Collaborating for fun
About 2 years ago I discovered a wonderful piece of software called Gallery. Gallery is an online photo album with dozens of incredible features that help people manage and display their photos on their web sites. Dozens of developers have spent thousands of hours creating the features in Gallery. The cost to develop is not really known but quite conservatively runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars after translating time spent.
So what does Gallery cost? Absolutely nothing. Huh, say it again! Absolutely nothing!
I've made a few bucks off of Gallery by selling my services to install and tailor it to a few of my freelance customer's needs. In April I decided that I needed to make a small contribution to this great open source software project on behalf of my customers and, in passing, offered my help to improve the next version. I thought I was simply providing a few feature requests and never dreamed that I'd be taken up on my offer, much less receive a reply.
So sometime in May I was invited to participate in what has turned out to be an incredibly fullfilling collaborative experience. I've worked pretty closely with folks who live across North America and in Europe, yet I've not laid on eyes on any of their faces! We conduct most of our communications or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and through e-mail. Despite the uncoventional teaming methods, this group has been incredibly productive and turned out what I think is an amazing product, which will be distributed absolutely free of charge.
I'd like to thank Bharat Mediratta, the guy who started it all, for inviting me to participate, teaching me a thing or two about software development, and putting trust in my abilities. I'd also like to thank Ross Reyman, the Gallery 2 lead interface developer for listening and keeping things open, loose, and free. The entire team for both version 1 and 2 are an inredible group of people who really love what they do and have fun doing it.
HELP SUPPORT OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE. LET'S CHANGE HOW THINGS ARE DONE IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY BY SUPPORTING EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY OUTSIDE OF CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTS!