Linux Day: why software isn't just a matter of software

As you already know if you read the advice of a mom about why all parents should attend a Linux Day at least once in life the Italian Linux Day is a nationwide, yearly event devoted to promote the advantages of Linux and Free Software. This year I was present at the Rome edition. I tried to explain in a few minutes something which will be one of Stop! main themes and is also the central subject of both the Family Guide to Digital Freedom and of the online course of Digital Culture for parents and teachers: how and why civil rights and quality of life heavily depend on how software is used around us. The extra-short answer is that:

  • Software as such matters very little, unless you’re a programmer. What matters is what is done today only through and thanks to software, because it is just software that:
  • makes it possible any modern economic activity
  • runs every service used from human beings
  • in doing all that, locks all the related data and documents into formats which are only accessible with other software of the same type!

To know more you could read the talks on the same themes I gave in S. Domingo and La Sapienza Linux User Group earlier this year. The other solution, of course, is to come back and read this website regularly, because over time I’ll explain all the same issues, with plenty of details but with the simplest possible language, in different articles.

Notes on the 2009 Linux Day in Rome

The event took place in the Faculty of Engineering of La Sapienza University, just in front of the Coliseum.

The program included both moments reserved to people who had never met Linux before and wanted to see what it is and what it can do, and talks targeting teachers, researchers and professionals in any field interested in using Free Software for their job.

My own talk was followed by about 20 people. For me the best moment was just after the end, when several participants approached me to get more informations about how Italian government, local administrations and schools use and promote Free Software. As a matter of fact, during my talk I had insisted just on the concept that it isn’t enough to personally use Free Software: often it is much more important to demand its adoption at the public level. This, however, is another argument about which I will regularly write here at Stop!, so stay tuned!