This is with a great pleasure that we are announcing registration opening for SFD 2013!
Any team registered on or before July 21, 2013 will receive a pack of goodies including a big banner, tshirts, stickers, balloons, etc.
This is with a great pleasure that we are announcing registration opening for SFD 2013!
Any team registered on or before July 21, 2013 will receive a pack of goodies including a big banner, tshirts, stickers, balloons, etc.
Today marks Linode’s 10 year anniversary and we’d like to start by thanking you, our customer. Thank you for your patronage, for your positive feedback, for your words of encouragement and your constructive criticism – all of which have helped make us a better company. Thank you for your word-of-mouth recommendations. The majority of our growth over the years can be attributed to happy customers telling others about Linode. We strive to constantly improve our service to you and it is very gratifying to see our efforts rewarded.
Of course none of this would be possible without our employees, past and present, whose passion, dedication, and talent continue to build our company. It wasn’t that long ago there were three Linodians remotely pouring their souls into making Linode a success. These days we regularly outgrow office and cage space. We are so proud of the jobs we have created and the lives we’ve affected. Congratulations to our entire team on 10 years!
Linode has grown phenomenally over the last 10 years, and while we are proud of our success, we are also humbled by it. We feel a tremendous obligation to deliver innovation, great support, and quality to our customers and we have no intentions of sitting on our laurels. We have exciting things planned for this year and the coming ones. We look forward to the next 10 years and thank you all for being a part of this!
It is with a great pleasure that we are opening registration for SFD 2013. The deadline for registered teams to get the free goodies is July 21st which should give us enough time to ship everything everywhere. For registration, simply create your team page under http://wiki.softwarefreedomday.org/2013 (/country/city/team for most) and complete this registration form.
We are available for support through email on sfd-discuss or on IRC (#SFD on freenode). SFD artworks are available under http://wiki.softwarefreedomday.org/Artwork and CC-BY licensed. Feel free to use, enhanced and eventually localize them.
We want to particularly thank our sponsors who are making this possible, namely Canonical, Google, and Linode for the time being. We would also like to thank our media sponsors who offer us magazine ads, they are Linux Magazine, Ubuntu user, Admin, Smart developer and Linux Journal. Should your organization be interested to sponsor and support DFF please get in touch with us.
Happy SFD preparations!
This is with a great pleasure that we are announcing registration opening for SFD 2013! Any team registered on or before July 21, 2013 will receive a pack of goodies (200 packs, first come first served) including a big banner, tshirts, stickers, balloons, etc. It's easy to register, you just need to create your wiki pages and submit your event information. Read this HowTo and contact us via email or on IRC (#SFD on freenode) if you need any help.
Please also help to promote SFD by placing our SFD counter with your own language and banners in your website or blog. Yes! We have 2 languages available at the moment and if you want to localize it to your own language, it is very easy to add a new language, follow the instruction in this page.
Aleph Objects, Inc. is honored to have the first hardware product with the FSF's Respects Your Freedom certification mark, and we're proud to sell a 3D printer that delivers freedom to each and every user. Aleph Objects, Inc. was founded with the idea that people should be free to use, learn from, and improve the machines they use, and to share their improvements and innovations with collaborative communities. The spirit and philosophy of the free software movement is embodied in our LulzBot 3D printer. All of our printers ship with hardware designs, software, and documentation all under free licenses. You get it all — source code, design documents, and specifications — everything needed to control, tinker, fix, and improve upon every aspect of the printer.
— Jeff Moe, Founder of Aleph Objects, Inc.
The FSF began work on a hardware certification program in October 2010 by publishing an initial set of criteria for certification, and subsequently inviting community members to help refine them. To be certified, a hardware product must meet several standards that ensure it runs free software, allows users to modify that software, supports free data formats, and is usable with free tools.
The desire to own a computer or device and have full control over it, to know that you are not being spied on or tracked, to run any software you wish without asking permission, and to share with friends without worrying about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) —these are the desires of millions of people who care about the future of technology and our society. Unfortunately, hardware manufacturers have until now relied on close cooperation with proprietary software companies that demanded control over their users. As citizens and their customers, we need to promote our desires for a new class of hardware — hardware that anyone can support because it respects your freedom.
Conversations between the FSF and Aleph Objects, Inc., solidified the certification process and Respects Your Freedom mark design. Future certified products will display the same mark on their packaging and in associated marketing materials; the FSF will also promote certified products on its Web site at http://www.fsf.org/ryf.
"Over the past 27 years the FSF has earned a reputation of being a strong advocate for computer user freedom, and we continually work to earn and keep the public's trust," states Joshua Gay, FSF licensing & compliance manager. "Because so many people have placed their trust in the FSF, a product displaying the Respects Your Freedom certification mark will be immediately recognized as a product that a user can trust when it comes to software freedom."
Subscribers to the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter will receive announcements about future Respects Your Freedom products.
To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program visit http://www.fsf.org/ryf.
Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
Aleph Objects, Inc. is a Loveland, Colorado, USA based company committed to free software and libre hardware. They are the makers of the LulzBot(tm) line of 3D printers and components available at their online store www.lulzbot.com.
> Licensing & Compliance Manager
> Free Software Foundation
> PHONE: +1 (617) 542 5942 x20
> Aleph Objects, Inc.
PHONE: +1 (970) 377 1111 x622
Subject says its all, this is of course, very good news coming out of the Red Hat Summit. Looking forward to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. And of course, CentOS 7 and the other builds that follow. Thank you Red Hat!
MariaDB replaces MySQL in RHEL 7. Glad to see that. #rhsummit
— Major Hayden (@majorhayden) June 12, 2013
at #rhsummit , rhel7 will come without mysql as it will be replaced with mariaDB; which is mysql api compatible. it will include mongodb too
— John Fulton (@fultonj) June 12, 2013
You will run into conflicts if you had an older MariaDB-CassandraSE engine (so yum remove MariaDB-CassandraSE).
Once you’ve got the packages installed, you can either install the plugin or just restart mysqld.
Speaking of Sleepy Creek, I finally tasted their tomato-jalepeño wine, Winey Mary. Yes I thought it was a joke too, but it actually exists and is actually made of fermented tomatoes and jalepeños, not grapes. And I actually liked it. Not as a wine – I don’t really like wine, or beer, or any alcoholic beverages – but as an unusual and strangely tasty sensory experience.
You can try some at the official wine-and-cheese opening (cash bar, buy some local wine!) is this Saturday June 15, with a screening of Sita Sings the Blues at 8pm.
