Goals and Objectives
"Development and deployment of open-source software should be encouraged, as appropriate, as should open standards for ICT networking"
The Tokyo Declaration of the January 2003 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Asian Regional Conference
Developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region can achieve rapid and sustained economic and social development by using affordable yet effective Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) ICT solutions to bridge the digital divide.
The overall objective of the project is to create an International Open Source Network (IOSN), which will serve as a Center of Excellence and Clearinghouse for Information on FOSS. The Network will shape its activities around FOSS solutions, tools, technologies, and applications. It will:
- Help to strengthen current FOSS capacities
- Assist with the development of needed toolkits, resource materials and localization efforts.
- Generally assist in co-ordination of FOSS programs and initiatives through networking.
The IOSN will be a reference point and resource base for the FOSS community, programmers, governments, NGOs and institutions for networking and information exchange in open source solutions, especially as regards to R&D and dissemination of localization packages. It will have its own resources in assisting countries and communities adopt and localize affordable software solutions. The Network will conduct R&D on other aspects of FOSS as well. The Center will also assist governments and policy makers formulate policy based on best practice and research.
The IOSN will coordinate training sessions for the Linux Operating System and related applications. Training sessions will be organised in conjunction with partners already active in this field. The IOSN will base its work primarily on Linux but it will not be limited to one operating system. Going further, the IOSN may enter into agreements with partners to provide technical support for governments and educational institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.
The IOSN will actively address FOSS licensing issues. Licensing pertaining to FOSS can get complex, especially when applications are used in tandem with proprietary software. Here, IOSN will aid programmers, governments and institutions to clarify the issues through awareness programs. IOSN will be active in writing Primers or short FAQs on particular aspects of FOSS targeted for the FOSS community in Asia-Pacific. These Primers will aid technicians and other programmers seeking solutions to many of the technical problems on localization and other technical issues.
In this regard, the IOSN will develop awareness programs; coordinate expertise, technical support, etc toward the better use of resources in Asia-Pacific. It will establish a commons for the sharing of intellectual property where programmers will be able to put their ideas and work in this commons - if they choose to do so - and according to the level of rights they seek to retain. The IOSN will be open to different forms of Free/Open Source licensing, i.e. General Public License (GPL), BSD etc. IOSN will also be open to other forms of licensing such as GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and Open Content.
Specific Objectives of the IOSN
- Creation of a platform for networking and discussion amongst Free/Open Source Advocates; Venue for awareness raising, information exchange and discussion on FOSS issues
- Planning of Workshops; Establish training programs to strengthen human resources and expertise in the region
- Creation of online discussion groups, mailing lists and updating of web site to serve the FOSS community; resources for policy-makers and programmers on FOSS and for localization
- Creation of a repository and collaboration tools for open source applications in Asia-Pacific, including a database of open source experts
- Build on existing capacities in Asia-Pacific
- Creation of incentives and grants for FOSS programmers; testing and Q/A of software
- R&D on FOSS technologies, particularly for localization; toolkits for localization
- Promote, facilitate, and support regional software developers to build on FOSS platforms