Open Source Sensations in the Air, or is This Some Kind of Manifesto?

When I’m annoyed with Apple or Adobe or Microsoft, I usually rant a little, then suck it up, and go back to using my iMac/iPhone/iPad or Creative Cloud or Windows 10. When I inevitably get annoyed again, I rant again. This cycle has been going on for years. But lately I’ve been thinking about unshackling the planned obsolescence ball and chain. I'm talking about getting away from subscription software, getting away from operating systems that are constantly being upgraded to the point that my hardware becomes obsolete, and software that I have to pay for every month. I’m talking about moving my art and writing projects to free, open source software, into the Libre World of Linux.

I’ve been using Linux for over 25 years, but the graphics software for most of that time was crude was not reliable for professonial — or hobby work, for that matter. Linux itself has been stable and safe for decades, and all of the programming languages I use were developed on Linux. I’ll say it: Linux is the best place to do web programming. And now, after a long incubation and gestation period, many of the graphics programs have reached the level that it can be used for professional work.

Changing my work flow from macOS/Windows to Linux will take time. It will require learning how to use Krita for painting and Inkscape for vector drawing. I’ll have to cancel my iTunes subscription and move to Spotify, which does work on Linux. Changing decades of work habits and muscle memory will be uncomfortable, and I expect to dearly miss some of the features of macOS and Windows, but I’ve decided to make the leap. I’m lucky that I’ve been working with Linux in my day job, so I know what I’m getting into. I know that the libre mind state is my is my state of mind. I want my art tools and my web tools to be in alignment with my values.

So, in the future you’ll see me integrating new ideas into the flow. I’ll be talking about how I’m changing from Photoshop to Gimp, and how I’m learning to paint with Krita. I’ll learning how to record and edit videos using new and strange software. I’m excited, and looking forward to the adventure of leaving the old baggage behind, and getting involved in the free, open source community.

Here are some links to get started with:

  • Kubuntu This Linux distribution uses the KDE desktop manager. It’s completely configurable.

  • Krita, devloped by the KDE team. Check out David Revoy’s inspirational sharing of how he uses Krita and other libre software to create and publish his web comic Pepper and Carrot.

  • Blender, Open Source 3D creation software

  • Inkscape, a vector-drawing program

  • Kdeenlive, a video editing suite developed by the KDE team.

  • DaVinci Resolve, professional video editing software.