On Friday the 7th of June the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents (see English translation by BIKT). The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents. The only exception where patents should be allowed are computer programs which replace a mechanical or electromagnetic component. In addition the Parliament made clear that governmental actions related to patents must never interfere with the legality of distributing Free Software.
"This is an important step to fix the software patent insanity. The FSFE highly welcomes this decision. It's great to see that all of Germany's major parties understand that software patents are a huge problem and that they are acting accordingly," says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's coordinator for Germany.
Tens of thousands of software patents in Germany and Europe present enormous cost and liability risks, especially for SMEs. Several German SME associations welcomed the Parliament's decision. However they warn against giving all the responsibility to Brussels, as the EU has been consistently incapable of providing software developers with legal certainty. "Germany now has to implement this decision in law, to send a strong signal towards Brussels," says Johannes Sommer of BIKT, one of the associations.
At an expert meeting in the Parliament on 13th May, in which FSFE also participated, industry associations BIKT and BITMi proposed changes to German copyright and patent law. These proposals would also affect software patents which have already been granted. The first proposal is to add a "protective shield" clause to German copyright law , introducing a blanket ban on the enforcement of patent claims with regard to software. The second proposal to be implemented in German patent law makes sure that the effect of patent claims shall not extend to works protected independently by copyright. Both proposals would prevent that patents on software can be enforced against software developers. The FSFE supports both proposals.
"Since the EU has decided to give away its power to make rules on the unitary patent, this step towards limiting patents on software is all the more important.", says Kirschner.
Background: The joint motion was introduced in German Parliament in April. After a first hearing, the legal committee held an external expert meeting on May 13th for which FSFE published a written statement and Matthias Kirschner's notes of his oral presentation. During the hearing, a substantial majority of the external experts supported the join motion. After recommendations from the Parliament's Legal Committee, backed up by the Committee for Economy and Technology, the Committee of Education, Research, and Engineering Results Assessment, as well as from the Committee for Culture and Media, the German Parliament in plenary session has approved unanimously the joint motion on the 7th June.
# of 2013 Accepted Students
In response to the Guardian report that major Internet companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo, PalTalk, and AOL, have apparently been providing sensitive user data to the National Security Agency (NSA), FSF executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:
Massive privacy intrusions like this are to be expected when people shift from storing their media locally and using local software, to storing them on other people's servers and using hosted (Web) applications. Giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Google are vulnerable to government requests for user data, and there are better, more secure ways to share information online. Free software projects like GNU MediaGoblin, StatusNet, Diaspora, pump.io, Tahoe-LAFS, FreedomBox and SparkleShare are hard at work creating a less centralized world where users retain control over both their media and the software used to access it, while still getting the social and convenience benefits of the giant centralized -- and compromised -- services.
The FSF will continue to follow this story.
For the moment, we encourage people to:
2013-06-11: Updated to add that the FSF signed the coalition letter demanding an investigation into the spying practices, to add reference to Richard Stallman's interview warning about the danger of "cloud computing," and to provide links to sites listing relevant free software.
In a case of a Slovak company protesting against being forced to use non-free software to file taxes, a court has failed to rule on the substance of the case.
Slovak textile importer EURA Slovakia, s.r.o. is facing EUR 5600 in fines because it refused to use the Microsoft Windows operating system to submit its electronic tax reports. Since May 2012, EURA is appealing against the fines in court.
"We believe that the court failed to correctly interpret the procedural law when it refused to assess whether the tax authorities were right in imposing the fines", says Martin Husovec, a lawyer assisting EISi.
In total, the Slovak tax authorities have imposed eleven fines on the company, which submitted its tax reports on paper. As in other European countries, Slovak companies are required to file their tax reports electronically. The official software for doing so only works on the non-free Microsoft Windows platform. Along with FSFE and EISi, EURA demands that the state should stop forcing businesses to use a certain product, and calls for a platform neutral solution based on Open Standards instead.
"This kind of approach of any government should not be tolerated. We encourage everyone who might be damaged by this practice to follow EURA's example and seek for justice on courts." concluded Karsten Gerloff, president of the FSFE.
Finally arrived just this morning via UPS delivery… My new gadget to play with, the Firefox OS Developer Phone KEON. As a Mozilla Representative and active contributors in a community, i have the opportunity to request one of the developers phone for FREE to test the device and its apps. Thanks to Mozilla for this opportunity.
The KEON Device Specifications:
Keon devices is also available via geeksphone website, if your interested to purchase a Firefox OS developer phone. Will start to play this device including the apps and will keep posting some blog regarding this device..
Managing IT infrastructure is time consuming and a 24/7 commitment. Keeping your services and applications running requires constant attention, potentially at any time of day or night. Not having coverage puts you at risk of costly and disruptive downtime. We want to help.
Let our team manage your infrastructure, so your team can get back to managing your business. Spend more of your time on things that are important to you, like growing your business, solving problems, writing new code, going on vacation, and sleeping more.
Linode Managed continuously keeps an eye on your mission-critical systems and services. Add URLs, IP addresses, and TCP ports to the Managed Dashboard and we’ll begin monitoring them immediately using our robust, multi-homed monitoring system. If a check fails, our experts will take immediate steps to get your systems back online as quickly as possible, any time, day or night.
Need help maximizing your system’s available memory or speeding up application response times? Need recommendations for making your current site more scalable? Our team can help with these and many other issues.
Linode Managed also includes the Linode backup service and Longview Pro — the professional version of our system-level statistics collection and graphing service (currently in beta). Both are provided for all of your Linodes at no additional charge.
When you sign up with Linode Managed, all of your Linodes are automatically enrolled. The service costs $100 per month per Linode.
As many other open source believers, I was naive enough to believe that Google was somewhat better than other software giants. They have a quite loose relationship to open source. Many of their products are closed source and many have published source code, but are not really open (Android,…). But I believed that at least open standards and interoperability were important things to them. But after announcing that they’re going to kill XMPP support in their instant messaging service and especially removing federation (ability to communicate with other Jabber servers), they’ve lost my trust. And because they seem to back off from support of other open standards, too (changes in LDAP,…), I’m looking for alternatives to replace Google services I’m currently using.
What’s the most urgent is Jabber because Google will shut it down soon. I’m currently using Google Apps on my domain which is really good because my address is not tied to Google (or any other provider). I can easily come back to my previous mail and Jabber provider who offers Jabber on custom domains, too. It’s just matter of changing DNS records. What’s nice about it is that I can still use my domain for Google accounts since Google Hangouts are now closed to other Jabber servers and DNS should not be needed for routing messages to others users within Hangouts.
