SELF Platform Beta launched!

The Beta version of the SELF Platform is already available for testers and early adopters. You can check it right now at

Get Involved!

Contribute to the SELF project. See this list of examples of how you can get involved and/or subscribe to one of the mailing lists.


wouter's blog

SELF in the spotlight on iCommons!

The iCommons team made an article about SELF and we are now at their spotlight, see

Thanks to David Jacovkis (Free Knowledge Institute) for the inputs and Thomas Vilhelm ( for some of the artistic pictures and Daniela Faris (iCommons) for writing the article!


SELF Founding Principles

As we have recently published a set of founding principles to define the shared thoughts and ideas of the participants in the SELF Platform, I thought it a good idea to comment on it. These principles form the basis of the Platform, should guide us when there is doubt and they will mark the direction of the future of SELF.

1. Sharing Knowledge

We share, create, stimulate and promote knowledge in the area of Free Software and Open Standards. Knowledge shared freely becomes much more valuable. For this reason, the materials on the SELF platform are available to everyone free of charge and can be used, adapted, modified, updated, translated, as defined in the Licensing Policy.

Dutch OSS Year book 2006 - 2007

Free Software is a global fenomenon. A huge flow af new developments, trends and other news make it difficult for many decisionmakers, politicians and managers to keep track of them. Dutch publisher Media Update has brought together 8 authors to present an overview of Free Software, Open Standards, Free Content and other Free & Open trends we can see today. The book is in Dutch and presents as well the Dutch political history and reality of the adoption in Dutch government.

The SELF Project is presented in the book in a chapter called "sharing knowledge in the 21st century" (written by myself). This article argues the importance of Free Software in science, culture, economy and society. In more concrete terms, it shows how the use of Free Software and its principles are fundamental in all these domains. In science Free Software enables the verification and falsification of scientific theories. In culture the use of copyleft facilitates the sharing and collaborative creation of cultural works. In economy Free Software represents a real alternative to the current software monopolies and hence its adoption would stimulate innovation and create equal opportunities in the software market. Finally, Free Software is essential for transparency, social inclusion and democratisation of information. For all these reasons it is fundamental to introduce Free Software in education. That is what the SELF project does by providing a worldwide platform for the collaborative production and sharing of freely available education and training materials about Free Software and Open Standards. This can only be achieved by the active participation of all parties involved, from educational and governmental institutes to ICT and training companies, publishers, NGOs and Free Software communities.

Interoperability in Bratislava

This week I had the pleasure to take part in the panel discussion about interoperability in the ITAPA Congress in Bratislava, Slovakia. Jan Husar ( had invited me together with Serge Novaretti from the EC's IDABC Programme, Erwin Tenhumberg from SUN Microsystems and Jan Hochman from the Ministry of IT & Telecommunications.

My role was to make clear the relation between Open Standards and Free Software. Very different concepts, but they make a winning team, was my argument. Where the embracing of Open Standards in proprietary software is in itself a fantastic improvement in comparison to where we are now in many organisations, it has lead to serious problems in several cases. I refer to the embrace & extend strategy as applied by Microsoft in the case of C and HTML. If a Standard fulfils the European Interoperability Framework definition of an Open Standard, there is a very good testcase to be really sure it is open: the implementation in a Free Software application.

Free and Open Source Software Society Malaysia

Today (17th of August 2006) I have the honour to be invited to speak for the Malaysian Free Software community, As I commented in my last post about the Malaysian Government preliminary decision to accept ODF they are working on many good things. Check their website:

See below my presentation about the SELF project at their monthly Meetup. It was received with many interested questions.

You know what they say about Free Software in Malaysia? "Free as in Freedom, think free speech, not free Teh Tarik." (tea is more common in Malaysia than beer :-) ).

Malaysian Government preliminary decision to accept ODF

Malaysia's standards body SIRIM voted to propose ODF as a country standard, following the recognition in May by ISO of ODF as an international standard. After a public comment period that ends in October, Malaysia's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is expected to formally endorse ODF by year's end, recommending the format for use by the public sector.

Open Malaysia -

I have the pleasure to be in Malaysia this month and have met the core people that are behind the Malaysian Government's move towards ODF acceptation. More news is soon to follow on this part.

Syndicate content SELF - Science Education and Learning in Freedom