Open Source projects have gained in the past few years an entirely different reputation in the public's eye, in a good sense.
Now-days we are seeing things happening in the Open Source arena, beautiful things, that most of us didn't expect to take place so fast and so intense. Among these, are the huge amount of endorsement in terms of project sponsorship coming from Fortune 500 companies as well as funds that keep pouring on either existing Open Source projects to support them or even more intensively the acquisition of these projects that later become commercial companies with Free Software concept roots.
The adaptation and awareness of Open Source software by the general public keeps growing rapidly. Government offices and major firms are taking active roles and exhibit participation in forums, mailing-lists, patches submission and code contribution, not to mention the attendance of these firms in seminars, exhibitions and conferences all around the world just to be kept in-the-loop and updated with all the new technologies that has surfaced out. It is all happening for a reason - the benefit of the widely accepted development methodology of sharing knowledge through collaboration is simply priceless, and it seems that everyone realize it sooner or later.
The effect of all the buzz around GNU/Linux and Open Source drives one of the most basic needs in each of us, as a human-being. That is, to be a part of a whole. We long to be a part of a community, of a bigger good and as a consequence we are witnessing more and more involvement in projects of all kinds of development, whether it's language translations, code contributions and documentation writing. Each involvement, as small contribution as it may be is causing a butter-fly effect that triggers others to contribute and participate in this beautiful, open world of technology and knowledge sharing.
X-WRT is such a project that is reflecting all of the above concepts that we discussed. Some may be familiar with the OpenWRT project which aims to provide an alternative firmware to the one that is shipped with (wifi) routers, like the popular Linksys WRT-54G model and others. The X-WRT project was born in order to bring a more powerful and professional web interface to the OpenWRT firmware, and indeed the project proved a great success. In short time, it received an enormous feedback from users who wanted more features to be presented as well as users who wanted to get involved in the development of X-WRT.
X-WRT is taking all the goods of Open Source and Free Software concepts and put them to show. The participation is widely welcome and all that is needed to join as a developer is a registered berlios account and an email to the project admin (thepeople). Approximately 6 hours later you are given access to the svn repository and you may start with active development on both branches of the project. There are no committees to question your skills or examine your CV background. Everyone are treated equal and given equal voice to be heard. I'm an active developer of X-WRT and I enjoy every bit of involvement. The team is sharpened-skilled, open minded and most of all, good people.
To summarize, projects of Open Source nature will continue to revolutionize the technology industry and take us further into new grounds of socialism with recognition that knowledge sharing produces good things. If most of these projects will take the form of X-WRT's great qualities then the future looks like a good place to be a developer.
Liran Tal, X-WRT Developer.