When I was thinking about possible Jabber solutions, I came to a conclusion that it’d be really nice to have a Fedora Jabber server and provide our users with an open IM service which is going to stay open. All FAS accounts already get fedoraproject.org mail addresses. Why not to have the same Jabber accounts, too? Having support for FAS in online accounts which would add the Jabber account to Empathy sounds like a great service. It could also be a unified platform for IM among Fedora contributors. I know we have IRC and Freenode, but it is not the same.
Anyway, I’ve once again learned an important lesson:
It’s very convenient to have tightly integrated services, but vendor lock-in is a damn bad thing.
Last weekend we released a first preview version of the new encryption app. This wouldn’t be possible without the work done by Sam Tuke and Florin Peter. Thanks a lot for all your work! Let me take the opportunity to tell you some details about the app, what it does and how it works.
The encryption app for ownCloud 5 was a complete re-write. We moved from the relatively weak blowfish algorithm to the more secure AES algorithm. The complete encryption is built on top of OpenSSL a well-known and tested encryption library. Further, the encryption app is integrated into ownCloud seamlessly. This means that the encrypt and decrypt happens transparently so that you can still use all the other features from ownCloud like sharing, different viewer apps, WebDAV access etc.
To make this possible, we decided to perform the encryption server-side. Still the architecture allows us to implement client-side encryption as an additional option later. Server-side encryption is especially interesting for users who also use the external storage app. Combining the external storage app with the encryption app allows you to use external storage without giving any 3rd-party provider access to your data.
ownCloud uses the users log-in password for encryption. This means that you should choose a strong password in order to protect your data. It is important to know that by default a user will lose access to his data if he loses his log-in password. As an additional feature the administrator can generate a recovery key which allows him to recover user data. Once this feature is activated in the administrator settings every user can enable the recovery key in his personal settings. By default the recovery key is disabled. Every user can decide for himself whether he wants this additional protection against password loss or not. Since we are using server-side encryption this feature does not reduce the security. Keep in mind that your ownCloud administrator will always be able to intercept your data because everything gets encrypted and decrypted at the server. Since ownCloud is Free Software you can choose a trustworthy administrator freely or decide to be your own administrator if you wish.
Let’s talk about some technical details and how the encryption works. The encryption is based on three different keys: every user has a private/public key-pair, every file has a file-key and to give multiple users access to a file we have share-keys.
Every user has an asymmetric 4096-bit strong key-pair which consists of a private and a public key. The private key is encrypted with the users log-in password, for the encryption AES-128 is used. Additionally there are up to two system-wide key-pairs: One for public link shares which allows ownCloud to decrypt files which are shared as public link and if enabled the recovery-key-pair.
In order to not always have to encrypt and decrypt large files we have introduced the file-keys which are 183 byte strong ASCII keys. The file-key is used to encrypt the users file symmetrically with AES-128. Than the file-key gets encrypted with the public keys from all users with access to the file. This means that if a user gets added or removed from a file we only have to re-encrypt the small file-key instead of the whole file.
Every time a file-key gets encrypted to multiple users OpenSSL generates for each user an additional share-key. Only the combination of the users private key with the corresponding share-key enables the user to decrypt the given file again.
Everybody is welcome to test the new encryption app and report issues on our mailing list or preferable directly on GitHub. But keep in mind that this is a preview version, you should always have a backup of your unencrypted data!
Last Saturday, the Catalan LoCo Team did its Ubuntu Raring Ringtail Party at the Escola del Clot of Barcelona with some 80 people present in the different speeches and installs.
The day started with a little presentation about Ubuntu and Catalan LoCo Team. After that, there were two lectures from Sergi Grau: HTML5 and Android 4.2.
Simultaneously, on other room, it was the speech about the Free & Open Source Software Outreach for Women Program with Mònica Ramírez, Debian Developer.
After that, there were the talks about Metadistributions based on Ubuntu using Remastersys with Jordi Binefa and ChameleonPI (a Raspbian versions with games emulators for the Raspberry Pi) with its author Carles Oriol.
Meanwhile, on the install room, people worked on installations and clarification of doubts and we sold some LoCo Team T-shirts and gave away some Ubuntu installation and using guides.
As always, we ended the party with a draw of some T-shirts and an Ubuntu Handbook.
As you can see, after the party was completed, some of us went to lunch.
During my last visit in Hong Kong I met a few of my usual friends and about 2 weeks later received an invitation to speak at the OpenSym + WikiSym 2013 which will be hosted in Hong Kong from 5 to 8 August 2013. Of course I’d thank Haggen for passing the message and the team behind the conference for the invitation.
I have decided to present my work with Open Education which happens to match the conference rather well (I was told), and will therefore summarize what has been done around Beijing since about 2006. The interesting part is that this project (named greenboard) covers a lot of different pieces ranging from hardware donation, curriculum design, using Free Software and customizing or translating the possible solution. It will of course talk about GNU/Linux, some of the GNOME and KDE educational applications we are using as well as putting it all together and allowing teachers to control the classroom. Since there will be researchers and communities flying from all over the world to participate for the event, I look forward to receiving good insights, get further ideas to improve what we have done so far and why not, expand to new territories.
As a side note the conference call for talks is still open, the submission deadline being on May 17, 2013. So feel free to either come and talk about something interesting or just drop by and say hi in early August if you are in town!
I haven’t written a blogpost for a while. It was mainly because I was too busy with all the events I organized or attended in the last three months. So here is a little recap:
And it’s not the end. On Monday, I’m going to EurOpen to talk on the transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3. And on May 21st, I’m going to LinuxTag 2013, probably the biggest Linux event in Europe. Life never stops
The Software Freedom Conservancy has a plan to help all non-profit organizations (NPOs) by creating an Open Source and Free Software accounting system usable by non-technical bookkeepers, accountants, and non-profit managers. You can help them do it by donating now.
To keep their books and produce annual government filings, most NPOs rely on proprietary software, paying expensive licensing fees. This is fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing.
You can help Conservancy fix this problem by donating now. They seek to raise $75,000 to employ a developer for one year to make substantial progress on this project. Sounds like a good deal.
This June 23-25 the CloudStack Community is holding their second open source cloud computing users conference in Santa Clara, CA. The conference is also your opportunity to share ideas, discuss plans for Apache CloudStack, and conduct workshops and sprints. There will be a hacker space where you can put ideas into practice assisted by members of the CloudStack development team.
Here are some videos of last years conference featuring speakers from Apache CloudStack, Citrix Enstratius, RedMonk, Basho, Nicira, Disney, Jenkins, Jclouds, Hortonworks, Sunguard, Xen and many, many more. Aaron Delp has a link to most of the slides here and other resources here.
