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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