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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Open sourcing fred in the name of freedom

Over the past couple of days, I've asked for direction from my readers. I wanted to know what I should work on next. The response was clear: do fred first.

So here's the plan. I will clean it up and make it ready for wider consumption and then turn it loose to the world as open source. How is this going to work? That's the fun part:

Kickstarter!

If you haven't encountered Kickstarter before, it goes like this: interested parties (that's you, I hope) go out and review a project. If it seems worthy of your support, then you pick some amount of money to pledge and sign up. Then, hopefully you'll share the link with some of your friends and other associates so they can check it out as well.

Once the project reaches the set level, then that's when the money starts flying around. If it doesn't get there in a set amount of time (about a month), then it doesn't happen. So, any worries about "half-funded" projects disappear.

That brings us to fred. I've put it on Kickstarter to give it a fair shot at being funded and given to the world.

So, why am I doing this? How about freedom? I didn't name "fred" with "freedom" in mind, but looking at it now, it sure makes sense. fred is the sort of thing where you end up owning your own destiny. It's a bit of software you can run on your own system. It's something you can truly control all aspects of it.

You won't be on the upgrade treadmill. It won't stop working because a new version comes out. It'll be a good, old-fashioned, standalone, solid, useful program. There's no provider to "pull the plug" on you when they decide they want to get out of the business.

As long as there are feeds to pull and people to read them, fred should still be useful.

There are different "reward" levels, like being listed as a supporter, or getting a thank-you postcard from me, "beta" access, or even installation support from me when it's released. Plus, if you don't already have a copy of my books, you should definitely check it out.

I thank everyone for their input and look forward to getting this train rolling. Once it hits the goal, I hit the ground running, and that's always interesting.

Ready to kick it?


July 5, 2013: This post has an update.