M2504 - Implementing free software systems, February 2010
IMPLEMENTING FREE SOFTWARE SYSTEMS
Marcelo D'Elia Branco
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
During the course of studies for the Master’s Degree in Free Software offered by the UOC, we have witnessed a variety of generic and specific aspects related to this movement. Hence, depending on the chosen subjects, the course will have covered subjects such as software development, the administration of networks and operating systems, the development of web applications, database management, the legal considerations of free software, computer network security, etc.
Studies like these cannot fail to include case studies of the implementation of free software systems. This implementation should not only be viewed from a strictly business or technological point of view, it must also consider the underlying philosophy of the movement, since the reasons for implementing free software systems are usually a combination of technological, philosophical, economic and practical considerations.
This course attempts to delve into the reality of diverse public and private institutions that have opted for free software, whether as the basis of their business, as in the case of private companies, or as an institutional policy, as in the case of public institutions.
Needless to say, these case studies do not attempt to offer an exhaustive view of free software implementation, an impossible feat for a course with a limited duration. The main aim of the course is to show that it is possible to put free software into practice beyond the specific aspects discussed in these studies. As a result, this material places particular importance on all that is related to the integration of diverse elements, from technological and practical to economic and management, and ethical and social.
To summarise, the chief purpose of this course is to give an overview of the practical implementation of free software that differs slightly from the more specific approach used in the rest of the courses for this subject.