Open Movement and didn’t Know it.

Well, as part of my self imposed homework for #etmooc, I just finished reading and digesting The Cathedral and the Bazaar Eric Steven Raymond, this is an ebook and copyrighted at: ~ esr/writings,

It is a very descriptive history of fetchmail and linux. ” The effective open-source development” is exactly what is was described as and what is was. Oddly enough, I was on the other side of this movement and had no idea I was being so blessed”

I’ll explain, in nutshell, Raymond discusses how Linux code, Gnu, fetchmail which was just simple mail protocal ah and telnet, ftp were free and those of us who used it made it better and we did it for ourselves, our employers and the community

To quote this perfectly Raymond writes:

Another strength of the Unix tradition, one that Linux pushes to a happy extreme, is that a lot of users are hackers too. Because source code is available, they can be e:ective hackers. This can be tremendously useful for shortening debugging time. Given a bit of encouragement, your users will diagnose problems, suggest fixes, and help improve the code far more quickly than you could unaided.

Funny, I was one of those in the Unix, Linux geek. Back in the 1990’s I learned Sun Solais Unix while starting my first job in help desk, a few jobs later and I was installing various types of Linux, redhat being the favorite and was soon being paid incredible rates for my ability to “find and solve the problem” with system builds I had done myself. Oddly at the time, I didn’t think of it as an odd request when my boss or customer said, Ok, I need Linux installed with fetchmail, sendmail, with library files for sqlplus and and an apache web server with https protocals.

Can you believe it, I left engineering around 2001 as I lost my love of the unknown in never ending log files. I grepped with the best of them and I was a good at what I did, throw new things over the wall and Sherry will get it to work with Linux, open source code all the way. I had absolutely no idea that I was part of a huge movement that would turn into well such beauty. To be honest the one huge thing I remember is being horrified at the beginning Ok, you want me to install an OS called Linux, and it has no license, then you want me to get an oracle type database (mysql) with an apache webserver and over secure protocals. It was so so time consuming.. I would work like a dog over logs, new library files, the best release of many to get servers to behave as they were needed and what was fun and challenging became an 18 hour day with little time for my budding family.

It’s funny, it is so similar to the road I undertook with social and digital media. I became intensely focused on how to deliver great content to my students and become a 21st century teacher.

So now I am part of the open movement, but in a very differnt way. I am the user, the tinkerer the trainer and most of all a sharer and contributor (I hope).