Contributing to FOSS Projects, a counterpoint
Earlier this week, another “advocacy site” (which I will not link here, as I don’t believe he advocates, nor does he deserve the traffic, for his shoddy “journalism”) posited that volunteering to work on a smaller Linux distribution, such as Solyd or Cloverleaf or Crunchbang, or any other smaller distribution, was akin to pissing in the wind, and possibly career suicide. Ignoring the falsehoods he spread about my own project of choice (Cloverleaf Linux), as I don’t believe they deserve a response, since they would fall on deaf ears, I would like to offer a counterpoint to his postulate.
These are things which I have thought about as I survey the current Distribution sprawl. So many are bound to recede into insignificance and I predict only a few, larger ones, will remain standing in five years. I submit, as few as six Distros will still be around. The rest of you, former hackers, wasting time on an obscure Distribution, will have grown jaded, tired and moved on leaving dead projects behind. Those Distros will whither, dry up and simply die. If this is true, then wouldn’t making a decision today to redirect your talent to actually doing something which has a chance of being genuinely useful in five years be an important career decision?
I fear for young Developers who have invested their energy in smaller Distros and their projects without thinking about whether they are doing what’s best for their own career path.
Speaking as somebody that has been working with Linux since 1993 or so, I do have some insight into this.