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The People Who Support Linux: "My Heart for Open Source Began with Linux"

This is an ongoing Linux.com series that profiles The Linux Foundation's individual members and begins to collectively illustrate a very important part of the Linux community. Individual members help support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other important activities that advance Linux, while getting a variety of other fun and valuable benefits. It is this collective support from thousands of individual members that enables The Linux Foundation to provide important services for industry and community.

Linux has a way of inspiring all of us. Joshua Drake is a major contributor to the PostgreSQL.org community, lead consultant at Command Prompt, Inc., and is president of United States PosgreSQL, but he says his love for open source began with Linux.

“I honestly don't know exactly how long {I’ve been using Linux} but my first distribution was SLS and then Yggdrasil. It was pre-Linux 1.0 IIRC.”

Five points to each of our readers who can say the same.



Today, Linux is his operating system of choice for 98% of his computing. He says his company has it deployed on every laptop and workstation and that it is used “exclusively for all development and collocation services my company provides.”

Drake says his work with PostgreSQL includes ongoing work with Linux, because it is the most widely-deployed OS for PostgreSQL.

“Linux provides a lot of secondary tools as a platform to help PostgreSQL be the most successful database for open source deployments today. Tools such as DRBD, KVM and LVM2 are essential to managing a properly deployed PostgreSQL instance.”

When asked, he listed off a variety of other favorite open source tools he loves, including Drupal and Python.

“Drupal just works better than any other CMS I have had the torture of working with. Python makes bad programmers like me seem like they know what they are doing.”

Drake also works with Software in the Public Interest (SPI), and says it's one of his favorite efforts to support open source. SPI is the nonprofit organization that represents global work for Debian, OpenOffice.org and PostgresSQL. SPI was founded to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and software and encourages programmers to use any license that allows for the free modification, redistribution and use of software, and hardware developers to distribute documentation that will allow device drivers to be written for their product.

When I asked him about his favorite Linux distro, Drake took out his Ubuntu flag.

"No other community has been as helpful and friendly to new users as Ubuntu. There is a downside if you are an advanced user; to get answers you generally have to revert to asking the Debian community but the driving distribution for Linux 'user' growth is Ubuntu."

Drake believes that the single most important thing we should all be thinking about as we look at Linux in the decade ahead is “making it work.” And, he goes back to Ubuntu to make his point:

“This is what Ubuntu is working on, but even now, after all these years, depending on what application I am running and what keyboard or mouse combination I use (copy and paste, for example), it might or might not work. Now your pedantic folks will say, ‘That is an X problem.’ No. It is a Linux problem because that is the only place X matters anymore.”

Given what we’ve learned about him, you might be surprised to learn that Drake's favorite color is pink. But this peek at his lighter side doesn’t mask the serious advice he has for new Linux users and developers. He say to have a “thick skin and patience.”

And while Drake is taking advantage of the lifetime Linux.com email address and employee pricing discounts with HP, he says he is a member of The Linux Foundation mostly because his “heart for open source began with Linux.” He adds, “I wanted to be a part of its {Linux} future and part of the organization that is finally helping it move forward in a centralized manner.”

If you're interested in being profiled for this Linux.com series, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To learn more about becoming an individual member of The Linux Foundation, please visit the Linux Foundation member website.





 

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