Regardless of your distribution, it is important to remember that your Linux system is the product of the hard work and dedication of people from every part of the world. There are Linux companies out there and large corporations contributing to the development and maintenance of the programs that make up your system, but in the end, Linux really is a community effort. Some people earn a living developing Linux software. Others do it for the good of the community. Still others do it just for fun.
Because this community exists, the quest to keep your system running as close to perfectly as is humanly possible is happening on many fronts. Keeping up to date with the latest and greatest package (for whatever reason) means you aren't limited strictly to your distribution's vendor.
Check out some of the Linux links on my own Web site at www.marcelgagne.com. Subscribe to a Linux magazine. There are some great publications out there, including Linux Journal, Linux Format (a U.K. publication), Linux Magazine (of which there is a U.S. version and an unrelated U.K. version), to name just a few. All of these magazines offer their own Web sites with online articles and discussions pertinent to Linux.
Do you think you might have you discovered a bug? Report it. Click Help on the menu bar of almost any KDE application, and you'll see something labeled Report Bug . . . Click that menu item, and you'll see a window similar to that shown in Figure 12-5.
As with any community, there is also a social component. As with many groups of enthusiasts from model railroaders to gardeners, the Linux community gets together to discuss its area of interest. So join a local Linux User Group (LUG) and subscribe to the mailing list, even if you can't go to meetings. Check out the Groups of Linux Users Everywhere or Linux.org for help in finding out where and when your local group meets (see the Resources section at the end of the chapter for links). If something important surfaces that you should know about, somebody is sure to mention it.
In short, get involved.