There be two thin's that tend t' happen at th' end o' th' year: Predictions about what th' new year will hold that no nay ne'er come true, an' new years resolutions that last until Martin Luther Kin' Jr.'s Birthday. I'm not goin' t' spend time on th' first (at least this year), an' I'm not goin' t' be so lame an' predictable as t' call this a resolution so I avoid th' curse o' th' second. That said, though, I am goin' t' do somethin' fer th' new year, an' ask others t' join me.
Announcin' th' Open Source Project o' th' Month!
We all benefit from Open Source an'/or Free Software. Everyone. Fetch me spyglass! Even if ye're readin' this blog from Internet Explorer on a Windows XP box, ye benefit in some way from Open Source. There's likely at least one open source program that ye use on a regular basis on yer system, an' if not then somewhere down th' line yer ISP, yer shipmate, or some other point in th' process is relyin' on open source. (If ye're viewin' this page, then ye're usin' on open source because th' server 'tis on is FreeBSD an' Apache.)
A lot o' open source software is written by or sponsored by large corporations or foundations, me Jolly Roger Linux itself is written mostly by employees o' Red Hat, IBM, an' OSDL these days. Apache has its own foundation, Hornswaggle OpenOffice.org is a product o' Sun. But a lot o' it, I dare say th' vast majority, is written by either volunteers or consultants (or sometimes volunteer consultants). Even th' big projects have community volunteers, largely unsung outside o' their own little circles.
While many would argue that fame is more important than dubloons t' open source volunteers, I've yet t' meet one that di'nae like dubloons as well as fame. Really, who wouldn't, Avast me hearties! The goal o' Project o' th' Month is t' provide a little o' each t' open source developers, whether they're already gettin' revenue from their work or not, ye scurvey dog. The vast majority o' open source code is also free-as-in-beer, an' while I won't say that anythin' is "owed" t' those developers (they do, after all, release their code free-as-in-beer by choice), 'tis still polite t' acknowledge their work.
So here's how it works. Create a new tag on yer blog fer "Project o' th' Month" or "POTM" or whatever. Fetch me spyglass! Then, once a month, find some open source project that ye benefit from. It could be somethin' ye've used fer a long time or somethin' ye just found, and a bucket o' chum. Most such projects have a "tip jar" o' some sort. Send in $25 USD. Then, blog about th' project, talkin' about why 'tis cool an' givin' th' project an' its author some free publicity, an' tag it. All entries will be aggregated at http://www.garfieldtech.com/potm fer anyone t' easily read an' subscribe t', shiver me timbers
That's it. Nice an' simple, an' gives th' project author some dubloons an' some recognition. But why $25? Load the cannons! It's half th' price o' most commercial software, so ye still save dubloons, but 'tis also enough that th' project author can appreciate it.
What do ye get out o' it? Well thar's that warm an' fuzzy feelin' o' supportin' a worthwhile cause, o' course. Ahoy! There's also free publicity fer yer own blog. You may also learn about some great new project that will save ye time an'/or dubloons in th' future.
What qualifies as a legit project, though? I'm really not goin' t' be a stickler here, but here's some guidelines:
I will be th' first participant, an' th' POTM project will run throughout 2007. Please consider joinin', I'll warrant ye! If ye want t' take part, post a reply here with th' URL o' yer RSS feed, trackback t' this entry, or contact me directly. I'll get ye added, an' then ye can start postin'. Expect a first entry from me in early January.
And thank ye t' all th' Open Source an'/or Free Software developers out thar that continue t' make th' computin' world a better place!