Developing on Free, Open Source Software
Developing free, open software has several advantages. What I want to get to now though is „payment” on a project you do pretty much alone.
I started on MumPI, Mumbles Webinterface, back when there was no other web administration or good user registration (was pretty early, so no registration in client).
I do think there were 2 reasons, or 3, why I did this.
- I saw the need for it. PHP as the widest spread hosting, serverside scripting language / webapp language for novice and more experienced users I chose PHP. Maximum use to a maximum number of ppl.
- I needed it myself.
- I wanted to give back to the Mumble project, the superb VoIP program. (Other than MumPI I’m actively helping out with support, discussion, wiki etc. I’m that kind of collaboration-guy anyway.)
Anyway, back to what you get from it. Obviously a project will help you improve your skills. (For me there was not much more to be improved on the PHP, HTML or CSS side (I still fucked up all the templating, i18n etc btw – no prior design on that and when you’re alone, nobody will care … intent was there though …), but using Ice was pretty interesting. Even though the PHP bindings for Ice suck and there’s big inconsistency and a complete technology switch from PHP < 5.3 and Ice 3.3 to PHP 5.3 and Ice 3.4.)
What more: I was able to make contacts. Especially to one from Singapore, who let me import games through him on Steam (he gifted me). With all the shitty region-restrictions, censorship and availability that was quite nice.
I even got gifted some games. Pretty neat.
Today I got And Yet It Moves from a newer contact of mine who I helped set-up PHP-Ice and MumPI as well. Blog post following.
Money-Donations do not cover servercosts or time, but at least its something.
I still wonder how many ppl actually use it and how other price and licensing models would influence the distribution of MumPI.