Saturday, June 11, 2011

Is open source green?

After the recent event by local linux users group we had some interesting discussions with newcomers about language choice of open source developers, why we're doing such event etc. And there was thought provoking question, which is 'Is open source green?'. Quick answer is yes, yes for sure. But how? Here I want to discuss how is it green.

Usually people write code to solve a problem or to accomplish something. If the code is open source we'll just use it to solve same problems elsewhere, or similar problems with a slight change. If it's closed we would write code from scratch or reinvent the wheel. That would require electricity to power a computer, time to write a code. Or maybe we need to work to make a money for a license. Using open source software and contributing to it you are saving your and people time, money and saving the Earth. So open source is so green for sure.

Now, I'll try to prove it by some numbers. According to Wikipedia, David A. Wheeler studied Red Hat version 7.1 which was released in 2001. He found that it consists of 30 million lines of code, which would have required 8,000 man-years of development effort and would have cost over $1 billion to develop. A similar study was made of Debian version 2.2 and found 55 million lines of code, which would have required 14,005 man years and $1.9 billion. So Debian version 5.0 is 324 million lines code or 6 times larger than 2.2 version. And it's safe to assume that it would have required 84,000 man year and  $12 billion. Do you know how these numbers are changed in 2011?

Man year is a estimate amount of work that would take a year for a average worker. Then it'll take 84,000 years for a developer to make Debian 5.0, or 84 years for 1000 developers. Open source today is a result of small contributions from millions of people. And it's available to you free of charge for every purpose. You can even change the source code. It allows us to save millions of watts electricity, such an amount of coal and save everything. So are you convinced that open source is GREEN and SO GREEN?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Knowledge saturday

In Mongolia, we have local FOSS community since 2007, and we've been organizing events for non-FOSS users and beginners. But some members of our community were asking for real and practical knowledge sharing than mailing list, forum, wiki etc. We've been discussing how to fulfill this demand, which was more than required to become more attractive for non-beginning users. Now, we have Knowledge Saturday.

Knowledge Saturday is event where volunteer members teach about 3 or 4 topics and it's hold on last Saturday of the month. And within 2 hours will have grasp and practical understanding of 4 topics. First event held on 23th Oct 2010, and the topics were 'How to install Ubuntu 10.10', 'Git - version control system', 'Python 101'. Last was on 26th Feb 2011, and topics were 'Unix file system basics - File owner, group, permission', 'Drawing with Inkscape', 'Symfony - web development framework'. And we're preparing for March 2011, which will be held on National University of Mongolia.

First steps were a bit difficult, because we needed to volunteer speakers, venue and some technical resources. We didn't had chance to record talk during first few events, now we're trying to record talk and make them available on Vimeo. Now it's getting a lot easier because people understand how it's important to have open knowledge, open knowledge sharing. People want to share their knowledge.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Boerte - Gobi

Just enjoy Mongolian music, song and nature.