I think the only way to popularise Open source is to start from the root, by introducing it to primary through to secondary and university level. By doing this, the young generation will grow up preaching open source.
Unlike trying to change the once using proprietary softwares at a late [Though its never late].
The new generation wil grow up in open source and forward it to the offices too.
This is my basic contribution at this hour.
I agree, and this is what we have seen with Ingres. www.ingres.com. It is used by universities here in Spain.
It's extremely difficult to spread free software. Here in Croatia, Microsoft has strong ties with politics, and the attitude of politicians is approximately: "Microsoft is very kind in giving us free software."
How can you effectively fight such attitude coming from the highest levels? They are the ones who, in the end, have far more access to greater amount of "unwashed masses". They are the ones who decide to enforce programs such as ECDL among teachers. Those programs base themselves around Microsoft's software.
My sister in chemistry school is being taught how to work with Microsoft Access, and is taught about Microsoft SQL, IBM Informix and Oracle being used in professional environments. That may be true, but where are Postgres and MySQL?
It's easy to say you need to start from the root, but how to get to the root? How to change teachers who are nowhere near being IT professionals? If they are IT professionals, how to change their rooted perspectives? How to change politicians? How to change professors at universities if they believe that Microsoft is the Source, the Alpha and the Omega?
We really need practical directives and we really need a World Domination Plan(tm). Without one, we can speak all we want, but we can't affect anyone.
By the way, it's more important to spread free software than open source :)
I think this way is not the one and only :) There is wonderful celebration annual worldwide celebration of free/open-source software (http://softwarefreedomday.org/). There were two events in Kenya in 2008 as I know: http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams/africa/kenya/sfd_msa, http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams/ke-chix. It's amazing! It goes without saying that SFD popularises Open source.
Here in Russia, we had 4 SFD teams in 2007. We prepeared a couple of articles in open source magazines. That was followed by increasing the number of teams in Russia to over than dozen. Many of them host in universities and attract the students' attention.
Information distribution about Google Summer of Code 2009 (http://socghop.appspot.com/) is another wonderful opportunity to popularise Open source anyplace.
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