A Return to My Roots

I should be writing a paper right now. Two, actually. But a book review of Go To is nowhere near as interesting, and a response to Shameful Flight is far too tedious. So, in a true return to my past, I’m writing a blog post instead of worrying about schoolwork. Such is life.

I started my life as a hacker playing with JavaScript on ProBoards. But my true immersion into the world of hacking and programming came when I took up Linux, inspired by my programming mentor Bob Duke, and formed the Linux Campaign in my high school. As a LUG, the Linux Campaign was a bust. But it was fun. And I found something out:

I really enjoy Open Source software.

The GPL, the MIT, the Creative Commons… these are my licenses. Free Culture is my bible. And yet… in the past few years, I’ve been drifting away from FOSS. Not intentionally, and not significantly. I still prefer FOSS products, when I can find them. I still use CakePHP and Django to make stuff, and still don’t care if other people use my stuff.

But I guess that’s the issue. I don’t care.

Part of the culture surrounding FOSS is the desire to share. The desire to help others use your work, to contribute back to the community. And the community gives me so much, it’s hard to justify not giving back. To be honest, for the last year or two, I’ve been a leech on the FOSS community. I’ve been busy, yes, but so are @funkatron, and @felixge, and all the other FOSS contributors that I admire and strive to emulate. And I’d like to change that.

I’m starting this summer by applying to GSoC. If accepted, I’ll be working on either Melange or Big Blue Button for the summer, contributing Open Source Code. Last night, I also attended a @spaz meeting, and signed up as a contributer to the wonderful FOSS.

So here it is, FOSS community: my apology to you. And my promise to make amends.