Wellington will be at the forefront of Software Freedom Day celebrations around New Zealand this Sunday.
The capital will host New Zealand’s biggest event, on September 20 at the Wellington Convention Centre to mark the day, an annual worldwide celebration of the use and development of free and open source software (FOSS), open standards and open data.
The event is free to attend.
“Our goal is to educate the public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home and in business - in short, everywhere,” said Software Freedom Day Co-Organiser Jayne Wallis. “Software Freedom Day is an opportunity not only to showcase their work - which is as good as or better than proprietary software but with no license restrictions - but also to talk about issues facing different FOSS communities.”
She says Wellington has a diverse and growing community of people - developers, documentation writers, software testers, project managers and artists - working on FOSS projects either as a hobby or as paid work.
Software Freedom Day is organised by Unlimited Potential, WellyLUG, SuperHappyDevHouse, DigitalNZ, Catalyst IT, the New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS), CWA New Media and OLPC. It is sponsored by a host of other New Zealand and international companies.
This year’s event introduces two new programmes to engage children and young people:
- Kids Programme
Primary school-aged children will have the opportunity to take their first steps into programming at the Install Fest, attend a Barcamp where they can brainstorm about the future of computing. Also featured are games and prizes.
- Students Programme
Secondary school and tertiary students can hear talks from ‘tech heroes’ about working in the industry and learn about how understanding open source solutions can enhance your job prospects. At the Install Fest, they can bring along laptops and get assistance from experts to install open source software and operating systems.
Other activities planned for the day include an Install Fest for people wanting to install free and open source software on their laptops or home. Copies of some popular FOSS will be available to take away as well.
Parallel to the main event there will be a "Hack Fest" organised by SuperHappyDevHouse, One Laptop Per Child, and
DigitalNZ to help FOSS enthusiasts work on their favourite piece of software. The team from One Laptop Per Child will also showcase their machines.
Wellington’s growing community of makers using open source technology will showcase their gadgets or open source crafts.
Other events to celebrate Software Freedom Day are planned around New Zealand.