Don't Kill Our Community

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Joined: 09/13/2010

I thought that was a great write up and it does reflect a lot of people's attitudes towards FOSS developers and projects.


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Joined: 07/21/2018

while contributing is good not everyone has enough money or enough time leftover to help pay for foss unfortunately

Joined: 09/13/2010

Fortunately, contributions of time and money aren't the only things talked about in that article. The "Promote and interact with the projects you use" part also talks of blogging, social networking, "write a thankful comment on the project blog or on the lead dev blog. Reading your comment will ensure the dev have a great day" and lots of other things but it's really more of a mindset change for some to "avoid consumerism the mindset" which is what that whole bulk of the article talks about.

I've seen it manifested here on the forums. One example is when threads like "OMG Trisquel is so ooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllldddddddddd" start.

Going from that blog post it would translate into: "Trisquel is obviously crap, it should have the latest versions of everything that I care about, otherwise it's ancient and outdated crap. You lazy fuck you didn't upgrade your software yet? I need them updated now. What? Thank you for taking the time you spend on Trisquel? I'd never do that. Why should I? WORK YOU FUCKERS MOVE YOUR ASSES UPDATE IT NOW! Serious people use it, reply fast or I'll leave and go somewhere else." That's a perfect example of the "passive consumerism" being talked about but it's not the only example.


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Joined: 07/07/2017

> One example is when threads like "OMG Trisquel is so ooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllldddddddddd" start.

Another is "WiFi doesn't work!!! I mean, I get it open source blah blah, but software has to WORK or users WONT use it. I never had this problem with Mint."


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Joined: 01/11/2011

I know this is off-topic but...

If I understand correctly, packages in Ubuntu's universe repository usually don't receive any updates at all, which means that running very old software from this repository might pose a security risk (e.g. if you use an old browser which uses an old version of WebKit which has known security vulnerabilities) or might no longer be supported by the developers (who will tell you to upgrade the packages to newer versions if you report bugs against the older version). This is why it's probably a good idea to switch LTS releases every two years and not to use the release for 5 years unless there is a specific reason preventing you from upgrading (e.g. you need to run a specific version of a package which cannot be used in a newer version of Ubuntu).

Trisquel is currently based on a 2 and a half year old release of Ubuntu, which unfortunately means that what I wrote in the previous paragraph applies to it as well. In the past Trisquel offered versions based on standard Ubuntu releases (e.g Trisquel 5.5 based on Ubuntu 11.10), so you could use software that was still supported by its developers. This hasn't been the case since Trisquel 6.

Joined: 03/30/2018

I liked the photo of the couch potatoes.

Joined: 03/30/2018

I'm thinking about price.. I feel like some projects maybe should charge something, or whatever, like Stallman says. Or maybe promote their donations or store items more. What do you guys think?

Joined: 05/14/2015

I certainly support people building commercial businesses around free code software, despite the significant risks and difficulties involved in doing so, which is why I'm always defending against the naysayers here. But when someone pays for a product or service, they are a customer, so they are maybe more likely to take the "passive consumerism" attitude the blog piece linked in the OP is complaining about. The more successful businesses based around free code, the more it will be necessary to remind people about all the other ways of giving back (starting with thanks and compliments to the developers).

hack and hack
Joined: 04/02/2015

I've seen it manifested here on the forums. One example is when threads like "OMG Trisquel is so ooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllldddddddddd" start.
Going from that blog post it would translate into: "Trisquel is obviously crap, it should have the latest versions of everything that I care about, otherwise it's ancient and outdated crap. You lazy fuck you didn't upgrade your software yet? I need them updated now. What? Thank you for taking the time you spend on Trisquel? I'd never do that. Why should I? WORK YOU FUCKERS MOVE YOUR ASSES UPDATE IT NOW! Serious people use it, reply fast or I'll leave and go somewhere else." That's a perfect example of the "passive consumerism" being talked about but it's not the only example.

