November 2011 Archives

A manifesto for software choice

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You, as an intelligent user of software, have the power of choice.

You have the power to choose your tools, to understand what differences exist between options, and why. You get to decide what is most important for you. You get to decide what makes you angry and what you're willing to live with. You get to decide where to place your effort. Above all, no matter what you choose to do, remember that you have the power of choice. Your tools cannot force you to do anything you don't want to do, because you have choice. If the software you use frustrates you, you can choose to replace it with something better.

You may not realize that you have choice. You may think that you have few options. You may think that the things included with your computer are the things you need to use. They are not. They are a small subset of your options. They are a few things that happen to be in your life, mostly for the convenience of others. You, and only you, have the power to choose what is right for you. Sometimes, that may be difficult. Sometimes, it might feel as if you're swimming against the current.

Remember that you have the power of choice. You can choose for yourself, against the voices on all sides. There is no right, there is only what's right for you. It is your job to decide where your priorities should be placed. It is your job to inform yourself about the things that matter to you. And then, because you have a choice, because you are intelligent and informed, you have the power to choose for yourself.

If you choose to do something difficult, there will be pushback. If you choose to do something easy, there will be pushback. There will always be pushback, because no software is perfect, because no file format or workflow is perfect. It is this recognition that matters, the recognition that you are not powerless against pushback. If you find yourself dissatisfied with the way your software pushes you, you have the power to choose something new, to explore different options. Never feel powerless. Never feel complacent. Because you have choice.

You, as an intelligent, informed user of software, have the power of choice.

-ginger "all-lower-case" coons
Editor, Libre Graphics magazine
Free/Libre Open Source Software user since 2002
F/LOSS graphic designer since 2005

(If you feel the same way, feel free to re-post, redistribute and add your signature.)

The return of Mertgart

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Back in 2009, I wrote about Mertgart, my notional, vertically integrated, lambic beer. At the time, I did a logo for it. Looking at it now, though, I find myself unsatisfied. So I've done a few new logos for Mertgart. It's not there yet, but I'm pleased to have broken the text out of the confines of the bull's eye.