And in the spirit of warmth and light and giving, Mageia is embarking on (what we hope will be) a yearly tradition where we donate to a project in the FOSS community. “What is this?” you might ask, or even “But I donated to Mageia, not some small project I’ve never even heard of!” and those are, of course, excellent questions.
See, Mageia is a community-driven Linux distribution. Everybody here volunteers and does the work because he or she can and because they want to contribute. The money that we collect in donations goes to paying for server costs, hardware repairs and upgrades, supporting booths and handing out merchandise at conventions (and in one case, flying in a repair person when everything broke).
But the Mageia community is part of a much larger community, the FOSS community (FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software). Thanks to you (yes, you personally!) we’ve grown to become one of the biggest Linux distributions out there. When we first started we were quite small, but we’ve grown up very quickly. Now we are in a position to help the little guy. We’ll be using this gift to help out a project that we feel close to, so it will always be a project that we package.
This gift is (relatively speaking) rather small, but it’s the thought that counts. So we’d like to take this opportunity to spotlight a small but very useful open source software project.
Almost all of the applications that we use in a Mageia system are developed by other open source projects. Some of these are large and reasonably well funded, such as KDE, Gnome and Mozilla, but there are many others that depend on the support of very small groups of dedicated individuals. One such project is GCompris, which is presently engaged in a fund raising drive to enable it to modernize the appearance of its software.
So we have decided that this year we will be donating 250€ to GCompris. This year’s choice is built on that simple point: as a distribution, we are working hard to make Linux comfy for most users. Many children first see Linux through GCompris (which means “I understood” when pronounced in French).
GCompris is a software suite of educational activities for children from 2 to 10. Helping to introduce children to Linux helps the whole Linux world to grow :). Of course, our donation is only a small part of what GCompris is trying to raise, so if you have some money that you budgeted for a good cause and are looking for that good cause, we think that GCompris is it.
This time we picked GCompris ourselves, but next year, you can have a say in the matter. Towards the end of 2015 (we’re not sure exactly when) we’ll ask you what you think a worthy cause for our yearly gift will be. So if you happen to see one, make a note of it.
May you have a merry end-of-year festivities.