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Posts tagged ‘software’

Richard Stallman in IIT-Bombay

RMS will be in IIT-Bombay on the 6th of this month. He will “speak about the goals and philosophy of the Free Software Movement, and the status and history of the GNU operating system, which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by tens of millions of users world-wide. ”

  • Date: 6th September, 2010
  • Time: 8:30 P.M
  • Venue: PC Saxena Auditorium, IIT Bombay

Sage Days 25, Mumbai, India

What is ‘Sage Days’?

Sage Days is a confluence of present and prospective SAGE Users and Developers. It is an opportunity to come together to share ideas, brainstorm and hack on Sage. Sage Days 25 is the 25th version of Sage Days, and is being organized in Mumbai, India. In order to cater to an Indian audience and scenario, this version has been tweaked slightly. Sage Days 25 has beginner level tutorials, in addition to the usual talks and sprints, to help new users get started with Sage and help promote the use of Sage in India.

What is Sage?

Sage is a free, open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of numerous existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface. It’s mission is to create a “viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab”. Sage has tools for a broad range of mathematical areas like Linear Algebra, Calculus, Symbolic Math, Plotting, Rings & Groups, Graph Theory, Number Theory and Cryptography. Essentially, “it can do anything from mapping a 12-dimensional object to calculating rainfall patterns under global warming” – as Science Daily puts it . Eager to get started? Start here. Apart from being feature rich, it’s usability is one of it’s greatest strengths. Sage Notebook, a web-interface for all the math you’ll ever want to do, is really the killer feature! As the Sage Marketing page says, “The SAGE GUI surely works on your computer box, because it just runs in Firefox!”. Try it Now!

Why should you attend?

Sage Days 25 is being attended by the creator and lead developer of Sage, Prof. William Stein. It will also be attended by other developers of Sage. This would be a great opportunity to meet and interact with them! The conference will be attended by a plethora of enthusiastic people from all over the country who use Sage or are interested in doing so. The conference will also see the presence of many mathematicians interested in software. Who knows, you may run into someone you’d want to collaborate with, for your future work! This event will be a great learning experience, if you are even remotely interested in math and software for it!

When and Where?

Software Freedom Day

Three Cheers to ‘Free Software’!
A toast for GNU on its 25th Birthday![1]

If you intend to ask, what I did on this day, I have nothing to show. I haven’t done anything that’s tangible but yes, I have re-dedicated myself to the idea of Free Software.
This post intends to shed some light on a few things (if not for the benefit of others, just as a reminder for myself)

  • Free Software is a matter of liberty, not price.
    I’ve often been in a position that required me to correct people. ‘Free Software’ is software that’s free as in free speech and not free beer. For the lack of a better word in english, the word ‘free’ which also means gratis has been used. Using the term ‘Libre’ sometimes helps and if you are in this part of the world, “mukt” is the best word to use.
  • Free Software comes along with four fundamental freedoms.[2]
    To put it simply, the freedom to use, study, share and modify any software.
  • Free Software may have the advantage of being ‘technically sounder’, but the philosophy is what matters the most to me.
  • I will do whatever is possible within my capacity to spread the philosophy and the associated freedom

Be Free, My Friend!

Here is an extract from one of Stallman’s [3] Essays:

 We must talk about Freedom

   Estimates today are that there are ten million users of GNU/Linux
   systems such as Debian GNU/Linux and Red Hat Linux. Free software has
   developed such practical advantages that users are flocking to it for
   purely practical reasons.

   The good consequences of this are evident: more interest in developing
   free software, more customers for free software businesses, and more
   ability to encourage companies to develop commercial free software
   instead of proprietary software products.

   But interest in the software is growing faster than awareness of the
   philosophy it is based on, and this leads to trouble. Our ability to
   meet the challenges and threats described above depends on the will to
   stand firm for freedom. To make sure our community has this will, we
   need to spread the idea to the new users as they come into the
   community.

   But we are failing to do so: the efforts to attract new users into our
   community are far outstripping the efforts to teach them the civics of
   our community. We need to do both, and we need to keep the two efforts
   in balance.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/fry/
[2] The Free Software Definition
[3] The GNU Project by Richard Stallman

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