Open Source and other Free Stuff

Thomas Willis – “it flow’d forth in a plentifull Stream as
from an open Source, till it was drawn from the whole Legg
both above and beneath.” From his book, “The London Practice of Physick, Or The Whole Practical Part of Physick” (see page 173):

Sounds painful, huh. It was written in 1685 so I don’t think Thomas Willis was writing computer code – tho it looks like some kinda code!?

Lots of hard mental labor goes into developing software … lots of hours and more hours, I suspect w/o personally knowing what code even looks like. Imagine personally ‘donating’ all those hours of your own time, and all the ‘donated’ mental labor you’re putting in. Linux apparently has many of these volunteers providing the Open Source software – for free. How painful can that experience be, for the individuals doing it? Something most of us don’t really think about when we’re ‘Distro Hopping.’

Here’s an expression of how painful that might be, by Georges Stavracas: “On Being a Free Software Maintainer”:

SNIP … You will be demanded to fix your software. You will be shouted. Sometimes, the line may be crossed, and you will be abused. “How dare you not (use your free time to) fix this ultra high priority bug that is affecting me?” or “This is an absolutely basic feature! How is it not implemented yet (by you on your free time)?!” or even “You made me move to Software Y, and you need to win me back” are going to be realities you will have to face.

Heartfelt with a dash of pain … Georges beautifully expresses what it can be like as an Open Source ‘Volunteer’ much better that I can copy and paste it – a must read!

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