The case of Brazil

Summary:Brazil may be the most interesting case study in open source today.It's not just their recent moves to mandate open source use by local governments.

Bruno Peres Ferreira de SouzaBrazil may be the most interesting case study in open source today.

It's not just their recent moves to mandate open source use by local governments. It's not just things like their Project Javali, which aims to break Sun's "vendor lock-in" on Java. It's not just the political commitment President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva has made to open source. (It's not just my Brazilian sister-in-law, either.)

It's also Brazil's history. In the 1980s the country instituted a market reserve policy aimed at limiting PC imports. This proved disastrous. The country missed 15 years of progress. It sees Linux as the key to its comeback.

Brazil thus offers an intoxicating mixture of politics, economics, history, and Linux. The new OSI board includes Bruno Peres Ferreira de Souza (right above), whose nickname is Javaman. After returning from a trip to the country Simon Phipps of Java.Net headlined a blog post Brazil -- the Global Java Leader?

Do you think a government commitment to open source can succeed in jump-starting profitable businesses? Do you think Brazil will succeed in moving its entire economy to open source, or is this just political rhetoric? And what's with that doll? (Its name, by the way, is Duke.)

Let's chat about it in TalkBack.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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