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Perhaps you have already heard about open source software and you can’t quite believe that it offers a way to use software for free. Perhaps you have simply no idea what it is and you want to find out more. Whatever your motivations, it’s always a good time to start learning about free and open source software.
academic end-users
The profile of open source software has now reached a point where it is no longer exclusively in the domain of IT experts and service providers. The recent success of Firefox, the open source web browser from the Mozilla Foundation, has brought open source software to the attention of many people who had formerly been unaware that there was an alternative to proprietary software.
software developers
The open source software development community must surely be one of the most attractive environments in which to develop software. Software development is nearly always about collective working which tends to result in a community. Nowhere is the developer a bigger part of such a community than in the open source world.
IT managers and technical staff
Experience and awareness of open source software varies widely across managers and technical staff within the UK academic sector. Whilst government policy and advice on institutional policy matters are clearly important, practical matters are paramount.
strategic IT decision-makers
Consideration of open source software within an institutional IT policy is a key factor in ensuring best value for money in IT procurement. It also matches up with UK government policy covering publicly funded bodies such as the NHS and the education sector. Open source software needs consideration also in intellectual property rights policies, employment contracts and more.