gnulinuxclub

Sunday, November 06, 2005

How to help Free/Open Source Projects

How to help Free/Open Source Projects

I am writing this article after I took into account if i was doing
something for promoting Open/Free Source Projects .

How many times has that rescue CD we use has saved Us?

How many times has the free/Open source software that comes bundled
with some Gnu/Linux Distro proved a lot to us or that Live Gnu/Linux
Cd helped us and we have felt proud of possessing that
Software/Distro?

How many times we have been able to stand up against pirated software
with our help high along with the Free/Open Source software that works
along with other copyrighted Platforms as well ?

How many times have we been helped by some expert on any forum?

I hope not many of us can take into account the above in pure numeric terms .

What Have we done to promote Free/Open source related projects?

Very few of these projects have the support of sponsors(maybe 2%-5% of
these projects)These projects do require some encouragement and some
monetary encouragement also to survive with the resources required to
keep them running.
Good projects receive some donations in form of Money or resources
such as Internet Bandwidth (Mirror for downloading software),Computer
Hardware for their development or Server . I do not know about any
team that has been making big profits from the donations they receive
. These just suffice them to keep their projects alive and kicking.

Helping these projects is necessary as they provide this premium
collection of software for free .Else they will also start charging
for the premium version or to sign up for some help forum.Already some
Distros and Software Vendors have started following this
strategy.After all they too need to upgrade themselves to survive.

These projects can e helped in some way or the other
some of them that i could think of

Donate some Money directly to these Organizations.
A good way can be through affero.net ,from where you can choose
various organizations who will benefit from any money you donate.(the
minimum amount you can donate is 5$)

Buy the Free Cds that are available for download, directly from these
Organizations ,that way also you can help them and you can get some
more premium service.

Many of these Organization carry ads of their sponsors, these can
fetch some some money(although meagre) for the User Clicks they
generate.Visiting their sponsors can also help them.

Help them while offering a Download Mirror for their Software/Distro,
this wil reduce the Bandwidth Cost for such Organizations.In india
there is dearth of such download mirrors.Corporates/Educational
Institutes can get involved here if they provide the required
bandwidth for non-office hours only.

There are many other ways for helping these organizations. I do not
know how many of us might have helped such Organizations but i think a
sum of 5$-20$ can be donated on a yearly basis to any such
Organization.

gaurav masand
linux4all[at]gmail.com