What YOU Can Do In 2007 For Open Source

By | 2007/01/01

I spent some time over the holiday break with my parents and had some time to really talk with my dad about what it is that I do. I don’t think most of my family realizes how completely involved I try to be in the open source revolution. Why is it that those closest to us sometimes don’t regard the work we do?

Anyway, we had a long talk about Microsofts upcoming release, Vista (see this for a very interesting read) and other concerns for the open source community. At many points during our discussion my dad got noticeably upset about the struggles we have to face and would offer things like “that just isn’t fair” or “that should be illegal!” While I completely agree with him and I’m glad I was able to open his eyes to some of our struggles there is one critical key to the whole issue that he just doens’t see. Action. He understands something needs to be done but he isn’t willing to do it. He isn’t willing to try and switch or learn a new application. To that effect he may as well be a proud supporter of proprietary software and wear a badge!

I come to you today with a challenge. A call to action if you will. If you consider yourself a supporter of open source take a look at the applications you use. How many of them are still proprietary? How often do you still revert to using Windows for “just that one application”. Do you still use proprietary IM communication (ie; MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, etc?) Things will not change unless we show decided action! We can talk all day long but until we DO something nothing will change.

Open people’s eyes by making it a point to switch to open source applications and protocols. Get people curious about why by telling them you’ll be switching to Jabber only soon and tell them how they can still communicate with you. Make it a point to show your support by action vs just words.

My challenge to you is to select at least one program or protocol that you still use and transition that to an open source free program or protocol in 2007. There is always room for improvement, all it takes is action!

And, since a goal is only a wish unless you write it down please leave a comment with your goal. What will you be doing in 2007 to actively show your support?

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21 thoughts on “What YOU Can Do In 2007 For Open Source

  1. Pavarr

    I think this is a great idea, and I’ll leave my resolutions here: I will quit using Gadu-Gadu and ICQ networks for Jabber, and quit using Skype in favor of SIP-compliant solution. Let’s do something for OSS!

  2. anonymous

    I just quitted Skype (which I hated since it came out, but just worked on Windows) for Ekiga on my Ubuntu Edgy Eft Machine.

    I am also a long time Jabber User, but I have not one single Contact who is just a USER (maybe even a Windows one).

    And I don’t use proprietary things like Flash and “the actual” Java.

    The only proprietary things I use inside my OS is Gaim for ICQ/AIM and MSN and a binary drivers for my graphics card and wifi. (radeon and ndiswrapper)

  3. fuoco

    I agree. I myself use open source exclusively, with maybe the exception of Gmail if that’s considered proprietary software 🙂
    No proprietary drivers/plugins/codecs/VM even. Recently I needed to use a music notation software. I was searching for a long time for open source ones – but none was usable enough for my needs. I had to resort to proprietary software on my OS X installation which is still there just in case, and I never use it. In fact these proprietary apps really suck IMO, but unfortunately there was no other choice…
    By the way I just received today a chain letter-email saying that Microsoft/AOL will pay lots of money to anyone who still uses Internet Explorer – you were speaking about “That just isn’t fair”…

  4. faded515

    I switched my desktop to Kubuntu a few months ago, now I’m trying to get my whole family to use Ubuntu. I am also going to start trying to get involved in the development side of things when I get the time, not that I would be much help.

    Btw great blog! The tutorials are really good, helpful too.

  5. HiddenWolf

    I tried persuading close friends to try jabber or gtalk, but the very first thing they usually type when they do is “I miss $feature”

    The problem there is that there is no kick-ass client I’m aware of that Just Works which does voice/webcam/file-transfer. There is no such client yet on linux, and most windows clients I’ve tried are in a sorry state altogether.

    Unless Jabber or a Jabber-client has something that people will want to use, it is fighting an uphill battle.

  6. Diego Viola

    I use Jabber and I love it. It would be very nice thought if most clients start to implement Telepathy which from what I understand supports Audio/Video conferencing. I personally don’t use those features very often, but I think that’s what most people want this days. I personally love Jabber for the fact that is a very elegant yet beautiful project in all the aspects.

  7. Ingnorant

    “Open people’s eyes by making it a point to switch to open source applications”

    This is not “opening” of eyes. This is closing those eye only into different closet. Picking a product by a political agenda does not make a better product. A truly open mind would pick the best product available regardless of political agenda.

  8. Ubuntu Tutorials

    Pavarr – thanks for leaving your resolution.

    anonymous – there are some things that are difficult to avoid, like 3d acceleration in your situation. Glad to hear you’re doing what you can.

    fuoco – there are some situations where it can’t be avoided (as above) but it sounds like you’re doing the best you can. thanks.

    faded515 – I’m sure you’ll be a great help whenever you have time to contribute. There are many places to donate time and effort other than development (if that isn’t your strongest skill yet).

