I really appreciated this NPR story drawing attention to some of the many challenges in breaking into software development, even open source software development, especially for “coders of color”. As the open source movement continues to gain momentum world-wide I expect this to change (hopefully fairly rapidly), however, we all should be looking to find ways to broaden the diversity of those in our community. Open source software by its’ very nature extends our community to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds worldwide and diversity will only make that community better and stronger.
Posts Tagged ‘open source’
The Tides Foundation today announced it is accepting applications for The Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest for 2014 (due Dec 6, 2013) which “annually awards a $10,000 cash grant to one individual who has created or led an effort to create an open source software product of significant value to the nonprofit sector and movements for social change.”
Thank you to The Tides Foundation for supporting open source projects for non-profits!
Here is an interesting post pointing out a few awesome comments by Pixar’s Senior Scientist. The most interesting to me (and probably you too) was this: “open-source software like Blender can do almost everything Pixar’s software can do”!
If you aren’t looking at free and open-source software as an option for your church or non-profit, you are missing out on a huge, available (and free) resource.
Here is a great summary of the reasons that open source software and generic hardware work (and might not work too) in a business environment. Great summary read describing the tangible and intangible benefits of the free and open source model. I can say now that I’ve been using open source software for so long that I never even notice that I don’t use Microsoft or Apple products. And it’s even easier and most cost-effective than ever to make the switch.
Funded by it’s Kickstarter campaign, Museopen as released several professional recordings of classical music into the public domain. If you’re looking for classical music for a backing soundtrack or just enjoy listening to classical music, check out the site! There even more music done by other submitters as well.
What a great story of a teacher picking up open-source software as a noob and doing good by creating a computer lab for his school…with zero budget! My favorite quote comes at the end; “in a digital world, teachers are responsible for making students ‘better digital citizens’.” What a great example of rethinking ethics and responsibility in a digital world.
If you think that you can’t do amazing video production work for your church or non-profit with a free and open source VFX pipeline, you need to see this!
So, why are you paying all of that non-profit, donated money to buy commercial software when you can get professional results with free and open source software? Maybe you should consider a change.
Or if you think you can’t afford the expensive production software from Adobe or others, you now know that you have free and open source alternatives that give professional results!
Today, I saw a link to an article by the person who coined the term “open source” about “Evaluating the Harm From Closed Source”. It is a well thought-out reasoning on how to evaluate the ethics of the harm done by proprietary software. Since I don’t get a chance to opine on philosophical issues here as much lately, I had to pass it along.
It is however a secular perspective. While “remember[ing] that the goal of all your ethical rules is the reduction of harm, and act[ing] accordingly” encapsulates that secular ethical perspective, I believe it is only part of the Christian ethical perspective. For Christians “do no harm” may be part of the answer, but adding “do good” as Christ did for us adds additional ethical weight to the argument. We shouldn’t be just hoping to limit harm to our (cyber-)neighbors, but seeking to edify, encourage, support, love and commune with them as well.
Adding food for thought and continuing the conversation on how to rethink ethics in a digital world.
I recently ran across this 3D artist’s perceptions about moving from commercial to free, open source software. I appreciated what I believe to be an objective analysis of the costs and benefits of commercial and open source software. Sure, the commercial software has some nice features that you’ll have to live without…but do those really affect your artistic expression? Probably not. How much do you gain by moving to free, open source alternatives like the time you gain for artistic work when you don’t have to analyze the financial costs of upgrades, plugins and other up-sells that keep subtracting from your personal or professional budget? I’m guessing most non-profits and churches identify closely with the author’s tension caused by “[wishing] to conduct business in a legal, sustainable fashion amidst a struggling economy”.
There are many very full-featured free, open source alternatives to all of the mainstream art and production software. Give them a try…you just might find that free is freeing in more ways than just in your pocketbook…
Ran across this article from Collide magazine. The author asks a lot of good introspective questions about church services and what that means about priorities. Of course, why limit that to only your church services? Why not ask that about other parts of the church including your IT strategy? About the type of computers and software you use? What do you elevate? And what does that say about your church? Does it say exclusion or inclusion? Does it say selfishness or sharing? Once you know what it does say about your church, it then follows on to ask the original authors question: what should we be elevating? When you ask and answer those questions, my guess would be that more Christians and churches would be using (and creating too) more open source software and sharing more of their content with Creative Commons licensing. But that’s just a guess.