Give something back to the community

Don't worry, I'm not going to post anything about wallpapers or graphic elements, Elav y Gaara they are ordered to do for that (XD)… This time I touch on a more reflective topic than anything else, that of giving something back to the community that has given us so much in a selfless way, I don't want to sound corny or exaggerated, but I feel like It is worth mentioning that Free Software, beyond GNU / Linux, has changed the life of more than one, including myself.

Do not get me wrong, it is not that this is like a religion for me, but it has changed my university life and has shaped my path forward, it has shown me that there is something beyond working for others and that you can work alongside others and that I do not necessarily need to sell my software to earn money, but good software will speak for me more than a fat resume full of references ... Anyway, this was something that I was discussing with a friend, he works directly packaging things in format .deb, its goal is to make it easier for people who use distributions based on Debian the packages, games, programs that he or other friends create and allow him to expand, he is one of those users who really cares about giving something in exchange for what he receives, and being Venezuelan it is very difficult to contribute dollars to any project, thus that is always offered to pack, test, test and a long list of things (use the branch as usual channel sid de Debian and frequently report every bug it finds). And of course, that is the personal case of my friend (who I do not mention by name since I do not know if I do, excuse me that) who feels moved by their convictions to do what they do, but not all of us can or want to install ourselves Debian and change the source.list to use sid, some of us use Mint, Ubuntu, Arch, Slackware, Suse, etc, etc, etc ... Within a conversation, a very simple but profound question arises regarding the subject:

“What can we do to give back to the community that has given us so much? What would you do?

I did not take it as an ailment on my face from "I do and you don't"But as a wake-up call, something more aimed at thinking of some alternative to help those who have helped me and this is where the enormous range of things we can do comes in. In my case, free software and GNU / Linux They are literally my university, I learn directly from other people's projects, from their shared tutorials, from their videos, from their mistakes, advice on mailing lists, events and more. My way of giving back to all this is by releasing the code of my exercises, I myself have been making a list of exercises to do in Python, with examples and others. I also work on tutorials and I am putting things together piece by piece and then releasing them (in the forum of this community, by the way), I write here, voluntarily and with my perspective so that everyone can give themselves ideas of what they can do (if they want to) to help the whole community. I intend to create software for my favorite desktop environment and thus complement it, and who knows what else I can think of. The only thing I cannot do, or it is very difficult for me, is to donate money, not because I don't want to, but because it really costs me and it costs me a lot.

But of course, not everyone can donate money or not everyone has programming knowledge, some are designers, others writers, others simply anything else of the thousands of things that exist in this world, but we all have SWL in common and that we all can give something, even if it's small, but we can.

If you are a designer, then create designs in free formats, both complete and layers, etc., so that others can take advantage of them. Create desktop decoration packages, work on designs for projects, for whatever.

If you write then join a blog, write your work and release it, teach others to use the tools you use, learn more and teach more ...

Try the alpha, beta, RC versions. Send bugs to developers.

If you know about something, pass on that knowledge, that's what this whole world is about, learning, sharing and growing. What I do today will serve someone else tomorrow, and so on.

People, the possibilities are limited only by our desire to do something and it is that simple, I am born to do what I do and I enjoy it, that is not why I am a Taliban, hippie, dreamer or pauper; I live my life and take steps forward as a future computer professional, but the beauty of this is that it is not only for computer scientists, but for anyone who wants to enjoy something different, what others do not have, contact human that is inside all this that surrounds us and that feeling that nobody is going to leave you in a bad way, that everyone is going to try to help you as much as they can, that you are not obliged to do or undo something.

I think there is no more to say, it is simply worth trying.

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  1.   kondur05 said

    Like Cuba? Umm how curious I do not see the resemblance, well old man you are right in your comment, I for example do not know how to program (and want to learn), but since I was in university I have shared Linux with many and believe me many people do not even know that it exists, so also when I can I test the trial versions.

    So we should all share that thought, I am a mechanic, I would like to study computer science but most of all due to lack of time I have not been able, soon it will be.

  2.   anubis_linux said

    @nano very good article and above all how thoughtful it is + 1 ...

  3.   They are Link said

    A great reflection and which I share.
    I write from time to time on my blog, I have several projects and all under the GPLv3, my wallpapers and some graphic works under Creative Commons. etc.
    I would like to collaborate more, but unfortunately my level of English is not very high, which prevents me to some extent from collaborating or reporting bugs, etc.

    Next month I will be in the Linux world for 6 years, and I hope there will be many more and collaborating more ^^

  4.   Wolf said

    I publish tutorials from time to time on my blog, even if it is not a space dedicated entirely to Linux. I think they combine well with the reflections I make about society, dehumanized capitalism, etc. Since GNU / Linux has a side that implies very specific values, and ideas about progress with which I agree, I consider that its presence on my blog is more than justified.

    As soon as I learn something that may be useful to others, I make an entry and publish it, explained point by point. If I knew how to program I would dedicate myself to it, but as I already said in another entry on this page, each one contributes what they know.

