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FTA Announcement #11: Register Now, Guest Lectures, DocBook and New FTA Materials

Last chance to register for the first term of 2011!

Registrations for the 2011 programme are growing at a very good pace. Remember that you can register for any course of the programme until one week before the term starts. This means that you have time until January 3rd to register for these courses:

WARNING: the date of this post is approximate! All announcements from 2008 to 2013 have APPROXIMATE, guessed dates, because restored from a partial backup, to document the history of FTA.

  • The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards
  • Basic GNU/Linux
  • Free Software Utilities
  • Network Technologies
  • Web applications development
  • Software development
  • Deployment of Free Software and Case Studies

Don't leave it for the last minute! Register now!

Having trouble choosing only a couple of courses? Keep in mind that many of them are also offered later in the year: /courses/programme

If you're still in doubt, contact us at and we'll help you create your own programme!

Rey Juan Carlos University joins the FTA Associate Network

The FTA is proud to announce the incorporation of the University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) to its Associate Partner Network, through the participation of the LibreSoft research group.

LibreSoft offers a programme on Free Software that leads to an official Master Degree by the URJC. The LibreSoft group will contribute courses such as Quality Assessment of Free Software, one of its main research topics, to the FTA programme. Apart from that, the LibreSoft group is involved in the taskforce for an International Master Programme in Free Software since the start, where FTA partners cooperate to design a common curriculum.

Read the official announcement here: /announce/URJC

Upcoming Guest Lectures at the FTA Campus

FTA Guest Lectures are open to all: the videos will be published online and a forum will be available for those who want to discuss it with the lecturer. The FTA will welcome the new year with two first-class guest lecturers: Richard M. Stallman and Benjamin Mako Hill.

Richard M. Stallman is a Free Software developer and activist. He is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project. He started the Free Software movement and is arguably one of the most influential advocates of Free Software worldwide. In his lecture, Stallman will focus on the most recent attacks to users' freedoms, such as ACTA and DRM. This Guest Lecture will take place in February.

Benjamin Mako Hill is a Debian hacker, intellectual property researcher, activist and author. He is a free software developer and contributes to the Debian and Ubuntu projects. He's also the author of two best-selling technical books on the subject. He currently serves as a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors and of Wikimedia Foundation's board. Hill has a Masters degree from the MIT Media Lab and is currently a Senior Researcher at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he studies free software communities and business models. His lecture, entitled, "Antifeatures", will take place in January 2011, stay tuned for the concrete dates!

FTA books in DocBook format

Until now, FTA coursebooks have been available in PDF format only. This allows everyone to easily read and print them, but it has not been easy to edit or remix the materials. Now FTA coursebooks are also available in the DocBook format: a semantic markup language for technical documentation. DocBook enables users to create documents in a presentation-neutral form that captures the logical structure of the content, which can then be published in a variety of formats, including HTML, XHTML, EPUB, PDF, man pages, and others - without requiring users to make any changes to the source.

We expect that this new possibility will be exploited by the FTA community. We hope that new creations take place, thereby materializing the opportunities offered by the copyleft licenses applied to the original course books. We invite you to discuss all the possibilities in our FTA Online Community.

New FTA materials published

The FTA is proud to announce the availability of three new coursebooks, all under a free Copyleft license: GNU/Linux Basic, Implementation of Free Software Systems and the coursebook for Free Software Tools and Utilities.

"GNU/Linux Basic" will be taught in all three terms of 2011. The aim of this book is to initiate you into the world of GNU/Linux. It covers the basics of the free software, how to use and modify GNU/Linux to suit your needs, and how to find your way in this new world more easily. The book is not based on any particular distribution, but we need to specify certain actions for most of the examples and activities, for which we will use Debian GNU/Linux. Although this distribution is not as intuitive and user-friendly as others, it will serve to explain all the characteristics of a GNU/Linux-based operating system, step by step.

You can get a copy of the course book, written by Joaquín López Sánchez-Montañés, Sofia Belles Ramos, Roger Baig Viñ Francesca Auli, here

"Implementation of Free Software Systems" was written by Amadeu Albós Raya and Óscar David Sánchez Jiménez. This course book examines the deployment of Free Software systems. The reader will become familiar with agencies and projects related to the deployment of Free Software in the public and private sectors, and will learn to identify and understand the consequences of the use and exploitation of Free Software in different areas. Several case studies will be released soon as complementary materials. The FTA course "Deployment of Free Software Systems" is scheduled for the first and third terms of 2011.

You can get a copy of the course book here.

The course book "Tools and utilities in free software", written by Jesús Corrius i Llavina, is part of the course "Free Software Tools and Utilities". The students are introduced to some of the programs designed for desktop environments of end users. These programs allow users to browse the Internet securely (Mozilla), manage e-mail and work in groups (Evolution) and create text documents, spreadsheets and presentations ( In this course, students will also discover how to work with these free tools in different environments. "Free Software Tools and Utilities" will also be taught in all three terms of 2011.

Download a copy here.

About the Free Technology Academy

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Agder (Norway) and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has received the support from the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme to set up an international educational programme on Free Software. The courses are taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus Project interoperability framework.

Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all learning materials are freely available through the Internet. The use of Free Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software) is rapidly expanding in governmental and private organisations. However, still only a limited number of ICT professionals, teachers and decision makers have sufficient knowledge and expertise in these new fields. The Free Technology Academy aims to address this gap by providing high level courses that fit into larger Master Programmes at the participating universities.