And reckoning by code contributions leaves out those many who contribute in other ways, such as active forum participants, teachers and evangelists.
I don't know how many times, in my decade as a rural librarian, I have explained that the "big blue e" isn't the internet, or showed how Firefox can be set up to browse safely and securely. Most of the patrons who bring laptops into the library now use Firefox. Many of them use LibreOffice or OpenOffice (from before the fork) instead of the MS Office that came bundled with their systems. I even have patrons who use the (old version of) the GIMP, including local professionals who used to purchase Photoshop.
I am a contributor to the open source movement, and, at least in my small town, a significant one, despite having submitted less than five bugs in my years using F/LOSS.
When one checks a book out from the public library, they are a called a patron, not a freeloader. Maybe we should call those who support open source projects the same thing.
"OSS Patrons." That is a good idea. I wish I had mod points today. Thanks.
The devs have made it clear that they aren't interested in the 70-year-old user, nor even the "average" user; but rather the semi-mythical "professional" GIMP user, to whom this export/save thing is second nature. We've tried explaining about less-savvy end users and we've suggested compromise solutions, but to no avail: we've been either ignored or told off in no uncertain terms.
I'm not a coder, and have trouble getting through the technical aspects of a bug report, but I've placed many a copy of the GIMP into the hands of people looking for a good graphics solution or an alternative to Photoshop. I have been a GIMP user, teacher and evangelist for almost fifteen years, but am treated like a freeloader when I try to participate in the project.
While I, personally still use the GIMP, and like many of its new features, I keep copies of the old version around to distribute to "average" users--and I am now less likely to try to contribute.
Put the permanent status bar back in FireFox so I don't need an extension
Have you tried Pale Moon? - It's a Windows-optimized version of Firefox (no version for Linux, more's the pity). The developer has reverted many of the "features" of Firefox's Australis, including the statusbar, and the community is fairly responsive and active. The developer even seems to hang around the forums occasionally. I expect, as the Firefox developers seem determined to turn Firefox into something that is Not-firefox, it will eventually become a fork when the codebases diverge too much.
Revert the GIMP's atrocious Save As.../Export As... abomination
I agree, though Iwouldn't quite call it an "abomination;" I see what they are trying to do. Unfortunately, it
a) feels like an "MS defaulting to DOCX in order to force people to use their new version" stunt;
b) turns off the "average user," who may not know the difference between save and export, and don't care; and
c) makes it harder for me to recommend it to new users, hand them a copy and expect them to "just use it."
It's true, unfortunately, that the GIMP team won't listen to constructive criticism.
As for Gnome, I switched to KDE after Gnome 3 and Unity and haven't gone back.
Looking back, I've jumped ship with Windows Firefox and with Gnome and I've stopped evangelizing the GIMP after unwelcome changes made all of them them harder to use. I love F/LOSS, but sometimes it's hard to participate when you know you're going to be ignored.
Chuck Jones' illustration instructor told his class that "all of you have a hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better..." , While a hundred thousand is a metaphorically high number, if you worked hard and seriously enough, you would eventually develop the fine motor skills and the "ability to replicate real world (or imagined) people, places, or things on paper." In addition, you would in the process, develop a distinct graphic style, and be at an employable level of ability--probably better than most art school students, a good portion of whom are not willing to put real effort into improving their skills.
Similarly, with steady voice work, you can be employable in ensemble, chorus, or supporting work, which, while not at the level of a "named" star, still would allow you to sing for more than enjoyment.
Dogged determination focused on self-improvement may not get you to to the heights of ability, but it will generally get you to a practical level of competence.
Often when a person leaves the educational environment for an extended time, he or she loses the study/memorization/testing skills that once were routine and instinctive. Those skills can be difficult to re-learn. Check to see if your university has a Returning Students or a Students Over Traditional age Program. When my dad returned to school, they were able to help him with study and learning strategies. What they couldn't help with, he got through on sheer cussedness (for instance, it would take him many nights of study and several tries to pass each of his higher maths class, but he made it through them all).
Keep slogging through, and best wishes!
Why shouldn't it be used? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
IE6--only 13 years old this August 27.