Here ya go folks, after posting about how bad Limewire is, I was contacted by Frostwire’s lead developer Angel Leon and had the chance to ask him a few questions about Frostwire and open source development.

Easy Tech Talk: What made you decide to get into open source projects?
Angel Leon: Ever since I was in school in Latin America, I always felt that we could do a lot more by sharing our knowledge instead of hiding our code. Then the whole open source movement got more and more advocates, and I started using a lot of it to solve day to day problems, and also being in a position as a studentĀ  that couldn’t afford to buy expensive software licenses it was a great option having all these projects available for free with such high quality standards.

ETT: How did you get into programming?
A.L.: From a very early age I was using computers and video game consoles, it was mostly the inspiration of video games that got me to write very simple programs in Basic on my old Apple //c. Back then I had no manuals or connectivity of any sort, so I’d learn the syntax by listing the code of existing programs that came with the apple. Then the web came, and I learned HTML, JavaScript, and then in Computer Science school we started with Haskell, Modula, Pascal, C, C++, Java, PHP, … and so on.

ETT: Why did you choose the frostwire project?
A.L.: After leaving limewire I still wanted to somehow keep in touch with the code and learn more Java. The frostwire project was almost dissolved at some point and I was invited to contribute to it.

ETT: Since open source usually makes very little money, what else do you do to make ends meet?
A.L.: I’m a software engineer with over 7 years of experience in web development, I used to work full time for a company, but now I’m an independent consultant and a full time funding partner at MyBloop.com (We’re looking for investors!)

ETT: Do you think that P2P programs encourage more people to pirate software?
A.L.: I don’t think P2P encourages pirating, what encourages pirating is the lack of access to software. Some people do it because they really have no choice. Does the CD burner on your computer encourage you to pirate? I don’t think so, but it could certainly serve you to pirate. Does having a car encourage you to run over people on the street? P2P is just the next technology out there to distribute media, there were also crusades against the VCR’s, Tape Decks, The printing press and so on, it’s just part of the growing pains of evolution in media distribution, eventually big media will open their eyes and work side to side with projects like FrostWire to make their content available to as much people as they can.

ETT: What other projects are you working on?
A.L.: I’m currently working on MyBloop.com, a website that wants to offer free unlimited file storage to the world. I’m also trying to form an internet video game company with some friends, I’m very interested also in learning a lot about the Android platform.

ETT: How long have you been on the frostwire team?
A.L.: Hmm, I believe since the end of 2006, I’d have to see the repository to see when I first started doing commits.

ETT: What can you tell people out there who are interested in getting into software development?
A.L.: The best way to learn is by creating something, don’t just read about developing, actually try to get yourself to build something, the problems you’ll solve will teach you a lot. If you’re trying to pick a language to start, I’d recommend Python, it’s simple to learn and it has a lot of power.

ETT: How did you become the lead developer on frostwire?
A.L.: After the initial java developers left, we sort of divided responsibilities, managing the site, the builds and most of the code changes are some of the things I do when I work on FrostWire. My previous experience with java and software packaging pretty much put me on that role, it’s something I enjoy very much doing, and it allows me to be creative in ways I probably can’t be in my day to day job where development and decision making are more strict.

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