Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Future is Open!

A five-year study released on April 16, 2008 indicated that Open Source software is raising havoc throughout the software market. It is the ultimate in disruptive technology, and while to it is only 6% of estimated trillion dollars IT budgeted annually, it saved consumers up to $60 billion in annual revenues, found The Standish Group.

Tux must be very excited! Good news to open source IT entrepreneurs local content development but bad news to locked code vendors, their agents and the proprietary business model in general.

Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (or “BASIC”) computer programming language promises to migrate software developers, en masse, to the Open Source Software environment.

Originating from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA in 1964, the easy-to-use computer programming software was automagically embraced by computing industries. Because was freely released, software companies took it, modified some features then branded their release versions under different names making it today's top language in terms of number of programmers and software applications available.

Windows desktop application BASIC variants include Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) is, “a tool that allows programmers to create Windows applications in very little time. It is the most popular programming language in the world, and has more programmers and lines of code than any of its nearest competitors,” according to, Oracle's StarOffice Basic, TibboBasic, PowerBasic , among others

Mobile platform boasts of proprietary likes of NS Basic , Basic4android and GLBasic from interestingly also used for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX desktop applications development .

Open Source Software movement started in late 1970s and early 1980s - led by Richard Stallman and the Computer Science Research Group (CSRG) at University of California, Berkeley. Linux computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution was first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds.

Various “flavours” of Linux were thereafter released to the public under GNU License by the Free Software Foundation- an organization that advocates the free software model, to understand which one should "think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer.”

On 20 October, 2004 Canonical Ltd released initial 'Warty Warthog' version of Ubuntu which went on to became the world's most popular Linux version. Awarded best Linux distribution at the 2005 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in London. LinuxMint, based on Ubuntu, later occupied the No. slot at most popular flavour of Linux operating system software, ranking by

As of 20 November, 2011 top 10 distributions by page hit ranking for the last 12 months were:- (1) Mint, (2) Ubuntu, (3) Fedora, (4) Debian, (5) openSUSE, (6) Arch, (7) PCLinuxOS, (8) Puppy, (9) CentOS, and (10) Mandriva.

But Linux still missed something. Whereas every version is free, accompanied by free Office Productivity Suite – be it or and users choose whatever else extra wished to download, also for free. Despite the the hundreds of thousands of free ready applications available at Regardless of the obvious enterprise, organisational, government, SME an individual cost savings stared awaiting to be realised. Notwithstanding strong advocacy for Open Source Software, the adoption for the abundant sophisticated, free, applications development platforms, such as, QT by Nokia , Eclipse, MonoDevelop or NetBeans IDE, among many others, the Linux platform still lacked a familiar, simple, easy-to-use coding language that gently handholds BASIC programmers into the Linux environment.

Saving them from climbing steep learning curves associated with transitioning from one programming language to another while assuring those IT entrepreneurs their own coding business continuity as they venture to new Open Source Software horizons exploring its new “software services” away from “software products” business model.

Precisely the problem solved by Gambas - a free development environment based on a Basic interpreter with object extensions, a bit like Visual Basic™ (but it is NOT a clone !). Read the introduction for more information.

With Gambas, you can quickly design your program GUI with QT4 or GTK+, access MySQL, PostgreSQL, ODBC and SQLite databases, pilot applications with D-Bus, translate your program into any language, create network applications easily, make 3D OpenGL applications, make CGI web applications, and so on... [for more details]

Any high school leaver, college or university graduate whom has studied one type or other of BASIC “package” in town colleges is now free from proprietary software licenses fees, but only if they choose to.

If, indeed, the government wanted to fulfil its stated Universal Access to ICT commitments on the National ICT Policy, accelerate ICT knowledge transfer, revolutionise local IT applications development (officially “local content”) for worldwide export to generate foreign exchange, conserve its budgetary software license fees expenditure - for use on more pressing public needs, then there should have been a Free and Open Source Software national software strategy in place five years ago.