Luke Schierer discusses Pidgin, Open source and life

Pidgin developer discusses the project and also offers advice on why some open source projects fail.

Is there any lingering ill-feeling among Pidgin core developers that you had to change your name because AOL had the trademark on AIM?

Many of us weren't happy about it. More so because of the time it took than because of the name change itself. That being said, I think all of us are happy with the name Pidgin, and would not go back if we could.

What were some other names considered before choosing pidgin?

Far too many other names to count. Some, such as "mulberry" were rejected because we were afraid they would land us in more legal trouble somewhere down the line. Others, such as "Arietta" (were rejected) because we really just didn't like them.

Why is open source, generally, important as a development model?

Because the software it produces is of superior quality than most of the software produced by commercial methods.

Why do you think open source works better (than proprietary models) as a distribution model?

Precisely because the program is written to meet real needs by people who personally care about meeting that need.

The open source community has grown quite dramatically in recent years. What positive and negative changes have you seen as a result of this growth, from your perspective as a developer?

There are far more people finding open source software who do not understand or appreciate the many hours of donated labour that goes into creating it. These users make demands, drain resources and, worse, developer good will, without giving anything back, not just to a particular project, but to any project. Imagine if everyone had just demanded of the kernel hackers without working on Linux applications; open source, as we know it, would not be here. No one would use it, because the kernel alone would have been useless. The real negative is the loss of the idea that you should contribute something in return for the free software you have received.

The benefit is the many people who have not fallen into this trap. They have become developers, or helped projects in other ways.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?