FLOSSify: Digital Foundations Launch Project

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For a long time educational courses have been cheap marketing for proprietary software companies. Can a student really afford all those expensive softwares required by the courses? No. Ever hear of a software company kicking up a fuss because students are using ‘unofficial’ versions? Well, it does happen but not often. And why not? Because proprietary software companies know, as the universities know, that once the students leave their training they will be indoctrinated with those tools and simply slipstream into being paid up proprietary software citizens. Simply put, unlicensed software used in education is tolerated because it is cheap marketing.

This is how tools become ‘industry standards’.

FLOSS Manuals is fighting this flow by converting textbooks that use proprietary software to using free software in their examples.

We call this process “FLOSSify”. We convert the book from closed software to Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) hence we ‘FLOSSify’ the book.

Our first text book is the wonderful Digital Foundations book produced by Michael Mandiberg and xtine burrough (http://digital-foundations.net/). Its a text book designed to teach software by teaching design. The current toolset it uses is the Adobe Creative Suite and we will convert these examples entirely to using free software.

Not only have the authors given the kind permission to go ahead with this, they originated the idea and approached FLOSS Manuals to be involved. We are very happy to get behind this initiative and work with the authors to create a fantastic text book promoting the use of Free and Open Source Software within design courses.

FLOSSIFY 1 : Digital Foundations will focus on a fun 3 day event at Eyebeam, NYC. Anyone is welcome to attend and some food and beer will be provided. Come and meet some of your old geek friends, make some new, and help make a step towards unshackling education from proprietary software.

FLOSS Book Sprint: Digital Foundations from Michael Mandiberg on Vimeo.