This thanksgiving, I am thankful for Open Source. For those who are not familiarity with the term, open source allows developers to publish the source code for their programs to the public, allowing anyone to download, edit, and share the program. It’s great because it allows people from around the world to collaborate and work on making a particular program. Each person adds to the program in their own time according to their strengths, building on each others work. The result is a program distributed to people all over the world developed by people who thoroughly enjoy writing software for people. But best of all is the resulting culture of openness and information sharing.
You probably know some common open source projects like Firefox, VLC Media Player, and Wikipedia. Some other programs I use on a daily basis range from scan to PDF utilities (NAPS2), to office productivity programs (LibreOffice), to entire operating systems (Ubuntu UMass). I try to use Open Source alternatives whenever possible, partially because they are available for free, but also because I like to support the open community.