by an Anonymous Volunteer

The Internet is notorious for being extremely amorphous, transitioning from one definitive technology to another. We've witnessed its transformation in its various forums and services. During the later part of the last millennium, a giant grew and built a kingdom; and towards the turn, a (community) challenge was heralded throughout the kingdom. Lately, this challenge is gaining momentum as the giant acknowledges the threat of the community.

I am not a soothsayer who could foretell what will happen after the battle, and I am not going to make presumptions. I've been wrong quite a few times, though I've made a few logical bulls eyes as well. I am one who would not publicly make a statement on baseless audacity.

However, we all notice that there are exciting things happening these days: the Novell and the Xandros pact with Microsoft; the “patent infringements” of Linux; Dell selling Ubuntu machines; PCLinuxOS outranking Ubuntu on the 7 and 30 days page hits at Distrowatch. These are enchanting and unprecedented times in our history. More so, there is a shift, and I am not referring to the migration of Windows users to GNU/Linux. I am talking FLOSS.

Let's try to make one sensible analysis of this. We can agree that the Internet has become the most important feature in any personal computer. PCs request web pages; servers send the code; PCs render the pages. It's the same with all other information and services. Content Management Systems (CMS), from blogs to media, such as music, videos and photos, often work on the same concept. The PCs are the walls that the echo bounces back from.

There was a time when server stacks were considered as the main avenue for transversing the information highway. GNU/Linux and MacOS users have full featured servers hidden behind all the glossy, shiny desktops. Windows users seem to be getting the backhand of things as they struggle with vulnerabilities and security. Even so, Windows clients can also act as servers.

PCs ... yours and mine and the millions (if not billions) of others... are making headway in serving information and services on the very same highway once owned by a few giants. Is this good, or is this bad?

Change is inevitable. A sizable fraction of PC owners find themselves with reasonably fast home connections on top of these hidden servers on their OSes with enough power and features to get the job done. They are beginning to realize that there is no point in paying hosting companies the few dollars to have their websites hosted; they can do it themselves. Many will probably read the Linux SAG. However, there will always remain problems, especially in the security section, and those little broken things that one has to sift though - volumes of fix it readme files. None of these problems are new. Many users can just happily live with them.

I'd like to think this is an open door for FLOSS if adequate understanding is acquired by the users. A majority are easy to install through GUI interfaces, and best of all, owners can exercise their right to the freedom that accompanies these softwares.

The often misunderstood "alternative" operating system and its communities of true freedom fighters along with its creative, innovative, inventive arsenal of FLOSS is ready to confront any Goliaths and, in the common belief, will stand strong as the champion of all.

There have been many predictions about the future, and I am not the prophet nor the One. I do know one thing though, there is a revolution going on right now between closed and open source software. And I have decided on my side. How about you?