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Why you should use free software


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Protect your freedom

First of all there are the four essential freedoms as set up by the Free Software Foundation:

Why Universities should use free software

There are a lot of arguments why a publicly funded university such as mine, the University of Innsbruck, should do so. First of all the afore mentioned four essential freedoms, in addition there are very special reasons for an educational environment to use free software which go deeper.

We educate active and responsible human beings, we are in no way committed to or bound by software companies and we do not want to create dependencies. With proprietary software teachers and students "are legally forbidden from adapting the software to solve a particular problem, or from satisfying an intellectual curiosity by examining its source code. An education using the power of computers should be a means to freedom and empowerment, not an avenue for one corporation to instill its monopoly through indoctrination. Free software, on the other hand, gives children a route to empowerment, by encouraging them to explore and learn." (from "Education - one case against windows7 out of 7").

As a university teacher I am trying to use exclusively free software. "A university's job is not to 'train a student so they can get a job'; a university's job is to 'train a student how to think', how to gather data, evaluate data, create information and lead people. A university's job is to do research to further the base of knowledge, so we can move forward; and to publish this research so that others can move forward too. Universities should be using Free Software to do this research and they should be using Free Software as the basis of their research. The public should not have to pay twice or three times for the same research." cited from Universities that do not use Free Software: Time for a boycott?

See also:

This is why we set up our FLOSS software collections for translators as well as for translator's training:

Free your data - use Open Standards

Free software is strongly related with the use of Open Standards. Standards are open, when they are freely available, created and maintained by a not-for-profit organisation on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties and reusable without any constraints.

Open Standards free your data, they make your valuable data independent from specific software products and software companies. Open Standards make it easy to migrate and exchange data from one application/computer/operating system to another.

Open Standards allow you to read and modify documents you receive (see the FSFE initiative Document Freedom Day), exchange translation memories as well as terminology files. In translation we also have Open Standards (notably the XML-based TMX (Translation Memory Exchange), TBX (TermBase Exchange), SRX (Segmentation Rules Exchange), and XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format).