THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that free and open software offer solutions to IT startups and publishing industries affected by the exploitative business practices of software monopolies. He was speaking at a function that declared CPI mouthpiece Janayugom, switching to free software, at Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
According to the Chief Minister, open source software were the need of the hour for print media that is facing challenges from proprietary software companies such as Adobe. He spoke about the state’s IT policy which was focused on developing free and open source software from school level. CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said monopolies have been trying to corner the benefits of science and technology by excluding the rights of people. Janayugom management said it managed to save as much as `1 crore in license fee by switching to free software such as Scribus and GIMP for desktop publishing and image editing respectively.
Lessons from Oman
Fahad Amar Salim al Zaidi, a programmer who is credited for developing open-software modules for complex languages such as Malayalam and Arabic, said implementing free-software in Omani schools had helped the country in maintaining independence in the world of technology monopolies.
“We started searching for alternatives when software’s offered by Adobe became expensive,” said al Zaidi at the function. He had helped the Ministry of Education in Oman to adopt free and open software in 2012. He also helped Janayugom in incorporating Malayalam in desktop publishing software.