Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Programming in curriculum of India

It is high time that we change our curriculum to reflect the rapid strides happening in the FLOSS arena. We now have a kernel(Linux) with pre-emptive multitasking, loadable module support and running on everything from mobiles to super computers. We have the kernels from the BSD stable which have optimizations based on their application(free bsd oriented towards the server market, PC BSD oriented optimized for the desktop, Open BSD for the security paranoid etc..), We have Minix written specifically for teaching. But unlike the other OS, Minix is a micro-kernel which is now in its 3rd version with lot of apps ported from the GNU userland. I sure liked the basic concept of it and am looking forward to its most practical application in the form of GNU Hurd which is again micro-kernel being developed by the free software foundation with volunteers around the world.

The curriculum should now move from teaching "UNIX", to a more practical Linux/BSD/Minix etc which would in turn produce developers and hackers required for continuing the legacy of RMS and to make GNU/Hurd see the light of the day. GNU/Hurd would be the most apt kernel for anybody thinking of doing a project on Operating systems. Instead of re-inventing the wheel that is, writing a monolithic kernel from scratch, It is better to bring up an Operating system which would bring radical changes in the way OSs are viewed. The curriculum in India and elsewhere should be oriented towards making the students learn the past and to instill a vision oriented towards knowing the un-known.They should be given confidence to step into unchartered territory. In summation an "Itch" is to be created in every student which when satisfied will help the mankind in a larger way.

For a generic discussion about FLOSS in education http://linuxbsdos.com/2009/10/11/why-public-education-must-use-public-software/

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.