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The Open Source Movement
Open SourceOpen ContentOpen Standards

An alternative to monopolization of the internet, communications,
the economy, and life!
(a People- & Planet-Friendly Portal & Guide)

(A) The Open Source Movement – free as in freedom, not "free beer"
Applications for Home & Office – free-of-charge alternatives to Microsoft Office, Explorer & Outlook, including OpenOffice & Mozilla
Website Hosting & Development – including PHP and online databases

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Audre Lorde


(A) The Open Source Movement

Open Source is a practical approach to not only computer software, but the economy in general.

Open Source software can be much more affordable (or even free); more reliable, capable, adaptable and secure (than proprietary software). As an example, please see the section on OpenOffice 1.1, below.

The Open Source approach could help to create a green and sustainable economy, by enabling a shift from a product-based to a service-based economy. Advocates claim the Open Source approach can greatly empower diverse enterprise and innovation, rather than current monopolistic ways (see "Who are the Luddites?", below).

Why is Open Source Better than Proprietary?
Open Systems (from Ottawa's consulting and web hosting)
The Open Source Initiative: ,
The Case for Customers
The Case for Business
Why Software Should Not Have Owners (2) (free as in "freedom", not "free beer")
Why Open Source Doesn't Suck
Collaboration in the Age of the Internet

The Political & Ethical Case for the adoption of "free" software. "Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software":

Who are the "Luddites" in the Post-Industrial Economy?

Environmental Sustainability and Open Source – What does Open Source have to do with environmental sustainability? What do Monsanto, Microsoft and Disney have in common?

Intellectual Monopolies and Canadian Copyright Reform: ,

The Free Software Movement – free as in freedom, not "free beer"
Why Free Software (free as in "freedom")
Philosophy of the GNU Project
About Free Software (free as in "freedom")
Software, Documentation & Other Licenses
The Free Software Foundation (free as in "freedom")
Free Software, Free Society (book) – selected essays of Richard M. Stallman

Definitions: Free Software, Open Source, Copyleft, Public Domain...
Definitions, Terms, Licenses, Copyright, Copyleft
Difference Between the "Free Software" and "Open Source" movements
Free Software / Open Source / FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software)
What is Copyleft?

Collaboration, Cooperation & Competition
Open Source - The Model for Collaboration in the Age of the Internet

Business and Economic Problems & Alternatives

Why Avoid Microsoft?
Criticisms of Microsoft
Boycott Microsoft
What's wrong with Microsoft? google search
Microsoft vs. Open Standards
Making Microsoft Safe For Capitalism
Is Microsoft a Monopoly? | What is a Monopoly? (2)
Is Microsoft Criminally Negligent for the spread of viruses?
Why is Explorer so bad? (newspaper article, Guardian UK 2004) full story | related stories | more
More: Google search for "boycott Microsoft"
Google search for "avoid Microsoft"
Living Without Microsoft – portal to "realistic alternatives to Microsoft" – whether open source or proprietary.

Why Avoid AOL/Time Warner?
AOL Watch
Boycott AOL
Media Concentration (including the Media Ownership Chart – look for AOL Time Warner)

Corporate Dirt Archives

More Free Software & Open Source Links:
Volunteers Online
Open Source Links

Open Standards for an Open Society:

Other related pages at
E-mail Tips & Strategies
Virus Self-Protection Primer
What's Wrong With Attachments? especially Word attachments
Questioning Business
What is the commons?

Free Speech or Free Beer? "Open Source" software is also known as "Free Software". While sometimes it is indeed free of charge, more often, "free" is meant as in "freedom" or "free speech" – not as in "free beer". See: . See also: "Commercial" vs. "Proprietary":

Freedom or Power? "Freedom is being able to make decisions that affect mainly you. Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you. If we confuse power with freedom, we will fail to uphold real freedom." – Bradley M. Kuhn and Richard M. Stallman

(B) Software for home and office

A free-of-charge, full-featured, secure alternative to Microsoft Office...

