Well, there have been ample of discussions about Debian and Ubuntu. While most have been at the most flames there hasn’t been enough credit given to the Debian community. For one, they have four times the packages in the repos then Ubuntu does have. Quite a few of the Debian developers also double up as Ubuntu developers and give support to the distro.
Now from the Indian perspective even though we have a billion people, we just have all of 5 Debian Developers to boot and all of them from IITM (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras) . They have put up a mirror for quite a few distros including fedora , Debian and Ubuntu. We don’t have enough mirrors not just for the distros but also for specific packages and things. It would be nice for instance, to have a SUN mirror as well as have sourceforge.net .
I would love to see not 5 but 50 Debian developers or even more sprouting from all Universities, all over the country. I don’t think we lack in technology, we lack in imagination. Wouldn’t it be great if our young kids had an idea about free software project management skills, had worked with making mirrors and working on clusters for the same.
Each such individual having such skills would make so many businesses viable whether its web-hosting, animation, graphics, Office automation, ERP, CRM whatever it may be. Be aware that the Universities and some of the prestigious colleges do not have funding issues. The only thing for companies to do is to show some commitment to a University or college, show value in terms of skill-sets and better prospects for their students and Universities or Colleges would start experimenting with free software. The University of Pune or COEP or Symbiosis University here in Pune could really a pivotal role in starting this revolution. Mind you these institutions are flush in funds and while they are not the only ones they could make the first push.
I do see few companies who use free software for their business. They may not be software engineers or anything else, they are using for their own ends and that’s what really counts. I feel awe and respect whenever I see small businesses and individuals trying to make that difference.
With a hope that the future sees more free software uptake by youngsters, I bid adieu for now . Comments, suggestions, flames all are welcome 😉