quote: WN: Why the emphasis on open source? Why not use a donated version of Windows or OS X?
Negroponte: Because you want the kids to develop software.... It's hard to propose a $100 laptop for a world community of kids and then not say in the same breath that you're going to depend on the community to make software for it.
So the open source and the $100 laptop are sort of flip sides of the same coin, and you want the kids to contribute to it....
WN: So you're shipping this with development tools installed?
Negroponte: Yes. Absolutely.
WN: We're talking about C compilers and Make and the whole programming environment?
WN: Do you have any thoughts on what the long-term impact of giving all these kids a programming environment and an open-source ethic might be?
Negroponte: Those are two different questions. Giving the kids a programming environment of any sort, whether it's a tool like Squeak or Scratch or Logo to write programs in a childish way -- and I mean that in the most generous sense of the word, that is, playing with and building things -- is one of the best ways to learn. Particularly to learn about thinking and algorithms and problem solving and so forth.
And providing the tools for some people -- it's going to be a very limited subset (who will use them) -- to develop software that will be redistributed and versioned and so forth out into the world is also important. It's part of the whole open-source movement.
WN: You're going to be unleashing a whole new generation of open-source programmers, who otherwise would never, possibly, have gotten their hands on a computer.
Negroponte: I hope so. I hope we unleash half a billion of them.