My ideas for Kosovo and Open Government

By: James Michael Dupont

My suggestion to the governments of the world is to make sure that people of their country can be free: free from licenses, free from patents, and free from being forced to install and buy software from Microsoft or anyone who charges money for the software license.

Microsoft .net is a nice thing of course, but it really limits the future of businesses that uses it.

For a small company to buy all the licenses to run .net, it will be expensive, to pay for licenses of the operating system, the database and the webserver you will need even more money.

Kosovo might want to learn about these things, and you should know how to use .net of course via Mono and dotgnu, but it is dangerous how they are currently doing it. Instead of buying licenses they should be translating and using Linux and free software that does not have patent or license restrictions.

They should be teaching people about copyright and law, and how they can protect themselves.

People should not learn to use software they cannot afford, the more people learning to use expensive, thus pirated software, the longer and harder it will be for them to become legal and free.

The people of Kosovo are living in a ghetto of illegal software that limits their chances, they cannot open up business or start web companies legally with this illegal software. They cannot join the European Union like that.

The people are learning technology from the 90s in universities, and the technology of today might not be Microsoft, Microsoft is getting faded. We have to give Open source and Linux a chance they are our future.

Here are the steps that I would like to see done :

1. Implementation of licenses for Kosovo.

2. Clearly make all public data from the government under a public domain or Creative Commons license.

3. Make all data from the government in an open and standard format, not in Microsoft word format.
3.1 Also government needs to publish tabular data in open data formats, not badly formatted PDF files.
3.2 Microsoft ASP .net technology is not good for public data because it cannot be accessed by people who are blind and people who need access to the databases. The government should use standard web technology and not require Javascript for accessing the databases.

4. The government should publish all map data and orthophotos for the public to use under a public license. It should implement an interface to public data.

5. ECDL is teaching people to use the computer, that is good. But the same should be teaching how to use OpenOffice as well as Microsoft Office, Linux as well as Microsoft, because people cannot afford Windows licenses.

6. The education system should encourage students to use and write on Wikipedia, by translation of articles from German and English into Albanian Wikipedia and the other way around.

7. Kosovo government should be funding the development of and into Albanian. These projects needs translation help.

8. The universities should be publishing courses like does in a public manner. Also they should be using these technologies.

9. There are hundreds of open source projects that need funding for translation, the government should be funding these instead of giving money to Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco. This would build up skills in Kosovo instead of giving money to foreigners.

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