The CloudStack Community knows how to play as well as work, and so evening events will offer attendees some fun and the chance to get to know others in the Apache CloudStack community. There’ll be ample opportunity to socialize and enjoy deep discussions during the event.
Get ready to immerse yourself in Apache CloudStack, and register today!
Apr 22, 2013: Call for Proposals Opens
May 12, 2013: Call for Proposals Closes
May 25, 2013: Program Announced
Jun 23, 2013: CloudStack Hack Day
Jun 24, 2013: Conference Proper Begins
Jun 25, 2013: Conference Ends
We just hit a few inflection points at MakerBot. It's an exciting time for the company and the industry.
The biggest shift was last September when we launched the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer and the new MakerWare. By being made with a chassis of powder coated steel and with a number of refreshing updates, it's a machine that professionals can feel proud to have on their desk. The wooden machines we made were awesome and each of the 3 previous generations were leaders in the category at that time, but the Replicator 2 is black. The users that have shown up to get this new MakerBot are a mix of professionals getting a jump on the innovation process.
MakerWare was a shift away from ReplicatorG. It's a lot easier to use and streamlines the whole process of moving a digital design from your computer to your MakerBot. Our software team worked hard to make it simpler and more powerful.
In December we moved offices. At the old botcave, I had rented anything on the block that we could put desks into and it had become a rabbit warren. With our new office, I focused on keeping things simple with simple desks and we spent our buildout money on nice ergonomic chairs. People work hard at MakerBot and it's a lot easier to work hard when you've got good posture in a nice chair.
Thingiverse Customizer is an application that runs on Thingiverse that allows people to make things that can be customized. This new class of customizable things is huge. It means that a lot of people who haven't thought of themselves as designers get to jump into the world of digital design. Want to try it? Check out the lithopanes project, as seen above and make an awesome 3D model!
At MakerBot, we're making great partnerships with companies that innovate. We worked with Nokia to create backs that go right on the Lumia series phones. We've teamed up with Autodesk to do some wonderful things too.
MakerBot is hiring! We've got a lot of work to do and we're looking for people to help us. Go to the MakerBot jobs page to check it out.
This is all just some of the stuff that we're working on. The game is on and we're focused on making wonderful things happen in the world.
As a CEO, I've grown a lot. I used to be the guy who wanted to do everything myself and now we're 200 people and I've got a team that reports to me and each one is a ninja in their field. I love coming to work. I enjoy the people I get to work with. Life is busy, full of hard work, and good!
The Digital Freedom Foundation announce the registration is open for Culture Freedom Day celebration and will be celebrated the 18th May 2013 for a second time.
They are expecting more participants this year and therefore they will also ship a startup kit to all pre-registered team (team registered before April 14th). If you want to organized this event you can create a wiki and register your team on the following link:
 http://wiki.culturefreedomday.org/CreateYourEventpage  http://www.culturefreedomday.org/cgi-bin/register.py
What is FREE CULTURE?
For many Free Culture is the logical extension of the Free Software philosophy applied to cultural and artistic work, initiated in the mid eighties by Richard M. Stallman. The term “free culture” itself was originally the title of a 2004 book by Lawrence Lessig, considered a founding father of the free culture movement. Mr Lessig has indeed succesfully channeled this natural evolution into a dedicated movement for people who cared little about writing software and created specific licensed specifically tailored for work of art rather than software.
To know more about this event you can visit their official website at http://www.culturefreedomday.org
An Open Standard refers to a format or protocol that is:Unfortunately not every format is an open standard, or, in other words, doesn't comply with the previous points. If the proposal to have DRM on HTML5 is accepted, HTML will stop being an open standard, since it will stop complying with the second requirement of the list. In more detail: the proposal on the table is called EME (Encrypted Media Extensions). An HTML document can include EMEs, and the specification of EME enables the website to require a certain "Content Decryption Module" (CDM). And here lies the problem: CDMs aren't standards (much less open standards!) and the EME specification doesn't include or refer to any specification of any CDM. In other words: the definition of open standard we just saw isn't complied, because to implement HTML5 we have to implement EME, which has to accept any CDM, which isn't a standard and so we cannot implement. In other words, with an example: I make a website, and put there a media object (video, for instance) using EME, and I specify in the HTML document that the EME object needs the CDM module (which is a form of DRM) called "OneTwoThree". Now, if you want to see that website, you need a web browser that knows how to undertand HTML5 and EME (both possible since there's the specification), and the browser then needs to get the CDM called "OneTwoThree" (imagine it as being a browser plugin, not unlike Flash) and use it to play the video. The problems are obvious now: what if the CDM only exists for one specific Operating System? What if the CDM isn't free? You know... the thypical problems of a non-open standard format.
- Subject to full public assessment and use without constraints in a manner equally available to all parties;
- Without any components or extensions that have dependencies on formats or protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open Standard themselves;
- Free from legal or technical clauses that limit its utilisation by any party or in any business model;
- Managed and further developed independently of any single supplier in a process open to the equal participation of competitors and third parties;
- Available in multiple complete implementations by competing suppliers, or as a complete implementation equally available to all parties.
So without further ado I will show you a beautiful photo of the balloons we are sending for HFD (taken by Pockey and licensed under CC-BY to HFD):
Now why did the HFD swag leave only today (instead of Saturday as they should have)? Well I think I suck at LibreOffice: once a year I am used to take my “latest” copy of LibreOffice and remember how to print labels for all the teams in the world. SFD is of course a lot bigger than HFD but it’s been going on since 2004. Either way it kind of used to work, with a lot of glitches, but it was working. The last time I used LibreOffice I felt I had to complain to one of the main developer and so I found out that I was running a two year old release. This time after trying the latest available version under the latest Fedora and not being successful I went for an upgrade and am now running release 4.0.1! Yes, 4.0.1! Well let me tell you that not only the “optional” address line that some teams have and some don’t always print and there is no way to automatically do without it, but worth, even after selecting “database” as source (the other modes didn’t find the sheet whether under 3.6 or 4.0.1) I ended up with 11 pages of 8 labels for 53 teams. Yes you read me right… that is somewhere between 81 and 88 mailing addresses. What happens is that LibreOffice simply duplicates some of the addresses it takes from the database, and not next to one another, just randomly. So while the first 5 pages printed ok (oh yeah, they print only odd page numbers. So page 2 becomes 3, 3 becomes 5 and so on. I have no idea why but that’s the standard way) I started to find a second team from Japan. We only had one team in Japan, so I checked: same name, same address. Then next to it was the same team from India, then a new team, then a redundant team and so on, without any logic. After trying different “technique” to get only 53 teams in my labels, I had for only choice to finish the printing under a non-free office software running under a non-free operating system. This was a lot easier in many ways and I really pity the people who have no other choices. In fact I truly wonder how they manage.
