Saturday, July 25, 2009

Like free software? Then consider contributing.

Free and open source software is important. Most of us using GNU/Linux are familiar with a lot of great open source projects. If you find yourself using certain software on a regular basis and you really think its great then you should support it. Most open source projects have donation buttons so you can give $10 or $20 to keep development going. Ten or twenty dollars is still a lot less then you would pay for proprietary software in store. Programmers need money to continue development of great software. The open source community needs people to be part of it and contribute. If you are really pressed for cash then you can give your support by coding, graphic design or any other way you can. Most of the successful open source projects work because they have a great community that is always active and contributes. It is not fair just to take and give absolutely nothing back. So next time you see a donation button on a great project you like then click and donate. The little money that you do contribute will go a long way. Most open source projects are really good at creating great software on a shoe string budget. Sometimes it is easy to forget that there are actual human beings that are working hard on these applications. It is important for us to be aware that a lot of people have put tons of time and energy for free and open source software to be what it is today. They have given us a software revolution that benefits the users and gives as an alternative to expensive and proprietary software. Now its our turn to give back to the community through donations, programming or any other way you can. A proprietary operating system will cost you around $200, certain applications range from $50 to $600 and games around $60. So if you donate $10 or $20 you are still saving a lot of money and contributing to a great cause that gives us software freedom. Lets support free and open source software for the future generations to come.

7 comments:

  1. I agree, well said, great article.

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  2. More information on how to contribute would help. I'm a university student in a tech related program and could contribute, but, don't really know how I can, and when I have looked into it from time to time I have been left confused.

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  3. All well and good, if you want FOSS to become begware or charity ware. But is this not an admission that the FOSS model is fundamentally flawed ? if you have to ask for donations to pay your programmes.

    What next, "product X cannt be upgraded until $$$ are paid as a 'donation' for the project to continue."

    So is this extortionware in the making ? You dont get an improved product unless your willing to pay for it.

    In todays (real world) market, developers are required to create product that people are willing to pay for, less they be out of a job. This way they are forced to create quality and functionality that people want and will pay for.

    Domationware, is paying someone to do something, your not sure is good or bad (he has not done it yet) you have no idea of how good he is at his "job" and you dont know if your hard earned money is going towards yet another version of a desktop, or to meet someone zealot dreams of removing something they dont like, like Mono, or whatever.

    How do we know what your doing with our money, and why should we pay for a product that does not even exist yet. Let the programmer develop a product that is so good we'll pay for it, and let him make his money like the rest of the worlde.

    No Begware for me thanks.

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  4. @Anonymous

    >What next, "product X cannt be upgraded until $$$ are >paid as a 'donation' for the project to continue."

    No, nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. This nice blog post is just a reminder that the people behind FOSS are people too. They need to eat, live, poo, pee, buy tissue paper, soap, etc.

    It's not begging, it's recognizing something for what it has done for you. It didn't say that the only way for you to get free software is only by contributing money.

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  5. @Anonymous
    Even if you don't pay any donations, developers in FOSS community will continue to develop and improve the products. So your idea "Product X cannt be upgraded until $$$ are paid as a 'donation' for the project to continue." is totally flawed. Had this been the case, then free software movement would not have come so far and would not have become so popular.

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