These days, Linux operating systems and software are very slick, but it’s fair to say that they’re not always as full-featured or polished as proprietary alternatives. So, why bother? It’s not that difficulty is a virtue… in fact, we try to make it easy for everyone. The important thing is: this software belongs to us — and that includes you, no matter who you are.
You can be a Windows or Mac OS or Photoshop user, you can be a power-user, you can be a super-fan, but these can never really be yours. Even when you pay for them, you don’t really own them. Even if you work for Microsoft, Apple, or Adobe… you’re being paid to build something that belongs to the company. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s also not very exciting.
Free and open source software is different. It’s licensed so that we all have the fundamental freedoms to use, learn from, and share these tools forever. This bring us together in a community that we are all together a part of — coders, testers, writers, designers, artists, organizers, and other contributors, but also users.
There are no restrictions: you can be a part of this too. If you’re using Fedora Linux or Firefox or Krita or LibreOffice, you already are! If not, you’re welcome to join, no matter your background, age, experience, ability, race or ethnicity, body type, gender identity or expression, or anything else. We’d love to have you — your participation will make our world of shared software objectively better for everyone.
Plus, you know, you are an awesome human being.
I prefer "Matthew" to "Matt" even though my handle is `mattdm` pretty much everywhere. The short story is that when I picked my username for my first VAX/VMS account on cedar.goshen.edu, my options were `mattdm` or `matthedm` and the latter seemed like extra typing. And it's TOO LATE to change now!
"Matthew Miller" is a rather common name. For example, barely any of these people are me. If you need to verify my identity in fancy cyber way, this is my GPG key. If you have any doubts as to my verified identity, please observe this blue check: ✔.
My pronouns are he/him/his. I do not mind singular they/them/theirs.
If you would like to send me spam, please use firstname.lastname@example.org. I won't see mail sent to that address, so please don't use it to actually contact me.