During the past weeks, at least once a day i asked myself why am i, why are we doing this. This happens in situations, where software fights back and spits you in the face, situations where you ask yourself, on what drugs the creator of that piece of software might have been. Late last night i had such a situation with Joomla. Something works in the english part, but not, with exact same parameters, in the german section. You check 3 times, that the sattings are identical and save them and after doing it right for 3 times, it suddenly works…
We all know these situations, where you doubt, if what you are doing is worthwhile the pain. In the end its not money driving us, its an ambitious hobby, you do it for strangers that might become community members, some even friends.
This morning i rather asked myself, quoting David Byrne from the Talking Heads: How did i get here 🙂
What i mean is: where do things start? I think, its these first steps that are very important. Taking decisions, that change the course of life for a period of time or even forever. How do we take these first steps, knowing what waits behind that closed door? I can only answer this for myself, i guess other people go about it differently. I take such steps on an emotional level, gut feeling, so to say.
I remember, back in 2010, i had initiated a Mini-Debconf 2 day event, accompanying LinuxTag Convention in Berlin. We had a group of 6-8 people for a start, meeting fortnightly in real life and planning on what was needed for the conference. Time was short, we had no money at all, and the day, where we had to decide to do it or not, drew closer, without any reliable funds coming in. So, within the group, the tenor was turning negative, saying, we could not make it, and the responsibnility was too high. I had a good gut feeling and thought it could be done. The group decision was negative, everybody backed off. I slept over this and announced on the respective mailing list in the morning, i would do it on my own. The conference was a success, donations came when they were needed, people joined on the way, everything fell in place in the end. But it needed that first step to make it happen.
Same goes for this endeavor called siduction, that we got ourselves entangled in. The idea grew in more than one head simultaniously, then we spoke about it, then we spoke about it openly and then there was this step to take. We had a meeting where we had to decide, if we can, as a team, socialy and technicaly cope with this and make it a success. We decided, we could. And here we are, bitching about why software often does not live up to its promises.
So, again: Why are we spending so much time and effort into this? To feed our egos? Sure. To proof, it can be done as we want it to be? Of course. But mainly, dear reader, we do it for YOU! To make this work in the end, it needs YOU to understand and use it as what it is: a distribution framework, set up by us, for a community to grow and participate, to spread and give back to us and others. Please, pretty please, understand it as such and make it prosper. That would justify the blood, sweat and tears on the way. All of it.
This post is also available in Deutsch.