Let me show you a beautiful second photo bearing the same license as the previous one, so you’ll be even more happy to have registered early:
All is not lost and I will join the few people who have complained about the feature being less than usable for office workers. Hopefully the new bug miscalculating the number of recipient will be easy to correct and the whole clarity of the function will start to take shape. I sometimes really wonder how people use free office software, not being a user myself. And often the five minutes a year I dive in end up taking me the whole week and not wanting to go back. Hopefully those five minutes will be more valuable this year!
I like it when I have the opportunity to talk to people with whom I usually just write e-mails. So before my vacation, I made a side trip to visit some FSF activists in Boston.
So Sunday morning I had a nice walk with Joshua Gay, FSF’s licensing and compliance manager and former campaigner, exchanging several ideas for the future. In the afternoon I met Richard in his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). One of the main topics we discussed, was how to prevent Secure Boot becoming Restricted Boot. Although most of the time, Richard is on the road, giving talks about our freedom, it was also interesting to see where the e-mails are typed I receive. From all the literature I saw standing around in his office, I could spend hours there, just reading.
Each Sunday evening a group of Free Software activists meets at Grendel’s, next to Harvard campus. Was really good to meet all the like minded people there and talking about Free Software advocacy. After we had to leave at Grendel’s Deb Nicholson, Donald Robertson (FSF’s copyright and licensing associate), and I went to another bar and continued discussing about Free Software licensing, how to talk to politicians about Free Software, and a lot of other stuff. Deb, Donald, and I realised around 3am how late it is, so yes, we had a very good conversation.
Monday, was public holiday (John and I realised that very late in planing my trip) so I was not able to meet all FSF stuff in the office. But I had lunch with Richard and John Sullivan (FSF’s Executive Director) exchanging some more ideas, while eating vegetarian Arabic food. Afterwards Deb was so nice to show me some other places in Boston, which by the way felt very European to me. In the evening I was invited to cook together with Benjamin Mako Hill, and a some other Free Software activists. If you ever have the opportunity to cook together with Mako, do it! Even if you are not interested in good Free Software discussions, just the cooking is worth it! I lost the “who can eat most of the vegan turkey?” to Mako, but I am still proud of being the second.
After the dinner at Mako’s there was no need for breakfast, so before I had to go to the airport to continue my journey, I went to FSF’s office, to shortly met Nico Cesar, FSF’s system administrator, and have a short meeting with John and Libby Reinish FSF’s new campaign manager to exchange some ideas about future campaigns. Afterwards I had to hurry getting my plane, worked on some other tasks, and then enjoyed my holidays.
Thanks a lot to all the people in Boston. It was so good to meet you there in person! I am looking forward to see you again. Perhaps next time in Berlin, or at a Free Software conference in Europe. For Deb and Mako it will most likely already be at FSCONS on November 9th to 11th in Gotenburg/Sweden, where you also have the possibility to talk with them.
Mapping out the road to 13.04, there are a few items with high “tada!” value that would be great candidates for folk who want to work on something that will get attention when unveiled. While we won’t talk about them until we think they are ready to celebrate, we’re happy to engage with contributing community members that have established credibility (membership, or close to it) in Ubuntu, who want to be part of the action.
This would provide early community input and review, without spoiling the surprise when we think the piece is ready. It would allow community members to work on something that will be widely covered at release (at least, on OMG )
The skunkworks approach has its detractors. We’ve tried it both ways, and in the end, figured out that critics will be critics whether you discuss an idea with them in advance or not. Working on something in a way that lets you refine it till it feels ready to go has advantages: you can take time to craft something, you can be judged when you’re ready, you get a lot more punch when you tell your story, and you get your name in lights (though not every headline is one you necessarily want ).
There’s also plenty going on that doesn’t warrant the magician’s reveal. But if you are game for a bit of the spotlight, bring some teflon and ping Michael Hall at mhall119 on Freenode.
Starting October 3rd to October 5th, ITTF (Information and Communication Technology Fair in Kosovo) was held for the eighth time in the Palace of youth & sports in Prishtina. FLOSSK in collaboration with OpenLabs from Albania (http://openlabs.cc/) participated by presenting some of the projects such as: 3D printer, WeMakeIt Arduino Kit (http://wemakeit.co/) , http://prishtinabuses.info...
This is the most basic programming that you could do with an arduino uno.
It just endlessly turns the light built in the arduino on and off.
So, after having an arduino uno and a usb cable to connect it to your pc, you would want to have also the arduino software....
We’re happy to announce the release of OpenDisc 12.09, just in time for the 2012 Software Freedom Day, featuring 27 updates:
Audacity 2.0.2, Blender 2.63a, ClamWin 0.97.5, Dia 0.97.2-2, DjVuLibre 3.5.25+4.9, Firefox 15.0, Freeciv 2.3.2, GanttProject 2.5.5, GIMP 2.8.2, GnuCash 2.4.11, HTTrack 3.46.1, Maxima 5.28.0-2, Miro 5.0.2, LibreOffice 3.6.1, Pidgin 2.10.6, PokerTH 0.9.5, RSSOwl 2.1.4, Scribus 1.4.1, SeaMonkey 2.12, Sokoban YASC 1.577, Songbird 2.0.0, Stellarium 0.11.4, SumatraPDF 2.1.1, Thunderbird 15.0, TightVNC 2.5.2, TuxMath 2.0.3, VLC 2.0.3, Battle for Wesnoth 1.10.4
We’ve also changed our donation policy for those wanting a physical copy, rather than downloading the ever growing (1.7GB) size of the project image. Now any donation of $10 or above will ensure you receive the latest version of OpenDisc, via airmail to any location in the world. This replaces the old $20 donation for two copies, as most people we spoke to either didn’t want/use the second disc and in most cases passed along their copy to friends after using it.
More changes are coming soon, so be sure to follow our tweets for updates as they happen.
Religion is responsible for generating and sustaining most of the racism, sexism, anti-(insert minority human subgroup here)-isms... it gave a voice to the bigotry, established the privilege, and fed these things from the pulpit for thousands upon thousands of years. What sense does it make to throw out the garbage bag of religion yet keep all the garbage that it contained?
I can't help but see social justice as a logical consequence of atheism. I'm for getting rid of all the garbage.That social justice would be seen as a logical consequence of atheism is quite astounding. I certainly admire the social justice atheists for putting social justice and atheism together, as opposed to choosing only the latter. And yet, the very reason these posts were written is that sexism was discovered --- no! --- within the ranks of atheism!
