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[school-discuss] Factors affecting the use of open source software in tertiary educationinstitutions


Factors affecting the use of open source software in tertiary education
institutions by David G. Glance, Jeremy Kerr and Alex Reid

Open Source Software (OSS) is software that has been released under a
license which requires the distribution of the software’s source code
with any binaries. It is often available at no cost and is mostly
supported by developers providing their services for free. Considerable
interest has been shown in OSS by tertiary education institutions (TEIs)
because of the promise of a reduced total cost of ownership of the
software, potentially better support, freedom from vendor lock–in,
ability to tailor the software and pedagogic benefits of being able to
view the source code. To find out the extent of use of OSS by TEIs in
Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, a survey was sent out to
technical personnel at all TEIs in these countries. The results of the
survey show that OSS is already being used by all TEIs who responded to
the survey and that the major reasons for this was lower Total Cost of
Ownership and freedom from software vendor dependence. It is clear
however that the majority of the OSS software being used is in server
infrastructure with a lesser amount being used on normal desktop machines.


Yishay Mor
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