This 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Because of this difficulty and the opportunities I had the chance to take, I’ve been able to contribute back to the open source community, not just with content here in Adminbyaccident.com, advocacy for a few tools such as my favorite OS (FreeBSD) and the usual mouthful on the OSS goodness, but with a scarce element: money.
Money is the real tool we’ve all agreed upon to make our exchanges of goods, services and time in life. Yet in this modern era of sin, where everything is “free” where it’s paid with your information or activity, money is lacking for many OSS projects. With the betrayal of many administrators and help desk managers Firefox is now in low use compared to the vigilant eye of Chrome which is the main browser nowadays. And I just wanted to help with the tool we all know does best the job, money.
With this article I don’t want to point out how bad we users are for not contributing back with money but I’d like to incentivize donations a bit more. It’s obvious not everyone’s pockets are in the shape they were, nor able to make donations, that’s completely fine and any individual can do what they like with their money. That said I find many little to medium size companies make substantial use of OSS but they never contribute back with a single penny. I understand paying a giant like Microsoft or Oracle the licensing costs for everything could be prohibitive for many businesses, and this may even pose an existential threat for them, but a few hundred bucks a year won’t hurt to any reliable organization.
For this 2020 I have been able to donate a nice amount, some directly and some other indirectly. I wish I could’ve done a bit more but I am just one individual and for example I couldn’t give money in 2019.
The summary reads as follows:
|Mozilla Firefox||15 $|
|Free and Open Source Fund||300 $|
|COVID-19 Relief Fund||100 $|
For the FreeBSD, Mozilla, KDE and LibreOffice projects I personally contributed back from my own resources. For the Free and Open Source Fund and the COVID-19 Relief Fund I made this through my articles at Digital Ocean.
FreeBSD is an operating system directly related to UNIX and its development. If you happen to be a Linux user it’s very similar to a GNU+Linux system but taken as a whole. It has a different license, it has some interesting set of native tools such as the ZFS file system, the FreeBSD Jails container-like technology and powers large corporations such as the streaming service of Netflix or enables the creation of products such as serving as the foundation for macOS, Juniper OS, or the PlayStation. You can donate to FreeBSD through the FreeBSD Foundation.
FreeBSD donation proof:
Firefox. What else can be said? The best browser of them all, just because I say so. It’s fast, it works fantastically well and more important, the Mozilla folks are pioneers on this OSS thing. However, in recent times they found themselves in some financial difficulties because every single administrator, help desk manager and too many people are using Chrome hence giving Google extra power. Every nerd is shocked when they found out about big tech corps work and the use they make of private information but in the end you’ll know them by their actions (installing Chrome on every pc).
Firefox was the alternative to the always present Internet Explorer from Microsoft and worked. They were pioneers and they are still a major force in the web development. We need these folks around. They are investing a lot of time and technology to keep the surveillance we are suffering from corporations out of our lives. Ever heard of the email client Thunderbird? Yup, they do it as well. These two are the basic technologies every Linux distro incorporates, and for good reasons, so there’s that too.
You can donate for Firefox and the Mozilla projects here.
Mozilla donation proof:
KDE. My favorite desktop. Why? It’s got everything I need, it’s beautiful, it’s very powerful, it gives me tools and it’s practical to me. I donated because I use it a lot. And I like what they do so why not help them out? You can donate to the KDE project using this link.
KDE donation proof:
LibreOffice. Do you remember that other Office Suite that was an alternative to Microsoft Office that was called OpenOffice? Yeah? This is a fork of that, which is not dead yet but contributions are stagnant. It’s a complicated story but basically the company that was behind this beautiful Office Suite was bought by Oracle and they didn’t bother continuing with this. A few key developers took the chance and developed what is now called LibreOffice. I use it every day and while you will not find it in most companies, it’s pretty powerful. But needs love too, so why not making it better with a contribution? Here you can do that.
LibreOffice donation proof:
I do also happen to have written a few tutorials at Digital Ocean. And DOcean has a great donation plan. For every article you write you get paid an agreed amount, and the same amount is given to a fund you can select from a list. Mind this money comes out from DOcean’s pockets, not mine. And if you click on the tutorial’s links you’ll be able to confirm the case for each.
The Free and Open Source Fund received 300$ US for this tutorial with a few recommended steps to harden the Apache HTTP web server on FreeBSD.
The COVID-19-Relief Fund received 100$ US for this other tutorial where a set of instructions allows to enhance the performance of the LAMP stack on Ubuntu.