I'm presently in the peaceful town of Estelí, Nicaragua right now - working in what my boss would call an outside office. It's really nice outside today, though there is the din of hammers from some local people working on a house nearby.
It takes materials and hard work to build a house, and that's what this editorial is about. It's about the head cornerstone. And for Linux as well as Free Software and Open Source, the head cornerstone is the community. Since my sojourn from Trinidad and Tobago began, I've met some more of our fellow penguins. In the last 3 months, I have been in Trinidad and Tobago, Florida, Boston (LinuxWorld expo), Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. And in these travels, I have noticed something really interesting.
The Head Cornerstone
The stone that the builder refused to lay should always be the head cornerstone.
- Bob Marley, 'Cornerstone'
It's no mistake that I'm quoting Bob Marley, a Jamaican by birth and one of the emissaries of a region which - as a region - is finding it's feet when it comes to Software Libre. There's a lot happening in Latin America and the Caribbean – but more on that later.
While corporations overshadowed the Linux user groups in Boston's LinuxWorld exposition, everywhere else I have been has been almost the complete opposite. The real world is where the community is - the stone refused to build on in business is the head cornerstone of the Linux community. It's where so many of us live and breathe, yet in the media we read mainly about what what the large corporations are doing. While what these corporations do affects us, what we do also affects them and perhaps we need to remind ourselves and others what that means.
The head cornerstone is community. Perhaps in adding on to houses, the head cornerstone is forgotten under the concrete and carpet. But when building a house, when the very foundation is laid, the head cornerstone is key.
What used to be a community which was predominantly American is now an international community which has tendrils all over the world which speak different languages, dress differently and eat different foods as well as run different distributions of Linux - or not, as they begin migration.
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