Why we believe in open source

Gabriel Lopez from Mendoza, Argentina was the first person to send in program additions to Fidus Writer.

Gabriel Lopez from Mendoza, Argentina was the first person to send in program additions to Fidus Writer.

Fidus Writer has been open source for a few months, and we are already seeing some improvements that come from the community. Eugenio Battaglia has added an Italian translation, Ana Carolina Vera Resquín has translated into Spanish and Vladimir Vitkov into Bulgarian. Translating is something many non-programmers can contribute with as well and we are very happy that we received those contributions. Gabriel Lopez from Mendoza in Argentina sent in the first real code contribution over the last few days: he was wondering what shortcut keys he could use within the editor (CTRL+P for print, CTRL+S for save, etc.), and after discussing a bit on the mailing list and the github issue tracker, he decided he would program a list that can show exactly what key combinations there are. Gabriel decided that instead of going out on a Saturday night, his time was better spent helping make Fidus Writer work for him. This shows the strength of open source programming — people from all around the planet come together to build something and everybody wins. Even if just a small minority is willing to help out this way (such as one person in Mendoza out of a total population of 40 million Argentinians) that is enough to significantly improve a tool that potentially hundreds of millions of users could be using in the near future. In order to facilitate code contributions, we have started documenting the code of Fidus Writer more in detail. After my contribution to the LSE blog on the problems with the academic publishing process was published last week, we have tarted to see more of an interest from other, less technically minded communities and we are currently looking forward to all types of cooperations to start in the months ahead. Look for more information to follow here as we get things ready!

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