Volunteering leads me to Foresight Linux

I’ve been trying to spend some time giving back to projects I believe in. I spent a weekend reading through Ubuntu wiki pages on everything from setting up a LoCo, to helping the documentation team, becoming an Ubuntu member, and a lot more. After being a little overwhelmed by some of Ubuntu’s processes (and I do understand why they have them considering the sheer number of users and folks involved), I volunteered to help write some copy for the new gnome.org website that will debut with the upcoming 2.18 release, take a crack at creating a GNOME 2.18 LiveCD, and am helping to try and get the TCLUG back up and running some regular meetings.

I spent a good chunk of last weekend trying to create a LiveCD, using scripts, a few different programs, and lots of research. I quickly realized I was just a bit, to put it mildly, over my head. I’ve been using Linux off and on for 8 years, a full time user for 2 years, but I’m a user, not a developer. I can barely compile my own packages, and even then I’m sure I’m not always doing it the “right” way.

In my travels in trying to build a LiveCD, I met a gentleman by the name of Ken Vandine on the gnome-marketing mailing list and in the #marketing IRC channel for GNOME, who has also stepped up to create a LiveCD for GNOME 2.18. Ken works for rPath, whose goal is “making software applications radically easier to create, deploy, and manage“. Coincidentally, at our last TCLUG installfest last summer, Dave from rPath demoed their technology for us, showing us a really innovative way to create your own software, including things as complex as your own Linux distribution using their toolset. But back to Ken – not only did Ken seem pretty cool and helpful, turns out Ken is one of, if not the lead developer for Foresight Linux.

Foresight is a GNOME-based distribution, that includes a lot of cutting edge software in the Linux community, including Banshee as the default music manager (and we know how much I love Banshee), F-spot, Beagle, among others. I think it’s safe to safe to say Foresight is a smaller Linux distribution when compared to leaders like Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo or Ubuntu.

I did something last Sunday I have done in almost 3 years – installed a different distribution of Linux that wasn’t Ubuntu. It was weird, but strangely comforting at the same time. I’ll post some thoughts on my experiences with Foresight later tonight in my next post.

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