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24Sep/102

Rick’s Rants Episode 3: We’re Here Because it Rocks

Rick's Rants Episode #3: We're Here Because it Rocks

A recent post from Roberto about "Why we are here" got me thinking...do people use OSS because it's free, or do they really just use the best tool for the job. How many people feel the need to preach/convert other users out there? I've paid for commercial software I thought was better, even software for Linux. I don't take the freedom angle too deeply, but I do appreciate any software tool that can make my life easier/better, and hey, if it's open/free then all the better. I'm using the stuff I do because I firmly believe it's the best stuff out there.

Let us know, why are you here? Did you come for the free and stick around for the freedom? Or is it just giving what you're handed, what you can get for no cost?

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  1. Rick – thanks for this rant. (I can tell I’m heading in the right direction [linux-ubuntu-vim].)

    I came to Linux when I began to upgrade my tools for web development (Subversion, GIT, Eclipse – though I’ve dumped that for Vim) and to try to solve some conflicts in developing on a local machine (Windows) before pushing to a server (Linux). That led me to Ubuntu and the amazing discovery of how far advanced the Linux OS had become.

    In general (Windows & Linux), programmers/coders do not appear to be a happy lot – as I would estimate that a large majority of them are simply groping through the complex maze of software rules, syntax and complexity – never even reaching the higher form of thought with regards to architecture. As an older guy (50), I find this a bit amazing. Programming is extremely complex, very challenging and a terrific form of income if you can rise to the top in understanding. The few that have tremendous knowledge give with amazing patience in the forums and blogs. The OSS community crosses country borders and facilitates more social interaction than any other venue I can think of – because the requirement to learn is a common need that pulls us together.

    Where once the spread of technical knowledge was mired in youthful immaturity and mystified for self-aggrandisement, it is now evolving into those more mature and driven by the love for an art form that – in terms of difficulty – transcends anything that has preceded it throughout the history of mankind. (And that’s not an overblown statement.)

    My history has been in mechanical 3D cad engineering, which will need to continue in Windows as the majority of those programs are based on that OS. But I have delved into Web programming as I see a new boom of web development expanding beyond the WYSIWYG sites and into more capability of providing more dynamically driven information to a company’s online customers.

    • Thanks for the feedback and glad you like the rant. The idea definitely applies to OSS tools that are available on windows as well. As you mention, tools like SVN, Eclipse, etc will run on multiple platform and they’re often the best tools there as well. I’m glad you got the idea out that there’s some amazing room to learn out there and that it’s open to all that are willing to put forth the effort.


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