In my last post, I noted that I was switching away from Wordpress to a roll-my-own-solution. I took the last handful of posts, and started the work of converting posts to the new blog format. I never realized until I started converting, that this blog has existed for well over 20 years at this point.
The world of open source is dramatically different today. Sometimes I get a bug up my rear to go take a look at projects I used to work on or people I used to work with. I’ve been in the corporate world so long that each time I come back to the land of open source, I’m amazed by the change that happens over what seems like few years. The initial focus of this blog was on my attempted development of a new Linux distribution. This turned into being a package maintainer for the upstream of Foresight Linux. It’s hard to believe that Foresight itself died roughly 8 years ago.
Maybe getting older introduces nostalgia for the “Good Old Days”, but I honestly miss the open source world that existed in the late 90s / early 2000s. Mostly, Software Development just felt… a lot more fun. I thought for a while that maybe I just made the mistake of turning a hobby into a career. But lately, I think it’s simply tech gentrification. The tech stack of today is infinitely less democratic. The major Linux developers are big corporations: RedHat, IBM, Canonical, Microsoft…
A lot of old-school nerds shouted at the air when SystemD became a “thing”. I never quite drank the hateraid. But, I have come to notice that the core Linux subsystems have gone further and further away from the general Unix hacker philosophy. I don’t think younger students have many open areas for development now. Low level kernel development operates like a large company. Higher level development is typified by the sad state of Wayland Window Managers versus X11 Window Managers.
I can hear someone responding about how “we’re no longer duplicating effort”. This makes the massive assumption that the incoming level of effort remains constant. My opinion? The story of “volunteers” building Linux is dead. The most vocal “community activists” are giving presentations at conferences on new software intended for AWS and Azure while using an Apple laptop.
Yikes. I need to chill before going full cynic.
In any case, I’m slowly working at updating this blog with the past 20 years of converted files. I’m starting at the beginning (and the end) and working my way forward. So, you’ll likely (until I’m done) notice a huge jump in tone and time. Enjoy the time capsule. While I started doing this with my own software, I discovered a new - and very solid - project that worked almost EXACTLY like what I developed. Sans that they actually wrote a markdown processor, allowing them to avoid sideloaded files… So, these entries are now populated using “Hugo”. Unfortunately, that also means no comments. Want to argue? Shoot me an email. I’m hoping to setup Mastadon or Matrix here soon.
Until next time. Peace.