zondag 11 april 2010

Open Source Software: This is it

Linux has been around for almost 20 years and GNU even longer. For over 10 years the Internet has been buzzing that Open Source will become main stream 'this year'. But it hasn't.

Recently, I encountered several posts explaining why this didn't happen (for example: here, here, and here). FOSS is unfamiliar, geeky, sexist, etc. and it has to fight unfair competition due to pirated closed source software, prejudiced tenders, and shrewd FUD-marketing.

I am wondering if these qualifications are a matter of perception (as the posts suggest) or just reality. And are they problems, or really features?

What if we were to accept that this is the Golden Age of FOSS? That this is as good as it's going to get? Would that be so bad?

Look at what has been achieved: ample software repositories, thriving communities, and continuous improvement. Something to be proud of, surely. And something to cherish.

I am not implying that we should give up our efforts to introduce the benefits of FOSS to a wider public. There still is much to gain.

But maybe we should stop being disappointed that we haven't achieved world-domination yet. Being disappointed in the software, ourselves and our communities leads to nothing.

Instead, let's celebrate. Let's celebrate the opportunities and freedom our software provides. Let's celebrate the support and friendship we get from our communities. Let's demonstrate these benefits to the people around us, and then maybe, just maybe, they will follow our example. But that would not be the purpose, it would be a bonus. And wouldn't the occasional bonus be much nicer than a continuous disappointment?

1 opmerking:

  1. This is a great message! I -for one- celebrate every day the blessings of my open source desktop and stuff around it. I sometimes feel like I am member of a special elite force. :-) Let's not wake everybody up with our knowledge I mean..what do I have to use if that happens :-)