Today is 31st December, the last day of the year 2020. This is the year that changed many of our lives either in a good way or a bad way. Some of us witnessed phenomenons first in their life and generation and many of us lost valuable things, friends and families. Covid 19 is the villainous star of this year and it has been quite bad. But this year, we also learned empathy, being close to people and being close to home and family. Today is the end of 2020, and we wish all our readers the best wish for the next year. Although Covid won’t go anyway in the upcoming year, we expect things to get much better next year.
While this year has been saddened by distressing events, many normal things flipped and we could see things that never happened in centuries. Despite Covid, we have seen a boom in technology, while we also witnessed doom of companies and businesses. Let’s review things we have experienced in the open source world in 2020 with a high hope for the upcoming year.
Straightforward travelling to office, sitting inside a qubicle and working 9 – 5 has been the “normal” way for the past century. Working from home, while still an option for a few ten-couple of years, it was not mainstream. People were expected to suit up and travel to office and work in their respective office spaces. I personally feared this trend, and it’s not just me. Travelling everyday to work is more exhausting than doing farming, especially when you are in southeast asia.
And then the whole ritual got flipped with the pandemic. Businesses and offices still needed to run so they did not lose profit but also people could not leave home due to pandemic. Lone behold the home office took over the hot-seat of trend and big companies started to continue office virtually. With some exceptions like banks, hospitals and similar services, most of the employees got on virtual offices and continued from home.
Companies offered good amounts of cash to set up offices in your home and provide workers with the cost of phone and wifi bills. Some companies will let workers work remotely till the year 2022.
With the pandemic getting in way for physical meetings, remote workers had to rely on meeting and conferencing solutions. Bangladesh, a small country in southeast asia has already been using digital virtual conferencing for years before the pandemic, but this time, it has become mandatory for all. Companies like Zoom skyrocketed at profit making in this time and companies started rolling out their own solutions.
With the trend, many open source meeting solutions have also gone mainstream. Many people used Jitsi Meet because of vulnerabilities and privacy issues found in Zoom. Other open source meeting solutions shined too this year. Many companies joined the bandwagon and started releasing options for virtual meetings, conference and video chatting. Google, Microsoft, Jio (an Indian mobile operator) rolled out their own solutions.
The pandemic slowed down many of our lives and daily routines, but oh boy did it ever affect Blender developers. With an unprecedented speed, Blender continued to amaze us in 2020 with tons of improvements and new versions. Are they even human? Do they eat or sleep? I cannot stress enough how much I love blender 2.91 with the new Grease Pencil tool and 2D Animation improvements, along with tons of 3D features, improvements and fixes. I swear they are aliens in disguise and Blender is a tool for closed-source destruction.
This year, Telegram brough video calling, voice chats and a folder for managing groups of chats. With more things in the pipeline such as video conferencing solutions, Telegram is moving faster with new and improved features. They gained 500 million active users and it’s growing every year. With the new video calling feature and voice chat feature, Telegram finally nailed the coffin for Whatsapp.
And with 600 million active users nearing, Telegram will soon approach ways to generate profits to keep Telegram running. With premium plans for business users and high volume users, Telegram will charge small fees for extra features that may help business users. Many people are profiting from Telegram, so many will be happy to pay the fees. To remove those pesky ads in many channels in Telegram, it is planned to implement an advertising solution from the company itself with uninterrupted channel contents. Telegram promised the ads won’t be invasive and there won’t be any tracking.
In 2020, Wireguard will be added to the mainline Linux kernel along with many new things. A new NTFS driver has been published for Linux, Wine seen lots of improvements this year, also proton. ProtonVPS got fully open-sourced this year. Canonical promised to double down the support for Raspberry Pi with it getting increasingly popular in 2020. Google has started to provide official support for Linux in Chromebook which opened a new door for Chromebook users with tons of pro level desktop applications now running on Chromebooks.We welcomed Mauikit which let’s developers build convergent applications. Linux mint introduced better support for Nvidia cards.
Lots of other things happened in the Linux world, so many new things despite all the bad things. We are thankful for the things we got new this year.
Also lost many things
People waved goodbye to Antergos. While it was discontinued way before, the forum and all channels for Antergos has shut down in 2020. The CentOS hangs itself with it moving to unstable territory and Rocky Linux will take its place from 2021. We also waved goodbye to CoreOS.
A PC builder business prioritizing Linux as pre-installed OS has shut down its business due to the decreasing sales in pandemic. This is one of the saddest things in 2020 and many small businesses have gone through this kind of tragedy this year. We hope best for those who lost, and also kudos to those who survived.
We still have tons of things to hope for. New technology, game changing applications, more Linux distributions with something new and unique that no one had ever tried. We will see lots of improvements in the Linux kernel with better support for Wayland. We will see more distro adopting Wayland and more support for Wayland. I hope in 2021, we will finally start to get rid of X.org.
Linux gaming will be more mainstream thanks to big titles coming to Stadia and running on Proton. More game changing technologies will come to Linux and more Nvidia support will become available officially and we can expect an open source driver soon.
We will see more paid distributions rising as the need for premium yet privacy friendly open source software demand is increasing. Businesses will get on track soon, including Linux vendors and OEM dealers.
We have experienced events and feelings we never experienced before 2020. Pandemic, Covid, closed doors and empty roads have dominated 2020. New generations have seen how pandemic disturbs the rules of mankind. While we lost many things, and the year was bad, we innovated ways to overcome them. We became closer to each other while staying far, socially distanced. We have high hopes for 2021. Things will get better and we will get well soon. Our condolences are for those who lost their relatives and friends. And we wish best for upcoming years. Thank you so much for being with us in 2020.