Welcome to the new Open Source Zone at developerWorks
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Since 2008 I have been the editor of the Web Development zone, which I have found to be very rewarding. I love being exposed to all of the technologies and potential. I truly believe that what we now think of as the Web is the future of computing and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what will ultimately be accomplished when the whole world is truly wired. However, if you've been following my blog at all you know that I have another passion which I think is changing the world, and that is Open Source.
I am so pleased to announce that 2010 marks my move as editor of the Web Development Zone to editor of the Open Source Zone on developerWorks. Barbara Wetmore, the previous Open Source editor is taking over my position under Web Development. We both just realized that we had something very positive to offer to the other zone and so we worked out a swap. I'm very excited to see what Barbara will to do in Web Development. I'm also completely thrilled to be at home in Open Source.
You see, Open Source is not something that I just write about. It's something that I really do every day. I've been a full time Linux user for 10 years. Every computer in my house is based on Linux and running open source software. I am what Stan Lee (of Marvel Comics fame) might call a "True Believer."
It's not just the free software side of Open Source that attracts me, thought I certainly appreciate the effects that has to my bottom line. I enjoy the freedom that open source software offers. I remember what it was like to be interested in technology as a young person in the 80s, and the obstacles that I faced in getting access to the tools to learn. Software was expensive. Equipment was expensive. Today, hardware is a lot cheaper and more readily available. There is also software freely available that I can use to learn about any technology under the sun and moon. I'm not just talking about word processing and browsers. Just take a look at this list, which I mentioned in a previous blog. This represents a tremendous amount of potential for anyone to learn the basics of what a technology can do. Many of these tools are sophisticated enough to do much more than learn. They are capable of doing serious work and they are available to everyone. This means young people who are building knowledge for their future careers. It means people in developing countries who want to take advantage of technology with very low budgets. It means independent developers and smaller companies who need to go up against wealthier competitors.
I think that many people are more aware and more... well... open to Open Source than they have been in the past. But I also find that many still don't know about, or misunderstand what Open Source has to offer. As editor of the Open Source Zone in developerWorks, my goal is to introduce people to more tool and techniques about how to apply open source software. Yet, with such a broad spectrum to choose from, I want to prioritize things according to the needs of my audience, which is you.
So, this is a formal request for you to give me feedback on your interest in Open Source. What sorts of problems are you trying to solve that you think might have and open solution? What tools and techniques do you need to learn more about? What obstacles do you need to overcome to take advantage of open source software in your situation? I want you to send that feedback directly to me, cmwa