I'm guilty of complaining about Trisquel 7 (although I shared whatever I could find going wrong and tried to fix it).

I think most of it came from the expectations I had.
I assumed it just works. Yet my very first attempts had the menu bar broken, if I recall properly.
Abrowser being way too out of date at one occasion was a big problem too.
Considering this, my biggest assumption was that I could confidently suggest its use to other people.

Also, I was discovering GNU/Linux, and was trying a lot of things. Having (a bit) outdated software complicated things a bit, but still was a good learning experience.

From this, I suppose the best would be to focus on solid basics (as it is done currently).
Anything outdated could be solved by learning how to compile, or use well known PPA.

Which makes me think I very well might use Trisquel again on my main PC.
A bit more work, but not that much really.
I might even confidently suggest it to others.

Anyway, thank you all for your hard work.

Giving back with cash is something I'm thinking of. I heard of liberapay recently on this forum.
But there are so many projects...
I'm thinking of listing all the projects I care for the most, allocate like 1$ per month and see if the total is affordable.

Joined: 05/14/2015

Hack and hack:
> "I'm thinking of listing all the projects I care for the most, allocate like 1$ per month and see if the total is affordable."

Cool. Here's another way to think about it. $1 a month is $12 a year. If you give that amount to a different project on your list every week, you can contribute to 52 projects a year. I'm guessing one yearly donation of $12 would be simpler for their accounting and record-keeping than 12 donations of $1, and also simpler for you to just do one manual donation a week than setting up multiple automated payments.

I've had thoughts along these lines too (weekly donations to different projects). Would be easier if I could find a regular income though (anyone know of any 'community manager' or 'project coordinator' or 'software research' jobs that could be done remotely from China?).

hack and hack
Joined: 04/02/2015

12$ per week is 48$ per month, 576$ per year.
And that's 52 projects having 12$ per year from me.

It's not so far from affordable there, I like it.
Now 52 projects, all having a Liberapay account ideally,
and necessarily under active development? I guess not.

Also, I'm not even sure I know 52 projects, but worst case it's only a matter of reallocation of the payment amounts.

Not to mention: Supporting Debian/Trisquel and Qubes might seem redundant, but it's not. Yet, it seems to make more sense to support the source a bit more.

Hopefully you'll find what you look for here:

Joined: 09/14/2018

kat walsh caught me in my "free software, free society" shirt at the grocery one time.

free software (free computing in general) is absolutely essential to a free society. to be honest, if you want the fsf to be the wild success in the 21st century, i think critics need to be taken more seriously.

i said the same thing 10 years ago. and heres the problem-- most critiques of the fsf are lazy and misinformed. i mean that matter-of-factly, not as a dig at critics. also some of the misunderstandings are no ones fault (not the fsf, nor the person who misunderstands. when both have really done all they can, any misunderstandings are just human imperfections.)

i often think that the fsf (and advocates) are so conditioned to expect pointless critiques, that a good one will be passed up.

theres a psychological trick speech writers use, where they say one thing that everyone agrees on-- then a second thing everyone agrees on-- then they say something they want the audience to believe unquestioningly.

i think free software hears a meaningless critique and responds automatically-- then another and responds automatically-- and then from then on, just sort of stays on automatic.

it needs to be said that the track record of fsf being "right" is better than osi, i think open source is meaningless and deliberately creates confusion.

but free software is sort of the foundation of free computing-- if we want to build a free society on that foundation, its going to take a lot more.

i spend more time defending the fsf than critiquing them. this is why--

when i talk to everyone else, i defend the fsf. when i talk to free software advocates, i critique it.

the idea is to build this giant bridge from free software, to everything else. but i wont get the fsf to help with that, because theyve done a lot to isolate from everything else.

open source does this too-- and bruce perens only joined it because he thought it was a way to promote software freedom.

