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Friday, 25 June 2004

OPEN SOURCE FOR IRAQ?

The BBC reports that certain Iraqi computer experts that make up the Iraqi Linux Users’ Group are calling for Linux to be used as the basis of computer systems during the rebuilding of Iraq. From their point of view, the advantages of using an open-source system are two-fold: (i) it’s cheaper, which is particularly important considering the large amount of work that has to be done to bring Iraq’s basic infrastructure up to scratch and (ii) it could leave the path clear for the development of indigenous Iraqi technology – as Ashraf Hasson of the user group said, "That might help establish a solid base for Iraqi technology, and help not constrain the country with proprietary software and prevent monopolisation over Iraq by such major companies." It won’t all be plain sailing though – most of the software currently used in Iraq consists of illegal copies of proprietary software such as Microsoft’s programs.

The IPKat thinks that this is an interesting possibility, though he hopes that whatever is chosen will be the software that is best suited for the job and that it will be compatible with that in use in other countries.

More on open source in Iraq here, here and here

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