Such is Dawkins's unruffled scientific impartiality that in a book of almost four hundred pages, he can scarcely bring himself to concede that a single human benefit has flowed from religious faith, a view which is as a priori improbable as it is empirically false. The countless millions who have devoted their lives selflessly to the service of others in the name of Christ or Buddha or Allah are wiped from human history -- and this by a self-appointed crusader against bigotry.
If you follow our streams at Identi.ca, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, you’ll have noticed that we pushed out the first installable Kolab 3.0 release yesterday. I lack the words that adequately describe how excited I am about this, to be honest.
This is not a full release yet, mind you, as we are just getting ready to sprint, so this is not yet feature complete – a pre-alpha, if you will. It is however nearing feature equivalence for the 2.3 series, so we are quite confident for the upcoming Kolab 3.0 release. Whatever we manage to complete during the sprint, including whatever the community manages to come up with during the sprint, will then end up in the Kolab 3.0 release.
In order to make that even easier, we’ll also have a series of talks during the sprint, starting with a Kolab 3.0 walk through by Jeroen van Meeuwen, our Systems Architect, who will give you the tour de force of what has been done for Kolab 3.0. On Tuesday Christian Mollekopf will talk about libkolab which provides an API for any technology that wishes to integrate with Kolab 3.0. Never before has it been more easy to hook other technologies up with Kolab.
Wednesday and Thursday will then be covered by the Kolab Systems Web Powerhouse, Thomas Brüderli and Aleksander Machniak, the original architect and author, as well as the most active contributor of the Roundcube Web Client and the new Kolab Web Client which incorporates Roundcube and adds more groupware functionality. Their talks will be about the new ActiveSync stack we have been experimenting with, and the next generation of the web client, including the new skin.
With regards the new skin, Michael Krautwasser, Roundcube’s designer for many years, has provided a new set of designs for the Kolab Community Web Client and seeks comments. You can find them at
So if you want to take a look, help iron out last glitches, participate in the sprint remotely or on site, here are the installation instructions for the pre-sprint pre-alpha Kolab 3.0 release. More information on the sprint is found here and of course on the Kolab Community Wiki.
Hope to see you next week in Berlin!
Almost half a year ago I had the pleasure to write the Kolab 3.0 primer, and ways of getting involved. Optimistically I scheduled the release for May/June 2012 in that posting. Attentive readers may have noticed that it is no longer June and Kolab 3.0 hasn’t been released yet.
So perhaps it is time to provide an update and overview.
The main culprits for delays in this first release done by the new team are pretty much the usual suspects: Everything is more work than expected, you end up having to do more than you initially planned, including unforeseeable interruptions and there was less help than you hoped for.
The good news is: We’re almost there.
Much work has gone into the invisible underbelly of the technology, starting from the Kolab XML
format itself. Christian Mollekopf has done an unbelievable amount of work on libkolabxml and libkolab, the refactored Kolab XML format, and its API with wrappers in multiple programming languages to make Kolab integration as easy as being able to call the API to manipulate Kolab objects.
Christian also put Kolab XML V2 format support into libkolab so that clients using libkolab can work against either version of the format, and largely finished a migration tool from version 2 to version 3 to provide users with a data upgrade path. And finally he re-based Kolab support in the KDE Kontact client that is the basis for our desktop client on libkolab for the KDE PIM 4.9 release already. In fact thanks to some supersonic packaging in the Fedora community I am already using libkolab with KDE PIM 4.9 rc 1 against all my Kolab 2.3 servers.
Also we had to shed the dependency on the outdated Horde 3 framework for Kolab 3.0, which meant a good deal of conceptual work, such as coming up with a new Free/Busy System or dealing with conflicts in ways that are far superior than anything Kolab has ever done while maintaining full off-line capability, one of Kolab’s great advantages over other solutions.
When looking at these pages it should become obvious how much time has gone into truly understanding the problems at hand and resolving them solidly in a way that is publicly documented and allows participation from anyone in the community.
Enabling participation is in fact what we spent a lot of time on throughout the past months, from the Kolab Community web site relaunch, over the IRC meetings for Kolab 3.0 planning and development, to the hiring of Torsten Grote as Kolab Evangelist who went to work on the community resources straight away and is your dedicated community-go-to-guy-for-all-things-kolab, all the way to the intermediate release of Kolab 2.4 to make it easy for people to get Kolab servers up and running that would allow to tap into and participate in the ongoing development.
That release also featured quite a bit of work by Jeroen van Meeuwen, our Systems Architect and specialist for the most complex set-ups that scale to hundreds of thousands of users or do things that are widely considered impossible. Again much of that work has happened in the background, but will be fundamental for a lot of things you’re about to see Kolab doing in the next years to come.
Among these things are trimming back LDAP schema extensions to ensure that Kolab integrates into existing directory services more easily, be they in pre-existing corporate infrastructures, in products that wish to integrate Kolab, in cloud offerings or in proprietary directory services where Kolab provides the first bridgehead for migration towards more freedom of choice and Open Standards.
Also Jeroen and Christoph have been giving a lot of thought to how resource management should work, because our experience all too often was that many things were not done right to enable the kinds of work flows and scenarios people wanted to implement – not just in Kolab, but pretty much anywhere. So we gave this one quite a bit of thought that Jeroen shared on his blog.
Other parts are configuration management, including the REST inspired API for configuration of the server and the server underlying configuration management which will allow using any kind of configuration management in the future. And of course Jeroen was the key person to get the 2.4 release out of the door, as well as many other things.
The first application to make use of that API is the new web administration front end developed by Aleksander Machniak, one of the main Roundcube developers on staff at Kolab Systems. Already available within Kolab 2.4, this web admin interface is independent of the kind of directory service or configuration mechanism used in the background and extensible to virtually any scenario. If you wonder how it looks, Jeroen put some screen shots up on his blog. And last but not least he has spent much time on getting our documentation up to speed.
But of course it wouldn’t be a proper release without something falling victim to triage. In this case the victim is Server Side Akonadi. While it will add truly magical capabilities to the Kolab server, we designed the Kolab 3.0 release such that it would remain an optional component to make sure we preserve the ability to scale all the way down to small embedded devices. So because it is optional, and because we did not want to delay the release further, we have put it at the back of the priority chain and removed it from the list of blockers. But you should expect to find it in one of the next series 3 releases.
And of course we haven’t stopped at having given Roundcube its push to the 0.7 release and developing our new web interface on top of it. We’re now also trying to think about how that next web client should look like and how to bring things together with the desktop clients.
For this we are working together with the professional designer who is also responsible for the current and future Roundcube skins, and you can find some of his designs for the next generation web client of Kolab online here. If you have comments, we’d be happy to hear your input and receive your help.
