Rebuild | Reburn
An old chestnut that’s come back into fashion lately involves the way people treat an open source project once it’s no longer important and has been abandoned. I see it in the news a lot these days, with project managers and product managers and team leads who insist on using the latest open source tool and then complaining when it’s no longer relevant as though they had done nothing to deserve the blame.
When the open source software we use today was created, there was a lot of talk about how the community should be involved in maintaining the applications that it contains, and how those applications should be available to any who need them. Open source software is no longer relevant and has been replaced by the Web or the command line, but just because the open source world moved to the Web and then moved on, it doesn’t mean that we should abandon open source developers who make useful projects that benefit the rest of us.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. The Web gave birth to the Internet, the applications that make the Internet valuable (and that benefit other users) are the Internet itself, and open source software is what makes the Internet valuable. All of the best open source projects owe their existence to the Web and what it allowed — the decentralized, global, and collaborative nature of the Web.
The Web is the only application that works when a billion computers are all running the same version of the same software — and it’s the only application that’s still relevant and relevant every day. And now open source developers are making use of that global, collaborative, decentralized feature of the Web by helping to build an even more decentralized and global, collaborative, and decentralized version of the Internet — our own decentralized, global, collaborative, and decentralized version of the Internet.
One way you can prove to yourself and anyone else who cares that you’re not just a product of your environment is to help make open source software better.
In this talk Matthew Weier O’Phinney, a software developer and activist focused on open-source software, talks about his experience helping build and maintain the X Window System, a project that’s been used for more that 25 years to help developers program windows applications across a network of personal computers. Because X is open source, we can learn from each other, and even share knowledge and experience.
X supports multiple window managers (gn