I am a proud user of Blender, the free open source 3d content creation suite, but not yet a proud artist. That will take time, practice, and a lot more digital paint on my brushes before all is said and done. Nevertheless, I am on my way.
Over in the Blender Artists News & Discussion Forum I asked a simple question: how do I best provide attribution to the blender community that my work has been rendered with Blender?
License-wise, Blender is covered by the GNU General Public License, which, as you all know, does not require attribution for works created by the software. But I'm so excited about Blender (and more excited with every release), that I want to associate my work with their project. The trouble is, there's no easy way for me to enable some kind of digital watermark that marks my delight in their work. (I note how ironic it is that so many projects force a watermark into their content and/or services, creating a whole raft of other problems.)
I decided to do a web search for a whole suite of creative studio type tools: blender, gimp, inkscape, audacity. My idea was that I might discover some consistent method of attribution among the various people, user groups, conferences, websites, etc., and then I could borrow that. Well, I didn't find that, but I did find something twice as wonderful: Creativedot.
First of all, Creativedot is precisely the type of creative community that I hope to see open source inspire. Yes, Open Source is great for the Enterprise—Better, Faster, Cheaper—the list goes on. Yes, Linux has silenced the critics about RASM (reliability, availability, scalability, manageability). Yes, JBoss, Tomcat, Apache, and others have created a whole new application infrastructure that's creating a new world order for service-oriented architectures. Yes, PostgreSQL and MySQL are causing people to question the very premise of proprietary databases (whose data is it, anyway?). But what about the other 99% that do not work in the windowless offices of the enterprise datacenter? And what about those who, after a long day at the office, want to do something fun and creative with their time and hard-earned money?
As I have blogged on (parent.thesis), open source is something I enjoy sharing with my family. I have shown my daughter how we can record (1, 2) and analyze (2) bat sounds. I have taught her how to make 3d models, animate them, sketch with inkscape, paint with GIMP, etc. Of course, she still has more fun blowing bubbles, rolling in the grass, and reading books from her favorite authors. But when she says "show me something new on your computer", I have a limitless supply of amazing software to show her.
Thus, I am pleased and impressed with the existence of Creativedot, a community that exists as an experiment to see if others, mostly in Delhi, can find creative expression and satisfaction with open source. And I am doubly pleased because it was inspired by fellow OSI board member Raj Mathur. Go Raj!
I hope that Creativedot is an inspiration to the Delhi community to achieve their creative potential, and I hope it becomes an inspiration to other communities around the world to discover their own creative potential, assisted with open source technologies and creative commons content.