  5.   Alf said

    Very good and thoughtful article.


  6.   vicky said

    I have no programming skills. What I do is translate programs into Spanish and I have a couple of packages in the archlinux aur.

  7.   pandev92 said

    I will give my opinion. If I've always been clear about something, it's that I hate working and it bothers me when they ask me to do things. Taking into account what I have said before if I do a simple job, I program a simple software, I release it under bsd or gpl, but if I have a job that has cost me hours and hours, for a year, then of course I release it under a private license or under a minimum payment, I have not worked for free for anyone and this is not going to be the beginning of it.

    1.    Courage said

      You'll see that if a hot chick tells you, you work for free haha

      1.    pandev92 said

        In that case, we will have to think about it carefully XD.

        1.    Courage said

          Or also because you feel like it, they don't have to tell you something.

          I have already lived both cases, although in one of them the aunt was an ugly ironing board with toad eyes, but they were major causes haha

          1.    Windousian said

            If a Japanese woman says it, she does it without thinking.

          2.    Courage said

            Right, pandev92 has the taste in the ass

          3.    pandev92 said

            The one who has them in the ass is you, little boy XD

          4.    Courage said

            You were going to be surprised

          5.    Rayonant said

            Ostia Courage is using Ubuntu !, the one that is going to roll xD

          6.    Courage said

            Max 6.0 in the institute

    2.    They are Link said

      Everyone has their opinion on this.
      I don't work for free either, but that's only for real work, I'm not a computer scientist and what I program I do as a hobby, not to get money or anything (except, of course, someone wants to pay me to make a program)
      I will continue to release all my projects, whether they have taken hours, days, weeks, months or years.

    3.    anubis said

      Well, with that comment you are only showing that you know rather little about free culture and free software, since you still have in your head that programming free software = working for free, so common in the private "world".

    4.    vicky said

      It depends on the situation, sometimes to gain experience you have to work for free or for very little money.
      There are also people who do things for hobbies or charity, working long hours for personal satisfaction.
      Also, because the program is free it does not mean that it is not for profit, free is not the same as free, they are two different things.

    5.    hypersayan_x said

      I see developing Free Software as an investment in the future. The more complex the program you develop, you accumulate a lot of skills, you learn a lot of programming languages, you practically don't write almost any code because most of the code you use in your programs can be taken from other projects, you move very fast, and you can even get there to the point where your skills allow you to become a kernel-level systems programmer, and that's very attractive to many companies.
      As a proprietary software developer, on the contrary, you will not be able to take code so freely and many times you will have to do everything from scratch, to have access to certain knowledge you will have to pay, and many of them still they will be banned, with no possibility of advancing beyond what is allowed.
      There is a phrase that I love, and I think it perfectly identifies what it means to develop Free Software and that is that developing Free Software is like standing on the shoulders of giants. Today I start from very low, but tomorrow I can be at the top along with the greats.
      On the other hand, proprietary software developers always start and end on the same floor of the pyramid where they were placed, perhaps moving sideways, but never going up or down.
      On the other hand, I can mention you many quite successful Free Software projects and where their developers are not starving, eg: The Blender project, KDE and Gnome developers, Linux kernel developers, Debian developers, RedHat and Canonical companies, and several more.
      Earning money has nothing to do with developing Free or proprietary Software, making money is related to knowing how to do good business.
      If your concern is to earn money with Free Software then you can use a download charge system, you use a private code repository, and when the user wants to download your program they will first have to make a payment, and when they do, they receive both the program and the source code and free license.

      1.    Perseus said

        Excellent comment, your words really came out bro… Congratulations 😉

  8.   proper said

    I have contributed to the Slackware Linux community by creating SlackBuilds and uploading them to the project page. It is similar to packaging software, except that the assembled package is not delivered, but rather a packaged script, in this way the user has more control over which flags to add or remove or for which architecture to compile to improve performance, etc. 🙂

  9.   elav <° Linux said

    Excellent nano, excellent… ^^

  10.   Maxwell said

    It is exactly the same thing that I think, contribute, learn, listen and share. That is what is really important here.

    Good reflection, greetings.

  11.   dwarf said

    the thing is delicate but I do not think about charging. In fact, today free apps are the most valued and I work in web development, so what I program on my own is purely for the love of what I do. There, everyone who wants to sell their software, in the end they always crack it and generate losses, for my part I have gotten small jobs just for showing my code. Good for I saw Pandev I hope you get paid because I have not been given XD

    1.    pandev92 said

      I charge you for what you need XD, for example the minitube developer sells the version for OSX and it is very well valued, even if it costs about € 10. If they crack it for you, well, nothing happens, there will always be someone who ends up paying for the program, if you put it for free, people have gotten used to not donating because they say * so much the other program is better, why am I going to donate to this one * . I will not dedicate my life to developing software, but when I make one, if I have spent more than 6 months working, do not worry, I will pay it yes or yes xD.

  12.   diazepam said

    I personally started writing for a blog (of another) about LMDE. I also want to translate the LMDE manual that is on the altervista site into Spanish.