In case if you want to get involved in any of the areas we’re working on, the upcoming Kolab 3.0 Technology Sprint in Berlin is perfect place for that.
This is also where we will be working on finishing of some of the more exciting things we’ve been playing with, such as ownCloud integration for the web interface. This is something we already have sketched in our webmail.klab.cc demo instance and several people have found this close to usable. So we’re overjoyed that Frank, Arthur and Georg of ownCloud will join us for the sprint and invite others who have technology or projects that would work with Kolab in interesting ways to also join us during that week.
And we particularly invite packagers for all the various distributions out there to join us for the sprint. Because we would love to have Kolab 3.0 be natively available on all platforms just weeks after it is released, and make its way into the upstream distributions. Doing this ourselves for all distributions is more than we can reliably ensure, especially since we also have to take enterprise distributions such as Univention Corporate Server (UCS) into account that add substantial work on that front.
Also, we’re not just developing the next generation server, we have also just enabled Mozilla Thunderbird & Lightning for professional usage with Kolab through plenty of work that has gone into SyncKolab by Niko Berger who has joined Kolab Systems to also provide a professional maintenance path for supported users.
And naturally there are still customers who want support as we do all of the above.
So even though I would still have plenty of things to feature I guess it should have become obvious that we have been far from inactive and I truly feel honoured and somewhat humbled to be working with such a great team of dedicated professionals and great minds.
A lesser group could not have achieved that much in such short time, and Kolab 3.0 when it comes out this summer is going to be one exciting piece of technology. I hope you’ll give it a try and will check out our company web site for how we can assist you in your professional needs.
But now, the magic incantation: Go forth and make Kolab 3.0!
Microsoft has built an impressive new entrant to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, and Ubuntu is there for customers who want to run workloads on Azure that are best suited to Linux. Windows Azure was built for the enterprise market, an audience which is increasingly comfortable with Ubuntu as a workhorse for scale-out workloads; in short, it’s a good fit for both of us, and it’s been interesting to do the work to bring Ubuntu to the platform.
Given that it’s normal for us to spin up 2,000-node Hadoop clusters with Juju, it will be very valuable to have a new enterprise-oriented cloud with which to evaluate performance, latency, reliability, scalability and many other key metrics for production deployment scenarios.
As IAAS grows in recognition as a standard part of the enterprise toolkit, it will be important to have a wide range of infrastructures that are addressable, with diverse strengths. In the case of Windows Azure, there is clearly a deep connection between Windows-based IT and the new IAAS. But I think Microsoft has set their sights on a bigger story, which is high-quality enterprise-oriented infrastructure that is generally useful. That’s why Ubuntu is important to them, and why it was worthwhile for us to work together despite our differences. Just as we need to ensure that customers can run Ubuntu and Windows together inside their data centre and on the LAN, we want to ensure that cloud workloads play nicely.
The team leading Azure has a sophisticated understanding of Ubuntu and Linux in general. They are taking a pragmatic approach that will raise eyebrows around the Redmond campus, but is exactly what customers want to see. We have taken a similar view. I know there will be members of the free software community that will leap at the chance to berate Microsoft for its very existence, but it’s not very Ubuntu to do so: let’s argue our perspective, work towards our goals, be open to those who are open to us, and build great stuff. There is nothing proprietary in Ubuntu-for-Azure, and no about-turn from us on long-held values. This is us making sure our audience, and especially the enterprise audience, can benefit from the work our community and Canonical do no matter where they want to do it.
Windows Azure IAAS is in beta. If you are using the cloud today, or interested in it, I highly recommend you try it out. There’s no better way to make yourself heard over there.
After two years, Catalan LoCo Team returned to IES Nicolau Copèrnic School in Terrassa, near Barcelona, for an Ubuntu release party, this time 12.04. Again, the organization lied basically on the school teachers and we achieved a full and varied activity schedule. With 5 simultaneous tracks, perhaps it’s the party where we offered more variety for activity picking in every moment.
Install party, two simultaneously lectures, GPG and CAcert signature party, game room and an Ubuntu Server Jam.
We started the journey with the overture session where we explained Ubuntu, the LoCo structure and the different activities through the day.
The sponsors, and the school was one of them, got those practical bags for the first 150 registered to the party. Quite a success had them.
Some school students offered a special canteen service for us ubuntaires so we could breakfast and lunch, plus coffee at very low prices. That way, the kids rise money for final terms trip.
A lot of people came, we had more then 200 registered people and that was apparent on the speeches. This picture is from the Enlightenment speech that got more people than Enlightenment desktop users in all Europe. That speech was repeated in the afternoon by popular demand.
Good organisation is noticeable in the small details. Posters so people don’t to get lost at the school. In this floor there were three rooms to go, until we had to open a fourth due to people not fitting in the install room anymore.
Install party room plenty of people as usual. Each time it is easier to install Ubuntu and sharing discs with other OS gives less and less problems.
And the final draw, where the gifts from the sponsors were given: mice, webcams, speakers and an Android 4.0 tablet.
Again, I want to thank organisers, sponsors, kids from the canteen, real ubuntaires (without them this would not have any sense), and all passerbys that came for sharing the party.
We’ll see on the next one, Festa Quàntica at La Mina.
There are two major terms connected to software you can freely use, study, share and improve: Free Software and Open Source. Based on them you can also find different combinations and translations like FOSS, Libre Software, FLOSS and so on. Reading articles about Free Software or listening to people involved in Free Software often raises the question: Why do they use one term or another and how they differ from each other?
Historically, Free Software was the first term, created somewhere around 1984 together with the Free Software definition. In 1997 Debian, a project aiming to create a completely free and community based GNU/Linux distribution, defined the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) as a check-list to decide whether a program can be included in the distribution or not. In 1998 the Open Source Initiative was set up as a marketing campaign for Free Software and introduced the Open Source definition by copying the DFSG and replacing “Free Software” with “Open Source”. According to a public statement by Bruce Perens, one of the founders of the OSI and author of the DFSG and Open Source Definition, the Open Source term was introduced as a synonym for Free Software. Perens eventually decided to return to the roots of the movement and to speak about Free Software again. This historical development shows that both Open Source and Free Software describe the complete set of software licenses granting the right to use, study, share and improve the software.
In the course of time people came up with even more terms. Today, terms such as Libre Software, FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) or FLOSS (Free, Libre and Open Source Software) are often used to describe Free Software. In some cases people also use terms like “organic software” or “ethical software”. Often the motivation for these terms is to stay out of the terminology debate and to avoid confusion generated by words like “open” or “free”. At the end those terms create more confusion than they help because they virtually invite people to search for differences between the terms where actually no differences exist, regarding the software they describe.