    HiddenWolf – did you try showing them $feature of Jabber? like actions, multiple connections, etc? Many of my contacts still use other protocols but they know when they need to talk with me they use Jabber.

    Diego – telephony support is on the way in a few clients from what I understand. It’s just a matter of time!

    Alex – glad to hear it. I did the same here:

    Ingnorant – I agree that simply being open source does not guarantee the best product. There is still quite a bit of proprietary software that is better. What I’m suggesting is make it a point to use the FOSS that is comparable whenever possible.

    Thanks for all the comments. Let’s make a mark in 2007!

  9. cenebris

    So Opera is bad because it’s closed? It’s free and it’s 100x better than os firefox, so I’ll probably never understand you oss maniacs 🙂

  10. Ubuntu Tutorials

    cenebris – Opera is a great browser. I’ll admit that its probably ‘technically’ the best browser. I’ve even been meaning to write a howto for installation for those that prefer to use it. It uses a closed license though so it isn’t for me and I honestly prefer the features in Firefox 2.

  11. Chris

    For the past 2 years I have worked for a major US DSL provider and since I have completely changed over to Open Source (Ubuntu flavours on 3 pcs – including my Media Center PC) 4 months ago I have started to let the Open Source Revolution flow through me.

    We are limited in how and when we can make software recommendations to customers but when asked there is no limitation of us telling customers what we use. While the company I work for in no ways supports Linux or much of the FOSS family I spread the word where I can.

    To my co-workers I hand out Ubuntu CDs like candy and with the customers I give recommendations where I can. Recently I had a customer express how tired he was with MS products and the strangle hold they had on him both at home and at work but he is limited because his wife does not like change. She has been using Netscape since 1997 and while not a MS product it is an AOL one.

    This customer is now considering Linux at home, at work will be promoting Open Office and the Gimp and for their browser needs I introduced him to the amazing world of Sea Monkey from Mozilla.

    To make the FOSS movement continue to move forward I described to him that the software is free but that the payback is to pay the movement forward by recommending FOSS products to at least one other person after he uses it and then if possible contribute to the forums, wikiis or numerous documentation projects at least once.

    His answer….that’s better than $1100 for Windows, Office and Photoshop…..I’m Sold.

    Everyone out there….pay it Forward and the world will belong to FOSS.

  12. Ubuntu Tutorials

    Chris – You summed it up better than I did! Pay it Forward is exactly right! Thanks for the great comment.

  13. cenebris

    So in other words this is racism or dumb politics to ONLY use oss even if there are better (and free) solutions. It seems to me like you are the one blinded by only one true way and it’s you should open your eyes…

  14. Ingnorant

    “…and the world will belong to FOSS”

    Does FOSS need to put themselves against everybody else? Or should they co-exist with others in the interest of computer users???? Blind hate did not do good to anybody

  15. Aaron Toponce


    You’re missing the point of the post. It’s not about racism, X is better than Y, or anything of the like. The point of the post is:

    If you are a FLOSS advocate, then take action, and start using using FLOSS applications, and ditch anything non-FLOSS. Start showing others the benefit of FLOSS, and help them show how easy it is to switch. That’s all.

    If you’re a proprietary user, then more power to you. Enjoy your Opera browser and Skype and ICQ.

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  17. Lonnie Olson

    Two years ago, I got addicted to a PowerBook (and OSX). Now my two-year-old laptop needs an upgrade. My New Year’s Resolution is that my next laptop (this year) is not going to run OSX. I need a new one very badly and I am going to switch. I am not a standard switcher, I was new to OSX, but understand Linux/BSD deeply. My biggest hurdle will be the hardware that always works, and iLife.

    Your article here pushed me to make this commitment. I am going back to Freedom. Thanks.

  18. Beanbrain

    I recently dumped my .NET development job and the Windows platform for Ubuntu and an open source framework, and am very pleased with my decision.

    I encourage others–developers in particular–to take advantage of the opportunity FOSS presents, and to use software created by programmers who care about you, instead of by companies interested only in filling their coffers.

  19. Grillin_Man

    I work in a large, multi-national company and have Edgy installed on a test laptop. By the end of the month I plan on showing the IT leaders that I can do the majority of my work from a Microsoft-free platform.

  20. ман

    Так не бывает. А то что мы оставляем приличные коменты, Вам только в помошь, только не до всех это доходит. А на тех блогах где сами блогеры и их коллеги матом разговаривают и хамят, хороших коментариев и ждать не чего.

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