Linux/FOSS

Why are you telling me this now?

March 18, 2010

I’ve just come across this article on ‘7 of the Best Free Linux Medical Imaging Software‘. It’s on Linux.com.
Now, my problem with this is: why on earth do I want to know about this? And more to the point: why would anyone who does want to know about this want to know about it from this point of view, and on this site?

This is a symptom of a major problem I can see in open source / Free Software journalism. There are as many open source columns on the Net as you’d want (plus many more). They are centred around open source computing, and are intended for open source enthusiasts.

But FOSS will not get the audience it needs if this is how far it goes. OK, so the Guardian’s tech section has a majority of pro-FOSS writers, who are not averse to publicising the more mainstream developments (Ubuntu, Chrome, etc). But that’s their role.
What FOSS needs is to get articles into other channels (or rather, have non-FOSS people write about FOSS). Until FOSS is part of other streams, it will remain a specialist topic. And I don’t see how telling us FOSS fans about medical imaging software is going to get us anywhere.