The objective of the VALO-CD project is to advance the global information technological and economic progress by offering free software for use by as many people as possible worldwide.
At the same time we want to inform consumers, decisionmakers and technology providers about the advantages of free software.
FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) or VALO in Finnish, which also means light, have been published with a license that guarantees the users with the rights to use, copy and modify software freely – as opposed to conventional proprietary software whose licenses have the character of limiting the rights of the users. As the source codes are available, anyone can modify the programs. Enhanced versions can be passed along as well according to the licensing terms.
From the point of view of an ordinary user, FOSS means independence from a specific software producer. In FOSS one doesn't pay a license fee but according to a service rendered to the customer which guarantees that software businesses invest a larger share of their revenues in the development of software.
FOSS stops dangerous monopolies from forming and enables fair, primarily quality-based competition between software.Characteristic in FOSS is also the use of free standards and file formats, which promotes interoperability and cooperation between software.
"The development model of FOSS produces excellent programs for an open information society. Oppose a closed, user-restricting information society – prefer FLOSS!"
The greatest and best-known example of FOSS is the Linux operating system. However, this disc doesn't contain it but exclusively programs meant to be used on Windows. Meanwhile, most of the programs on VALO-CD are not dependent on the operating system and thus have Linux versions as well. Using the programs of this disc makes it easier to transition to Linux later, as most of the programs will have become familiar from the Windows side.
FOSS programs can be sold for sure, but as it's not allowed to restrict their distribution, the programs are free in practise. Other consequences of the FOSS development model include:
Even though the way FOSS produces software is better than the closed models, one has to remember that it isn't perfect either. In the end, each software reflects on its developers and thus quality varies.
Practise has however shown that in the long term the evolution-like software development method of FOSS produces the best software.
Start by trying out the programs on this disc and by getting to know the communities and corporations behind them.
The easiest place to find more information on FOSS worldwide is the Free & Open Source Software Portal by UNESCO.