not available?

Imagine two huge buildings. One wants to rent one for an office. Both are in a place where earthquakes and terrorist acts are common. For one, he is given a complete building plan, clearly marking all the exits and entrances and the complete wiring etc of the building showing all maintainence passageways, ducts etc. For the other, he is told that no plans are available or can be shown because terrorists might get access to them - but since the details of the building are top secret, no terrorist can misuse the details. Regarding wiring and things, they say, we cannot give you the details, but give us the ends of the wires and we will connect them for you - same for exhaust pipes etc etc. Which building will he choose?[1]

Say the encryption algorithms all of them are open , but the keys are the ones private. But still they are good at keeping the transaction secure.

Similarly , There are two different concepts , data and code. Security in most sense is how safe the data can be , and that needs intelligent code , more the number of participants and more trial and error and more possible commits and development , better the code.Open source achieves just that :) And explain to him his data will still be confidential and its not 'open data' :) [2]

A discussion on ilug Chennai

How can I make money using FOSS ?[edit | edit source]

Possible answers (one or mix of more, depending on type of audience):

FOSS companies like Redhat, Novell, JBoss[1] ... make money by selling services like support for FOSS products.

How do I start contributing to FOSS?[edit | edit source]

Start using FOSS, Share/Blog what you found out (it works out of the box, you needed to tweak something to get it working...), Help others in mailing list, forums..., Write documentation, Request for features, Submit bugs, Try fixing some bugs ar adding new features... Here is a detailed guide.

What kind of an economic model does an entrepreneur look at when he starts out with free software?[edit | edit source]

RMS from an interview to The Hindu.

I want to ask you why that question is worth asking. First of all there are many people who don't have to make money. Importantly even if a person has to make a living, he doesn't have to make a living from everything he does.

Lots of people develop free software in their free time and there are people who have to make a living and they do make a living.

To jump from, this person is not rich and therefore has to work, to, this person can't write free software because he is not paid to write it, is an error.

There are over a million contributors to free software, a substantial fraction is getting paid and a majority are volunteers.

I suspect the reason people bring up this question of economics as a secondary detail is because they are labouring under the misconception that the free software community is impossible, unless the developers are getting paid.

How do I organise a FOSS event in my campus?[edit | edit source]

Here is a detailed HOWTO, which will guide you through the steps involved in organising a FOSS event in your campus.

How do I form a local FOSS User Group?[edit | edit source]

We have prepared a set of guidelines which you can follow here

Why do we need to use glade when we can use Visual Studio ?[edit | edit source]

Don't you like to have an edge over others ? Microsoft is going to use what glade has been succesfully using[2] for long in its upcoming Windows vista[3] -- XML based interface for GUI which will be interpreted by a rendering engine. So while choosing glade you are ahead of those who chose Microsoft technologies like Visual Studio.

(More questions and answers to be added)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Kenneth Gonsalves' explanation in ILUG Chennai
  • Antano Solar's explanation in ILUG Chennai
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