THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The capital city will host the Fifth International Free and Open Source Software Conference - ‘Swatantra 2014’- from December 18 to 20.
The three-day event, organised by International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS) at Hotel Hycinth here, has ‘Free Software for a Free World’ as the theme. The conference will be attended by over 150 international and national free software practitioners, developers, activists, students and policymakers.
The conference will commence at 5 pm on December 18 with a keynote address by Richard Stallman, Director, Free Software Foundation, Boston, USA, which will set the tone for the conference.
Stallman will speak on the topic ‘Beyond Free Software’, and will interact with the audience and media after his lecture. The formal inauguration of the conference by P H Kurian, Principal Secretary (Information Technology), will be held at 9 am on December 19.
‘Swatantra 2014’ is the fifth in the series of Free Software Conferences organised with the support of the Government of Kerala, with previous conferences being held in 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2011.
“The conference, organised around the theme of ‘Free Software for a Free World’, aims at reflecting on the emerging concerns that citizens and communities face vis-a-vis privacy, online rights & freedoms, and security at the global level, particularly in view of the increasingly pervasive use of technology by people,” said ICFOSS Director Satish Babu.
The technical sessions on December 19 and 20 are expected to be attended by FOSS enthusiasts, programmers, policymakers, business & industry representatives, students and academics as well as practitioners of non-software domains such as Open Data, Open Access, Open Standards, and Free Culture.
Discussions will be organised through plenary presentations as well as three parallel breakout tracks of Indian Language Computing; Computational Sciences; Free Culture; Freedom on the Cloud; Free Mobile Platforms; Education & Spoken Tutorials; Surveillance, Security, Privacy and Internet Governance; Mapping & Open Street Maps; Computing for Differently-abled; FOSS in e-Governance; and Open Hardware and Internet of Things.
The conference aims to bring the latest FOSS developments to the state for the benefit of the local Free Software community, while at the same showcasing successful FOSS applications of the Kerala government.
Apart from Stallman, some of the dignitaries participating in the conference include noted economist Rahul De from IIM Bangalore and Nina Paley, a New York-based independent free culture activist, film-maker and creator of the critically-acclaimed animated movie ‘Sita Sings the Blues’.
Kannan Moudgalya of IIT Mumbai Sasi Kumar from CDAC Mumbai; P Balasubramanian from Open Technologies Centre of NIC, Chennai; Arun Mehta from BAPSI, Delhi; and Govind, CEO of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Delhi will also be present.