OpenOffice – A free-of-charge, virus-free and monopoly-free alternative to Microsoft Office. "OpenOffice is what's called an open-source project: a carefully orchestrated group effort by programmers all over the world, donating their time and talent to making a dent in the Microsoft monopoly". – New York Times. Features & interface are nearly identical to Microsoft Office; switching is a snap. Includes word processor, spreadsheet, presentation & graphics program, web-page editor. Available as a 50-mega download, free of charge. Packaged version, available from Sun Microsystems, is $25 to $76US and includes a printed manual, a database program, and fee-based technical help. OpenOffice documents are immune to macro viruses / attachment viruses. Polished, stable and fast; available in 27 languages; and runs under Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. Version 1.1 is now out – click here for a product/feature description. . To download for free, go to and click on Download "Application". Or try this link to download the Windows English version (then click on any site in a country near you). Related links:
Canadian website:
Frequently asked questions (FAQ's):
Packaged version "StarOffice": ,
New York Times article:
eWeek Magazine:,3959,118760,00.asp
More on OpenOffice:

OpenOffice: no Bills to pay

The Open CD – "a collection of high quality Free and Open Source Software. The programs run in Windows and cover the most common tasks such as word processing, presentations, e-mail, web browsing, web design, and image manipulation. We include only the highest quality programs, which have been carefully tested for stability and which we consider appropriate for a wide audience".

Mozilla – A free-of-charge software suite including a web browser, e-mail, news reader and chat software. An alternative to Internet Explorer and Outlook. Download for free: Go to the "Download Mozilla" section, or:

Other Open Source and Free Software (scroll down to the section on "Other Open Source/Free Software")

Open Source and Proprietary alternatives to Microsoft

Living Without Microsoft is a portal site for finding "realistic alternatives to Microsoft software", whether open source or proprietary.

(C) Website hosting and development

Most of the internet is and has always been hosted on Open Source systems, such as Apache server.

Open Source website hosts in Canada and beyond

The following is by no means a complete list.

(1) Serving mostly nonprofits, community groups, progressive businesses and agencies

Flora Community Web
– community/nonprofit hosting. |
Flora Community Consulting
hosting, consulting, development
Greenfire Canada
– databases, communication consulting, project management. Developer of the Ontario Environmental Directory. Description of services offered: |
Open Concept – hosting, consulting, development:
Web Networks
community/nonprofit hosting, consulting and development "We offer a selection of Microsoft-based services only for compatibility with your legacy systems, and provide only minimal customer support. But we're very happy to help you migrate your services to our UNIX platform."
USA community and activist hosts: | | (2) | |
Worldwide – other community networks and freenets (most of which are open source): | | more (2)

(2) Open Source hosts focusing primarily on "mainstream" customers

Canada: | | | | | | | | (2) |
USA: | | | |

What's that site running? e.g. (enter the URL of any website or host, in place of In the "OS, Web Server and Hosting History" section, look at the most recent OS and Server. "Linux" and "FreeBSD" are Open Source platforms (Windows is not).

Website Design, Scripting and Databases

The three most important, accessible, affordable and sustainable tools for any website:

HTML – the foundation of the web, whether you code it yourself or use editing software

PHP – general purpose scripting language highly suited for web development and embedding into HTML

MySQL – the world's most popular open source database

Other Open Source web development software

Website Design Tips & Resources

So You Want a Website?
Nine things to make your website better
Website Usability Resources
Writing Electronic Text - Tips & Guidelines for Writers
Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace
Accessible Site Design Guide
Top Open Source Tools for eActivism
Content Management Systems (CMS) Test Drive
The Open CD

Popular websites that use Open Source

Google is based on Open Source technology, and uses Open Source extensively in their business (more info and here); Amazon is largely Open Source.

Most but not all nonprofit and activist sites are Open Source. Just a few examples: . uses Open Source software only and is hosted on an Open Source host, Note: If you're not impressed with the graphic or technical features of our site, please note that this has nothing to do with our being Open Source. Rather, it's because we have not yet had the time or money for professional site/graphic design (volunteers welcome!). Our community calendar application is based on PHP and MySQL.

Countless other organizations and websites use Open Source. See the website hosts listed above for many more.

Other related pages on this site

E-mail Tips & Strategies
Virus Self-Protection Primer
What's Wrong With Attachments? especially Word attachments

Please note that none of the listings on this page are paid advertising.

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