Software Freedom Day - are you welcome?
Saturday, 18 September 2010

Today (Saturday 18th September 2010) is Software Freedom Day SFD but not all programmers are welcome.

 

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SFD is a global event with over 100 countries participating. As the web site says:

"By supporting Software Freedom Day, not only are you helping get the word out about why sustainable and trustworthy systems are important, but you are aligning your company with others involved in the rapidly growing FOSS market."

There is an interactive map to show you where your nearest event is and a competition to gain your interest. It all sounds like a lot of fun and a worthwhile cause. Publicising and celebrating the fact that thousands of programmers give freely of their time to create programs that we can all use and learn from.

 

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However before you do join in consider the following quote:

"The idea of SFD is for everyone without a vested interest in proprietary software to unite and educate the world about the ideals of Software Freedom and the practical benefits of Free Software. August 28th, 2004, was the first ever Software Freedom Day."

There are a lot of us programmers who make our living from software and can't deny a vested interest in proprietary software even if we like and support open source. So this is a bit like promoting a free reading day and then saying "if you've published a book for sale your not welcome". I hope it's simply a case of a badly expressed idea and not an expression of the idea that everyone who has to work for a big or small software company is somehow tainted and not pure enough to advocate open source.

Have fun.

But as someone who has to admit to earning the occasional dollar from my code I won't be allowed to join you.

 

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