A Vision of What I'd Like to Do

On this page I'd like to get across some of my desires, and intentions for my work moving forward--to propose a vision. In case we might work together, you may find this interesting.

I want to work as much as possible with open-source, or free, software. I want to use it on my projects and I want to contribute to it when I can. We advance as quickly, if not more so, when we cooperate as when we compete. More so when what we're working on is something that we love, that we want, that we use daily.

All the pages here were written in XML and converted to XHTML using XSL. A fairly open community-based process developed all three of those standards. I use an open-source XSL processor. The tool that controls the build, Ant, is open-source software. I test using a web server, Resin, made available for free for non-profit use. I learned how to work with XML, XSL, CSS, XHTML using tutorials and references that individuals, organizations and businesses gave away for free on the Internet.

The important idea is not just that the software is free (as in zero-cost), but that the technology behind it it open for all to see. And because of that I can extend such a tool, change it, improve it. I'm not locked into the features bundled with it when I bought it. I can give the tool to my friend, my neighbors, share it with my community.

Our great opportunity is that by bringing together a great mass of programmers, we can help each other, and can help the world, through cooperation. There is still competition in the world of free software: there are competing editors for jEdit, for example, a whole slew of them. You can pick and choose. But there is no enforced domination of a single product. And because the tools are open, if I need to use something else, I can migrate more easily than if I were using proprietary protocols, file formats, and so on.

I use commercial software as well, and have no philosophical or moral problem with it. However, I want to work on projects that incorporate free software when possible, that contribute to the free software community, that rely on open, community standards when available.

In terms of the working environment: let it be fun. I like people who joke and laugh a lot. I like people who like to talk through problems one-on-one or in small groups. People who use and rely on open discussion to help improve and develop their ideas. I like to work in an atmosphere of mutual respect. I want to be challenged and engaged by the problems and the solutions we're working on.

And, most important of all, I'd prefer to never again use bleeding-edge software in my work :).