Freedom, Community & Sustainability

The story of keyboard layouts (QWERTY vs Dvorak)

May 15, 2012 -- William
Last modified on August 2016

The story of keyboard layouts is often used as an example to illustrate the predominance of historical events over reasonable judgement. It involves a lot of factors like the importance of being the first, the usual resistance to change, network effects and the relationship between initial investment and long term return. We will see in the next paragraphs that it's rather easy to understand why we use today the standard “QWERTY” layout and how the same mechanisms apply to all sorts of things in our lives.

Surprisingly cool GNU/Linux distros

March 2, 2012 -- William
Last modified on August 2018
Linux surprise

There are distributions of GNU/Linux that are really cool although not as popular as Debian or Fedora. The best thing about Free Software is that, with so much freedom and choice, it seems everything is possible... and it is! Here goes a selection of some of these distributions that surprised me in a very pleasant way.

How many GNU/Linux users are there? (guesses & predictions)

October 10, 2011 -- William
Last modified on April 2019

There is no way of knowing exactly how many people use GNU/Linux nor how many computers run GNU/Linux desktops but it would be interesting to know roughly what order of magnitude we are talking about. Fortunately there are some statistics that can give us a hint. These shares and trends are all predictions but anyway, interesting to take a look at.

How do Free Software and Open Source developers earn money? (the FO$$ economy)

September 19, 2011 -- William
Last modified on January 2018
money by epSos.de under CC

This is a rather common question and shows how the software market today is actually quite weird. Before starting, remember that “free” in “Free Software” is about freedom and not about price. People do make money with FOSS. You will see how the development and sale of FOSS is much more intuitive than of proprietary software.

Free Software vs. Open Source vs. Freeware

August 30, 2011 -- William
Last modified on August 2016
Money-Slave Vector

The confusion among these kinds of software is incredibly common, even among the tech guys. It's important to have these concepts clear because they have very precise and important differences.