Open Letter to the World Bank's WordLinks Project

Subject: World Bank and free software
   Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 00:24:08 +0300 
   From: Teemu Leinonen 

Dear editor of the World Links ( web site
supported by the World Bank, 

We have found your project very interesting and probably useful for
empowering more people to get an access to new information and
communication technology at schools. However your list of resources
seems to lack information regarding open source software products and
school related projects that could greatly benefit that kinds of needs
and circumstances present in schools, both in 'developed' and
'developing' world. 

In the 'technology resources' section you are mentioning only MS
Windows/DOS based software.
( In the site there is
a total omission of very good, relevant and free operating systems such
as Linux or BSD and great variety of free and open software running in
these systems.

We hope that commitments with your strategic corporate partners
( are not the
cause of this omission of information in your list of resources. Giving
and spreading information of ALL the possible sources for tools and
technology planning for schools would benefit greatly your valuable
efforts. This could also empower your target groups to decide, test and
develop their own solutions. 

Best regards, 

Teemu Leinonen 
Helsinki, Finland 

Andrea Botero Cabrera 
Bogota, Colombia 

PS 1. A copy of this email has been sent to several people involved in
the field of ICT in development and open source community. We apologize
if you consider this email as a spam. 

PS 2. As a starting contribution for the World Bank's Word Links project
we suggest the following resource for technology planning for schools
and some free operating systems and software 
(the list is by no means complete):

Technology Planning for Schools

K-12Linux Project. These pages provide instructions, samples and links
to resources for Linux school project:

K-12 Linux. A site dedicated to using linux and other open source
software in elementary and secondary schools: 

Operating Systems

Linux Kernel. A high quality freely distributable UNIX clone for
386/486/Pentium based PCs and others: 

RedHat. Linux distribution. Languages: English, Spanish, French, German,
Czech, Romanian, Turkish, etc: 

OpenBSD project. Produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like
operating system: 

MAndrakeSoft. French company's user-friendly Linux distribution: 

The GNOME project. Complete free and easy-to-use desktop environment for
the user, as well as a powerful application framework for the software

Free Software 

StarOffice - A free and powerful integrated office application suite
(Windows and Linux/Unix):

GIMP - A great graphics package (Linux/Unix): 

gPhoto - A  digital camera driver (Linux/Unix): 

Evolution - A IMAP/POP mail client, calendar and address book

Gnumeric - An easy to use spreadsheet (Linux/Unix):

Dia - A vector drawing program from Sweden (Linux/Unix):

Gnome Software (Linux/Unix) - Development Tools (94), Electrical
Design/Programmers (2), Entertainment (102), Internet Tools (100), Mail
Clients (21), Math and Science Tools (45), Network Talk Clients
(IRC/ICQ/etc) (18), Sound Tools (52):

Free plug-ins 

QuickTime (Mac, Windows) - High quality audio, video and picture viewer
for content on the Web. 

Other Resources

FSF USA & Europe. Free Software - equal chances for people and economy