Summer Coding 2010 student application - Christopher Antila

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Contact Information

  • Name: Christopher Antila
  • Email Address: crantila from GMail
  • Wiki and IRC Username: crantila
  • Primary Language: English
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Working Hours: about 17:00 to 2:00 UTC, but flexible

Why I Want to Work in the Open-Source Community

My previous open-source contributions are limited to bug reports for Fedora, Gentoo, and KDE. I have contemplated larger contributions in the past, but the immense time commitment is forbidding for students during an academic term. When I've been on summer "holidays," my time has been similarly consumed by a paying job, and the work required to maintain musical skills. I did not want to get involved in something that would later be left unfinished. Fedora Summer Coding will allow me to set aside the time that I would otherwise spend at a paying job.

The motivation to contribute to the open-source community stems from my belief that its values are essential to the well-being of human societies. The Fedora Project is becoming increasingly adept at marketing this philosophy, and the Four Fs summarize that point. The "freedom" and "friends" Fs are especially important to me: when you have something, you should be able to do whatever you want with it; and advancements made by one entity should be actively shared with others. This is how complex systems work: small contributions combine to make something quite unlike the parts. It would be impossible without sharing resources. Even proprietary advancements build on the readily-available work of others!

My particular project proposal, the Fedora Musicians' Guide, combines my musical abilities with my linguistic and technological abilities. Musicians are used to paying large sums of money for proprietary software that is extremely complex. Their creative work can be limited because they lack sufficient time to learn how to use their tools effectively. Although the initial learning curve can be steeper, there exist open-source tools to equal anything in the closed-source realm. My goal with this guide is to help friends and colleagues overcome that learning curve. They will save money, and be able to freely share their work. Even if they do not choose to switch to Fedora, this guide will inspire the use of open-source music tools for their chosen platform.