In short, these different terms share the same historical root and describe the same set of software, although the choice of one term over the others highlight different aspects of Free Software.
Today the Free Software movement is a large and diverse community. People have different interests in Free Software and different motivations to take part in this movement. But these differences are not necessarily related to the language they use. There are many people using the term Open Source and highlight the social and political dimensions of Free Software while on the other hand there are a people in our community who prefer the term Free Software but concentrate more on the practical benefits. This means that the terms Open Source and Free Software are not a good criterion to identify these different motivations.
Beside individuals there are also many well known organisations in the Free Software ecosystem. Many of them play an important role and emphasize different aspects of Free Software. For example, some organisations focus on the technical direction of Free Software projects, some on legal aspects, some on political, social and ethical aspects and some focus on license evaluation. These organisations typically have decided to use one or another term and sticked to it. But this should not lead to the conclusion that the term they use is the critical factor regarding their motivations. The critical factor are the people driving the organisation and the goals of the organisation as such. The practical experience with different organisations and people in the community shows that the line can’t be drawn along the language they use.
This diversity is good, as it reflects that Free Software provides many advantages in many different areas of our life. But we should not divide our community just by the term someone prefers. No matter what term someone uses and what his initial motivation is, at the end most of us work on the same set of software and on the enhancement of software freedom and any other aspect of Free Software.
There are three entities in the Free Software movement which people look to for evaluations of Free Software licenses: The Debian project, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Most of the time they come to the same conclusion. In some corner cases they may disagree. In such cases the differences do not lie in different terms or different definitions, which as already shown have the same origin, but in the fact that it happens quite often that different people come to different conclusions for challenging legal questions. It would be a big mistake to use these cases to divide our community.
Looking at Free Software licenses there are two main categories, protective or Copyleft licenses and non-protective licenses. While Copyleft licenses are designed to protect the rights to use, study, share and improve the software non-protective licenses allow to distribute the software without those rights. Sometimes people think that the terms Free Software and Open Source are used to distinguish between protective and non-protective licenses. The lists of Free Software licenses by Debian, the FSF and the OSI show that both protective and non-protective licenses comply with the Free Software definition and the Open Source definition. This means that neither the terms Open Source and Free Software nor the different definitions are suitable to distinguish between protective and non-protective licenses.
Protective licenses and non-protective licenses are sub-classes of Free Software licenses recognized by the Open Source Initiative and the FSF. Copyleft or non-Copyleft is not a criteria suitable to distinguish between Open Source and Free Software, both terms describe the same set of software.
When looking at software we have to distinguish between the software model and the development model. While the software model describes the attributes of the software (e.g. free or proprietary) the development model describes different ways to develop software. As described at full length in “What makes a Free Software company?” the different development models are defined independently of the software models and work for both Free Software and proprietary software. Development models that leverage the advantage of an open and collaborative community can show their full strength in combination with the Free Software model. However this does not mean that an open, collaborative development process is a criterion for Free Software. There are Free Software projects developed by a single person or a company with little or no outside input. On the other hand developers of proprietary software have adapted collaborative development models to fit into their software model, e.g. SAP with its partnership program.
While the development model can be a crucial factor for the success of a software project it is not suitable to distinguish between proprietary software and Free Software or one of its synonyms.
If all these terms describe the same software people may wonder why I insist on using the term Free Software. The easiest answer is that I simply have to choose a term if I want to talk about Free Software. As explained in the article all the terms describe the same set of software, therefore I don’t see any value in combining them (e.g. FOSS or FLOSS). Quite the contrary, this combinations often create more confusion than clarity. So the remaining terms are Free Software and Open Source and I decided to stick with Free Software.
Free Software is the oldest term. All other terms have their roots in the Free Software definition. It is a good tradition in science to use the first term and definition given by its author. Furthermore it is also advantageous if a term can be easily translated into different languages. This enables people to talk about Free Software in the most natural way, in their first language. In many cases Free Software even translates unambiguously into other languages, e.g. “logiciel libre” in French, “software libre” in Spanish, “software libero” in Italian or “Fri Software” in Danish which avoids the ambiguity between freedom and price of the English word “free”. I believe that it is important to use a clear terminology. I want to convey a strong message about freedom. Language is important because it frames how people think about a subject. Different terms focus on different aspects, even if they describe the same software and the language we use influences our thoughts about a subject. For me freedom is a core value of Free Software and I want that my language reflects this.
Free Software, which is easy to translate in different languages and emphasises the aspect of freedom for individuals, business and public institutions, together with the clear definition provides these values. All this makes Free Software the right choice for me and I invite you to follow me.
For historical reasons there are different terms to describe software that is free to use, study, share and improve. All terms, Open Source, Free Software or one of the combinations have the same roots and describe the same set of software. When it comes to people and groups within the Free Software movement we see a large diversity of motivations, different people or groups focus on different aspects of Free Software. But whatever the motivation may be it is not the doing of the software, it is the people. Neither is it possible to distinguish the people according to the term they use nor is it the business of the Free Software movement or part of the Free Software definition to find and define groups within our community. The Free Software movement identifies Free Software and works on the enhancement and adoption of it with all its positive aspects. Regarding licenses, different groups agree in their evaluation of Free Software licenses except for some corner cases which shows the complexity of legal documents but not a division between people, movements or software along the terms they use. Protective (Copyleft) and non-protective licenses are sub-classes of Free Software licenses and are recognised as such by all groups in the Free Software movement. These two categories are not suitable to separate Open Source and Free Software.
Even if all these terms describe the same set of software the terminology we use is still important because it frames how people think about a subject. Different terms focus on different aspects, even if they describe the same software. I want to put freedom first, for me freedom is a core value of Free Software and I want to respect the naming by the founder of the Free Software movement. These are the main reasons why I invite you to join me and speak about Free Software.
But no matter which term we use, we should not allow people to split our community just because of different terminology. At the end most of us work on the same set of software, improve it and foster software freedom no matter what our motivation or preferred term is. The community needs to stay together to have an impact on all levels of involvement and to improve Free Software in all aspects. Don’t let others use the strategy of “divide and conqueror” to harm our movement.
In this context you should also read “It’s time for the community to take charge of its brand”.
Edit: The Comment by Bob McConnell shows that maybe the point “copyleft vs non-copyleft” needs to be addressed more explicitly. Therefore I added the sub-section “Protective and non-protective licenses” which was initially planed but got lost somewhere in the process of writing the article
Two months left to the celebration, real work is actually really starting now !
Happy Culture Freedom Day to all