April 14, 2019

We Have Everything We Need And Should Be Thankful...The Rest Is Just Excuses

Excuse me while I vent for just a minute here. I have been thinking about this for a while now, and tonight I was sitting here jamming music on Amarok, one of the long-forgotten but truly amazing projects to ever come out of the KDE Community. And I thought, how blessed are we?

I mean if there's something you want to do on Linux, you can do it. And if you say you cannot, it's merely an excuse and a rehashing of old ideologies or technical limitations that no longer can possibly hold any merit.

Let me get this out of the way now. There are a few AAA games and granted there are old, crusty, walled technologies like Adobe Suite and Office. And some of us work for companies who force us to use Microsoft technologies and other normally-accepted, but closed and otherwise less-than-ideal things. In spite of that, really, when we add all that up, we're probably talking about the 10%.

For the rest of us, the open source community has risen and brought us just about every conceivable thing you could want to do on a personal computer or a laptop (or even a Pinebook or a Pi - hashtag winning?!).

Really. We have digiKam and OBS, and Lutris, and Krita, and Latte Dock, and KMyMoney, KDEnlive, KDE Connect, WikiMedia, Simon, OpenStreetMaps, and an entire Community (with too many projects to possibly name) making software that while not perfect, pretty much kicks ass and gets the job done.

We have so many good (and smart) content creators it's not even funny. Even the mainstream is starting to take notice! 

We argue because we are passionate about what we do, but at the end of the day we all want the same thing. Whether it's advancements by Canonical, Pop_OS, the KDE  Community, Gnome, the fine folks over at Red Hat and openSuse, we see a need and we fill it. And give it all away - code-wise. Because we're awesome like that.

The community steps up and produces artwork, we produce technologies that allow easy migration to other platforms, we have business software, art software, social media software, productivity software, gaming software. If you name the need then the open source community will produce it. And people who make little money will blog and Youtube and preach it. All for not enough recognition and sometimes vitriol, apathy, and  instead.

This is a shout out to the content creators and programmers and community volunteers and testers and users who simply get the job done. Most of the time it's thankless, but the world would not be the same without us. To all the visionaries, teachers, supporters, users, developers, and every other Community member that gives of their time based on pure unselfish love, this goes out to you. Keep up the good fight and never give up.

I could shout out to so many people and organizations, but I would be leaving good people, organizations, and companies out. From devs to release teams to kernel maintainers to people just trying to scratch an itch to people working on future career goals to people who just are ideologically-aligned to FOSS to people actually making a living in this beautiful space - so this is instead to ALL OF US. 

We are the 2% and we're passionate about what we do and why we do it. Never forget that. And we accept everyone and anyone. No judgements, no eye rolls. Just respect.

At some point we need to get past the fragmentation and language barriers and time barriers and other real but overcomeable things to make us better than we are today. Thanks for the last 10 years of me being Windows-free , and here's to one hell of a ride from here. If you agree in any kind of way, feel free to list your comments, rants, dreams, and whatever else below.

We may have different laws and borders and DNA, but we are one. We are FOSS. 

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