  13.   Hugo said

    As other colleagues have said, you don't necessarily have to be a programmer to contribute (I have some general programming knowledge, but I don't consider myself a good programmer).

    Moreover, in fact in some cases contributing directly benefits one, I will illustrate it with a couple of personal examples:

    There was a time when, at least in my opinion, the LXDE translation left a lot to be desired, and I noticed that after some versions things didn't improve, so instead of waiting, I decided to make the difference myself: I signed up as a translator , I made some corrections to the existing translation and translated everything new, coordinated with other translators for spelling, grammar and consistency checks between modules, and my effort was paid in three different ways:

    First of all, LXDE now has a Spanish translation that at least seems acceptable to me (although not necessarily perfect), which obviously benefited not only me, but also the rest of the Spanish-speaking LXDE users.

    Second, I now appear in the credits of the modules that include it, so this has become part of my curriculum.

    Thirdly, my seriousness and perseverance in the translation of the project made the coordinators of the translation team grant me administrative and coordination permissions (which I never really intended).

    Ironically, although I am still contributing to the project, for some time I have not used LXDE, but GNOME (via LMDE)

    Another example happened to me with the LDAP Account Manager project, as I noticed some errors in the existing translation. I sent the developer a corrected version and he told me better work on the translation of the next version, which was coming out. I did so and as a recognition he sent me the professional version for free.

    Apart from these examples, when I can I collaborate with other small things but that contribute a grain of sand, be it the highlighting of comments for this blog, or some suggestions for the NOVA team (which I later learned that some have even become in thesis projects), etc.

    Well, I also participate as coordinator of the GUTL, and administrator / moderator / editor of some of the services it offers, in addition to helping with the lists, when I can.

    Moral: being a programmer is not essential to give back to the community.

  14.   Jamin samuel said

    Excellent reflection \ O / I am not yet an illustrious programmer, but we are on track to do it xD meanwhile I spread the use of free software to anyone who crosses my path.

    In fact, at my university they call me "Free-man" out of love AJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJA but I have already managed to get 4 of my friends under the clutches of ubuntu xD except one who visited my ksa and saw me linux mint and discovered how easy it was I do everything without installing almost nothing ahahahahaha

    Anyway mega greetings 😉

  15.   Rayonant said

    I respect the opinion of others, but I believe that if it is worth giving back something that the community has contributed to us, in many ways and yes, sometimes (if not most) you only see programmer alternatives to contribute to the community, although I know something about programming (as practically any engineering student) I do not dominate it by far, nor even a designer so I do what I can, I offer my little knowledge in the forums with what I have been able to learn in the same way in the irc (in my case of Mint and Ubuntu) and soon I will be a free software installer in FLISOL that will take place in my city. There are always ways, and they are worth it.

  16.   electron222 said

    I only do is complain x_X

  17.   moony said

    If our generations don't learn to be kind, and share knowledge, let's not wait for others to do it for us.

    1.    pandev92 said

      Likewise, nobody does it, I have a complaint open in the tomahawk bugtracker about the management of spotify songs, where it only shows you 20, well, something that could have been fixed in two hours, it takes 4 months and no response.

  18.   Diego said

    “What can we do to give something back to the community that has given us so much? What would you do?"

    mmm ... buy my cup of coffee at the ubuntu shop ... e '

    PS: Excellent post, very good


  19.   auroszx said

    I've been wanting to learn some Python and GTK for a long time, to make something like a unified options panel for LXDE, which would do you well… Maybe it's time to start.

  20.   patrizio santoyo said

    Excellent article!
    Many think the same way, and it is good that these types of articles are published here that clarify certain unknowns. What to do to give something back to the community? Like many, I am not a programmer, I like it and it calls my attention, in fact I am learning python, but I cannot say that I am good at it. Even so, I belong to a group of gnu / linux users, and I feel that the work that is carried out is good to give back a little of the much that is given to us. Spreading is our job, removing the blindfold from others who live thinking even in these days when Linux is already widely used, which is only for experts, which is not true at all. In April we will have the FLISOL event (Latin American Free Software Installation Festival) where we will give ourselves the task of spreading even more!
    Again Congratulations to those who make up "desdelinux", great job.

    1.    dwarf said

      I am organizing the FLISOL of my city with those of the local User Linux Group, so I already did my homework xD

  21.   Arturo Molina said

    I'm a java programmer, not yet pro: p, I tried to make a program that would make .desktop files that would serve as lubuntu icons.
    it still has its mistakes. I have also tried to make a translation team for an ubuntu magazine, but no one in my area was encouraged. I would like to contribute something but now I am short of time.

  22.   Arturo Molina said

    sorry for the catchphrase
    make a program that makes files

  23.   Lithos523 said

    Very good article.

    In fact, the article itself is a way to contribute, because it spreads the knowledge of free SW and how and why it grows.

    And from such a reflection was how my blog was born, which is the modest way in which I also try to give something back to the community.