My 2017-2018 Introspections

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, January 4. 2018 in Open Source, Personal, Technology, Work

As the old year falls away and the new year boots up, it is traditional for people to write "old year retrospectives" as well as "new year predictions." Heck, I originally envisioned this entry as a duet of 2 separate blogs. But as much as I tried, it was just too difficult to keep them distinct and self-contained. There was simply too much overlap and as much as I expect "new things" in 2018, I think 2018 will mostly be a solidification of events and issues ramped up from 2017.

So with all that in mind, I present my 2017-2018 Introspections... in no particular order:

Continue reading "My 2017-2018 Introspections"



Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, February 8. 2017 in Personal

They say that a sign of depression is when you no longer enjoy what you used to find pleasurable. Yeah, I guess, that could be a sign of depression all right. But it could also be a sign that it's simply no longer fun; that what used to be enjoyable, simply has changed to the point that it no longer is.

That is certainly the case with me.

As you may know, for decades I have poured my heart and soul into being deeply, actively involved in various Open Source projects and activities. But lately, some of the ones that used to be fun, simply no longer are. What used to be a group of like-minded people, working together, valuing each other, collaborating and operating with a common goal has turned for some of these projects and actvities into "putting up" with power plays, soapboxing, petty squables and a dismissive attitude towards basic common tenets and goals that, up until recently, were respected and honored. Life is too short, and my talents (as limited as they are) are too valuable to waste on such things. When an Open Source project is no longer fun to be around, there are plenty to take its place.

My advice when it comes to getting involved in Open Source has always been to Have Fun. The corrolary to that is that once it stops being fun, it's time to shake off the dust and find another place more welcoming and more inviting... and more fun. I give that advice to others, it's time to take it myself.

The positive part of all this is that it allows me more cycles and the ability to work on other things and projects and activities that I've been interested in, but have lacked the time to do. All of us involved in Open Source should do this: take an inventory of what projects you are involved in and seriously ask yourself if you are still having fun. If not, maybe it's time for a change as well.


August 29th

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, August 29. 2016 in Personal

August 29th is one of the happiest days of my life. It's Eileen and my wedding anniversary and today's day is even more special, since it marks our 30th wedding anniversary, certainly an important milestone (

The 29th is also, ironically, also one of my saddest, because it was 5 years ago today that my Dad was admitted to Hopkins Bayview hospital with shortness of breath and because he just "wasn't feeling too good." Little did we know then that less that 3 weeks later, we would be saying our goodbyes and planning his funeral. This was especially true since just 5 days before that we had celebrated his 80th birthday.

It is surreal to both celebrate and mourn on the same day; you feel as if you are doing a disservice to both events no matter what you do. But as sad as my Dad's passing was, and is, I have tried to look upon differently. I've tried to see these days as times to celebrate his life, and to honor his memory by enjoying life.

And that means being grateful and extremely happy that I was fortunate enough to, 30 years ago, marry my soul-mate and my best friend.


The brave, new post open source world disaster

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, January 29. 2016 in Open Source, Personal

Ahhh... The post open source, hipster development world. All is light and unicorns. People have rejected the ideas of governance and licenses; just shove it on Github and share, share, share. "This is the way Open Source should be", it is declared in Vape shops whilst listening to vinyl on their turntables, pork-pie hat skewed so ironically. "Rulz just get in the way, I just wanna do my own thing".

All Hail the fork; meh the merge and the pull. Don't lurk on a mailing list (A mailing list! Get with the times!), ask drive by questions on Stack Overflow. Don't use open tools and collaboration s/w, use cool proprietary systems and software (lock in? what's that?)

Yeah, I'm a greybeard, and I've been part of the open source movement for awhile, having at least some small part in its success. "Wasn't the whole idea of the open source movement, in some way, to make it the default, to move software and software development to align with the goals and ideals of Open Source? Wasn't it, after all, to make Open Source a success?" people will say. "Well it is! So what are you complaining about?"

I am not complaining about the success of Open Source. What I am complaining about, what I am worried about, is redirection of the movement in a way which destroys the successes by ignoring the history of the movement. What I am worried about are people ignoring the lessons learned, and the wisdom obtained during the decades within the movement, by people who don't understand it, but think they do. What I fear is the increasing "influence" of so-called open source experts today, who dismiss what Open Source is, because it is "old" and "outdated" and "that's not how we do things anymore". And I'm angry at people taking a dump on such concepts as community, collaboration and consensus because "that's just too much work".

I'll be honest. IMO, if the prevailing attitudes and "understanding" of Open Source today were around at the beginning of the Open Source movement, then Open Source would never have gained traction. Look at the things that made Open Source popular and successful. It was a keen awareness that code needed to be explicly licensed so people could use it. It was a deep understanding that working together, on a single project, was important, instead of numerous side-projects recreating the wheel. It was a core tenent that people worked on this project because they were personally invested in it, it was important to them, it was personal to them, they volunteered their time and energy on it. It was the balance that communities governed the projects, and companies worked with the communities instead of over them.

Look at all those points, and look at how today, in many ways, they are no longer "important" or "a big deal" to many self-proclaimed next generation open source experts.

You don't honor a movement, you don't carry the torch, you don't keep the dream alive, by ignoring and dimissing the core of what made that movement, that dream, special. Don't turn the Brave, New, Post Open Source world into the Weird Bizarro Open Source World, where it's a funhouse mirror-image of what it could, and should, be.


GPL/Copyleft Hater

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, August 31. 2015 in Personal, Programming

Occasionally, I've been called a GPL or Copyleft hater. Nothing could be further from the truth. I like and use all FOSS license types, whether permissive (eg: ALv2), weak copyleft (EPL) or strong copyleft (GPL)... Want to know more? Watch my video entry.


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