January 28, 2007

Remember to show your appreciation

I am all for free software and open source software as this blog hopefully shows.

Still free software doesn't mean that you can't contribute financially to the projects. One of the big problems for open source developers is that they are often not being paid for what they do.
So if you can financially manage it then remember to donate to the programs you like and use, if all that you feel you can afford is a dollar here and there then do pay that dollar, if many people do that then it still gives an income to the developers, most often this income is used for the project solely, keeping web pages running, buying hardware etc. etc.

I still remember how Daniel Robbins the man who developed my favorite Linux distribution had to take a job offer from Microsoft because he had been using all of his time on Gentoo and therefore had developed a big depth of what I in my memory was at least 100.000$. On the Gentoo forums I remember this thread where we tried to gather some cash for the poor man who had given us so much, I think we succeeded in pulling together something like 10.000$.
I really felt terrible about it at that time, I was afraid of what was going to happen to Gentoo, felt sorry for Daniel Robbins who also has a family to support. I was kind of happy that Microsoft saved my favorite developer financially even though it meant he had to leave the Gentoo project. He has again left Microsoft which sure is understandable and have started to contribute to Gentoo again, now as a developer among many.
When Daniel Robbins left Gentoo, he gave the control over to a board, something that had already been in the works for some time but that had to be rushed a bit because of him being hired by Microsoft. The project had been developed to a stage where it could continue well without Daniel Robbins and Gentoo is still my favorite Linux distribution (not that I ever really have been trying out that many others).

Since this experience with Daniel Robbins being forced to accept a job offer from Microsoft the cash has been a bit more loose in my pocket when it comes to contributing to OS projects.

This was just meant as a little call for people that like me use OS software to remember to contribute a bit, that being by cash or in other ways.

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