i think open source is dishonest. the truth about the fsf is that it has acheived its primary goals. trisquel is the best proof of that. ive been interested in computers about the same amount of time the fsf has existed, roughly to the year. no one wants "just free software" they want "free society" too.

non-free computing is just as much of a threat as stallman predicted, so i think he chose the right cause. if free software manages to align itself with something bigger than free software-- that is just as honest as the fsf-- that could be a good thing.

it would have to be some kind of movement that intended to sustain itself for just as long as the fsf is around.

it couldnt be partisan, it would need a framework that goes beyond just 2 parties and their respective bs.

a PART of that movement, and several other parts, actually came from an fsf board member.

it is tragic that the fsfs embrace of free culture is so overly cautious and sceptical. but-- even free culture is smaller than what we need, i think.

"free society" is already taken by libertarians. if you call it "active consumerism" i would be on board, but just having "consumerism" in the name makes it too narrow.

ive spent the past 5-10 years trying to find the best ways or new ways to promote computing freedom, and to use that to make people think about freedom more.

i dont care if youre a libertarian, republican, liberal, green-- i want the maximum number of people on board-- but i want clear goals, unlike the ones that open source has (like me, microsoft! pleaaaaase! we wont put a dollar sign in your name like those neckbeards!)

i mean whats "cooler" than shilling for an industry that spies on your family for profit? if that doesnt get you cool points, what would?

maybe we should call it the uncool foundation, or the "21st century society" movement.

einstein said "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

if you really want all software to be free-- you need something bigger than free software to make it possible. a very giant carrier wave.

its going to take more than free software to make computing free. thats why there are organisations like sflc.

we need more. and ultimately-- i mean, i want things like purism-- thats why i bought a leemote.

but you need an idea the size of communism or something. obviously, when i say "i dont care if youre a libertarian, republican, liberal, green" im defintely not suggesting we all become communist. i dont want to be communist either.

the free software movement is using roughly the amount of energy that the free software movement can gather. this size, the size it is now-- is roughly the size of the free software movement.

if you want it to be bigger, you need more energy. the snowden stuff should have given free software a bigger push than it did. the fsf i think responded well to that opportunity. i dont know why it didnt get a bigger push, but it did get a push.

i know stallman says that the fsf has already achieved more than he thought possible. for all my critiques, i think free software is one the best things society has done.

there are reasons other than the old marketshare nonsense to want free software to be bigger. i have lots of ideas about that, but the ones that i got the farthest with were:

1. give away computers with free software operating systems (i used debian-- without the non-free repos. i discouraged people from installing adobe when i could, explaining that it makes their computing slower and less secure, which is true.)

2. teaching people to code. people are curious but lazy. make learning to code ten times (20 times) easier, and free software is much much much easier to promote.

even if you never do a single git commit, any interest in coding makes using gnu/linux SO MUCH more fun. i already loved the command line, it took 5 years to get comfortable with bash. really.

if you want a nice easy-to-learn programming language (easier than python, i designed it myself) mine requires python 2 (or pypy) and is cc0 licensed (gpl compatible.)

we can make a package for it. but a free education foundation (oer does more to promote free culture than anything else i know of) is just one of several ideas for building that free society we actually want.

but it has to be a bigger idea than free software. free software is only a part of what we want.

and then everything we DO for this free society, we can put free software there.

free education? rebuild it on free software.

free culture? rebuild it on free software (just do it. dont ask the free culture movement to, they like apple.)

free software keeps asking society to adopt it.

do it the other way, find all the people interested in making free software adopt their free society instead, and free software will gain the energy it needs to double. it hasnt got that now, and it really isnt looking for it yet.

a lot of the things that have made technology work on a larger scale are related to defense and space exploration:

microwaves, weather radar, the internet, bsd (dod funding). computing itself (grace hopper, the navy). heavier-than-air flying.

