Experts brainstorm open source software at Chile’s ExpoLibre

Leading minds in freeware from South America, Canada and France met in
the Maule Region to explore new frontiers in education, government and

Free and open source software is one of the leading issues of the internet age, as designers and computer scientists re-think the role of information technology in our daily lives – and the ethics of selling and buying it.

Every year, the Universidad Santo Tomás in Talca holds a conference bringing together some of the leading minds in freeware, to brainstorm new applications in the realms of education, government, the private sector and civil society.

This November, the fourth annual ExpoLibre invited experts from Chile and around the world to speak on subjects ranging from educational video games to open source software.

To outsiders, the conference schedule may read as a bewildering list of letters – PiTiVi, gtkmm, DRM, git – but for the audience, the speeches and workshops were tackling the leading issues of freeware.

Alejandro Mauricio Valdés Jimenez, from Talca, led an afternoon workshop on GNOME – creating a free, user-friendly desktop based entirely on free software, with a Unix operating system.

Keynote speaker Youness Alaoui, from Canada, closed the conference with a talk titled, “Hacking, DRM and Open Source. Why FLOSS matters and how you can help the cause.”

Alaoui wrote in his blog, “One of the particularities of that conference is that it’s organized by the university and its target audience is students, teachers and enthusiasts in open source… this was my very first ‘motivational talk’ rather than my usual technical talks that I’ve given in the past, and I loved it!”

The annual event is free each year, encouraging students and the general community to attend.

Alaoui added: “On a final note, I’d like to say that Chile is a beautiful country. I stayed there for almost two weeks, and even though travel from/to Canada is a pain, it was totally worth it! I can’t wait for the next opportunity for me to go there.”