The Frequently Asked Questions of the Elèutheros Project.

What does Elèutheros mean?

Elèutheros is ancient Greek for Free: in this context, we mean Free to communicate without restrictions. We were inspired by the verb eleutheròo as used in the Holy Scripture, for example in John 8,32 and Galathians 4,31-5,1.

What is the purpose of the Elèutheros Project?

The promotion, inside the Catholic Church, of the software, computer protocols and file formats more compatible with Her own Doctrine: those Free (as in Freedom) in the sense explained by other questions in this page. To know more on why and how we want to reach this goal, please read the Elèutheros Manifesto.

What is Free Software?

It is software developed with a spirit of Collaboration and Sharing. Therefore, according to Elèutheros, such software is more compatible with Catholic Doctrine than software which is proprietary, that is software which cannot be shared, adapted to the needs of all users and often has license costs or hardware requirements which are not sustainable by the users with less economic possibilities.

Do you believe that Free Software has lower cost than proprietary software?

The lower cost of Free Software, especially in the medium and long term, has been demonstrated by several studies. Cost is important from the point of view of both the Church and Elèutheros, but it is not the reason why Elèutheros was founded. We believe that, regardless of cost, Free Software and file formats should be preferred for ethical reasons, that is for their greater potential to make Information Technology and computer communications more accessible to the poorest regions and users of the world, and not only to them. The passage to non proprietary protocols and file formats like OpenDocument is also necessary to guarantee that the all documents, not just those of the Church, are and remain universally accessible forever.

What are Free and Open file formats and protocols?

  • A file format is the set of rules which specify how to encode in (binary format) or decode all the data contained inside a document, be it text, an image, a database or any this kind of information.
  • A computer protocol is the set of rules used by different computer programs (for example an Internet Browser and a Web server) to exchange files or messages of any kind.

File formats and computer protocols can be defined Free and Open if their complete specifications are publicly available, maintained by international, non-profit organizations and useable by everybody without any legal or economic restriction.

Will Elèutheros prepare software Cd-Roms or customized Gnu/Linux distributions?

No, because we don’t see the need for them: a Catholic Free Software user has nothing different, from a practical or didactic point of view, from any other user, only more reasons to use that kind of software. Consequently, Elèutheros will promote, inside the Catholic community, to already existing collections of Free Software

Do you plan to create Catholic Linux Users Groups (LUGs)?

No, or at least not as an official project goal, for the same reasons explained in the previous questions. There already are many active LUGs in any country, ready to provide technical and teaching support, and being Catholic doesn’t create any special need from this point of view.

So you will not offer any technical support to Catholic institutions and single users?

Yes, but (almost) only to help them to find the right resources.
Within the limits of their possibilities, the members of Elèutheros are available (see the question “How can I contact Elèutheros?”) to help solving the initial problems of first time Free Software users and, if needed, to help them to find expert users in their neighborhood, who will be able to provide support directly, even in person if possible.

What are the relationship of Elèutheros with non Catholic groups?

Elèutheros is an association of Catholics, and its specific mission is to promote the adoption of open information technologies in the Catholic Church. This, of course, doesn’t exclude participating to discussions, common technical activities and exchange of informations and know-how with members of any other group, be it religious or not, interested in the same issues.

How can I contact Elèutheros?

To receive technical support (within the limits explained in the question “So, you will not offer technical support”) please write to support@eleutheros.org

To know more about Elèutheros, discuss possible partnership, establish a direct contact or any other non technical communication with the project, please write to info@eleutheros.org