Where Open Source Developers Shine

by Caitlyn Martin

In January I reviewed Vector Linux 5.8. While the review was mainly positive I did complain about what I saw as some faults in the distribution. The response from the developers of Vector Linux was almost immediate, both in the Vector Linux forum and in the comments under my reviews, and was incredibly positive. In the weeks since then a surprising number of changes and improvements have already been made, particularly in the area of internationalization and localization. A suggestion I made in the VL forum regarding compiling and building packages to insure that localization files (translations into various languages) are included was taken to heart by the developers. The result is that when an updated Xfce package was built after version 4.4.0 was released it included the additional language support. So... if you're native language is Danish or Hebrew or any other language for which translations exist in Xfce you'll find, for example, suitable menus for your desktop.

While this may sound like an exceptional example of accepting and acting on feedback from a user of a particular piece of Open Source software it is really, in my experience, something that happens all the time in the Free and Open Source Software community. This is why the pace of development of Windows or most commercial UNIX flavors seems glacial to Linux users and professionals. We're used to a level of responsiveness from developers that most proprietary software vendors simply cannot match.


2007-03-03 13:06:05
Small organizations have always been able to react to a changing market in a faster fashion than larger ones. The bigger the entity, usually the more there is of red tape.

As for Vista.... well, that's enough said. ;)