a few technologies (edison-era ones) seem to have gotten their pushes through non-defense, non-space-related endeavours. and you know what direction that went in:

whether the movie/entertainemnt industry or defense industry is a worse bedfellow, im not entirely sure. one seems bent on making the world stupid, and the other seems bent on killer robots flying over everyone in the world 24/7.

we need a third option. it would have elements of anti-consumerism, and elements of consumerism. otherwise, you get to choose between not attracting anyone to it (anti-consumerism only) or not making any sustainable progress (consumerism only.)

open source has failed to do anything good because it wasnt ever honest. open source acheived its real objective-- which is to help corporations exploit free software and look good doing it.

but its purported objective, to help free software-- it hasnt done that at all. that was never its real objective, which is why bruce perens left about the same year he cofounded osi. it took less than a year for them to switch from "helping" to deeply undermining.

perens is the one that held them to their words, false as they were.

we need more richard stallmans, too. we only have one, i cant imagine him doing this when hes 80, i think about "who will take over" all the time.

1. ben mako hill
2. kat walsh
3. alex oliva (wont happen! too far)
4. denis roio (wont happen! too far. already runs dyne.)

denis roio would be perfect in many ways. hill seems like the most obvious choice for the past 10 years.

maybe you know someone.

not trying to replace rms-- but so far, no one has managed to produce a viable clone, either. "who else can really lead free software" is an important question. i dont want the future of fsf to be like the present of apple.

(im not an apple fan, and im not a steve jobs fan either-- but there was only one of that guy for sure.)

i wont say "think different" but think really really big. ive been watching a lot (hours) of buckminster fuller talking about the universe and how it inspired new house designs, and then after that i wrote a short book. (20,000 words?)

figure out how to make free software double, using less than twice as much fsf funding. its doable if you want it enough. its less doable, if youre microsoft.

if you double the desire for free software, you double the market for companies like purism.

if you double the market for companies like purism, you double the desire for free software.

we are conditioned not to trust anything remotely open-source-like.

open source just uses free software as bait on a hook. that sort of trick is pointless to someone who actually cares about making society better.

"wait, i care about open source and im a good person." <- someone who is not on this forum.

yeah, i cared about open source ten years ago. people have to realise that narcissism doesnt just go after gullible people. it goes after genuinely intelligent people and wears them down until theyre on board with something they dont beleive in. so there are always some good people doing "open source." but open source isnt good, it just exploits good people.

i tell people to learn all they can about narcissism if they want to save the world. narcissism explains politicians (mostly) and it explains monopoly. it explains fundamentalism. it explains open source. it explains systemd and gnome. why was de icaza a traitor? (stallmans words.) de icaza was a fake from day 1.

we live in a fake world. but the people who have made it this way (im not talking about any group youve heard people blame the ills of the world on before. this isnt about race or religion or nationality.) make up far less than 20% of the population.

they did it by getting us to believe their nonsense.

if everyone understood narcissism (a pretty tall order) then half the worlds ills would simply not function (if you like, malfunction) as intended anymore. our fake world is built on the false, narcissistic promises of monopoly in all its forms. we used to call it colonialism, theres nothing else to "settle" so now we call it globalism. but really its just narcissism.

you can stick with "double the fsf with less than twice as much funding" if thats too far out.

the only way to avoid false promises is to make everyone care about doing it themselves. all the fake weve got says "dont bother, we will do it for you-- it will be cheap." and its not cheap, it takes everything.

but we need to make it easier to do it yourself. i really believe free computing is going to come back to coding, every single time. apple made computers less scary with the gui. microsoft made it cheap.

we are at the first stage in history since the 80s, when silicon valley is making a big gamble (teach everyone to code) that could make software monopoly obsolete, at a time when the fsf has practically all of the pieces it needs.

make the absolute most of it. do everything you can think of.

i loathe the fdl by the way. im releasing this text as cc0 so you can use it under the fdl or whatever other license suits you.

(the gpl3 is an alright software license, even the agpl is alright. noted because i only dislike the fdl, not the other fsf licenses.)