i'm Thinking about doing a free software Community(Forum)

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alimiracle
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Iscritto: 01/18/2014

hi
i'm Thinking about doing a free software Community(Forum)

Is it useful to you?
and What should I call it??

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Time4Tea
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Iscritto: 07/16/2017

Hi alimiracle - yes, great idea! As I was saying in this thread, I really feel like the free software community is lacking a central discussion hub, where new and existing ideas can be discussed openly and people who are new to free software (or even those that don't agree with it) can be effectively engaged.

I'd be very interested to join up and give it a try. As for the name .. hmm ... I think the term 'Free Software' or 'Libre Software' should be in there somehow. 'Free Software Forum' or 'Free Software Community Forum' seem like good choices. Maybe the latter is better, to avoid the acronym clash with the FSF? I don't know, maybe someone else can think of something better?

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

I just remembered that there *is* such kind of central group:
libreplanet-discuss, it's a public mailing list.

Group's page: https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:LibrePlanet_Activists

Mailing list information and subscription page:
https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/libreplanet-discuss

There are also local groups, but I don't know if all of them are aligned
with the software freedom practices and priorities (I also once saw a
local group page recommending a webpage that uses non-free JS, but that
page is probably more outdated than the texts related to non-free JS,
although I don't remember exactly which group it was). If you do want
to, check out the local group lists:
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/LibrePlanet:Teams

If you can't find a local group, then it probably doesn't exist, in
which case you can create one. Follow these steps to do so:
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/LibrePlanet:Teams/New

2017-12-31T03:39:38+0100 name at domain wrote:
> Hi alimiracle - yes, great idea! As I was saying in this thread, I
> really feel like the free software community is lacking a central
> discussion hub, where new and existing ideas can be discussed openly
> and people who are new to free software (or even those that don't
> agree with it) can be effectively engaged.
>
> I'd be very interested to join up and give it a try. As for the name
> .. hmm ... I think the term 'Free Software' or 'Libre Software' should
> be in there somehow. 'Free Software Forum' or 'Free Software Community
> Forum' seem like good choices. Maybe the latter is better, to avoid
> the acronym clash with the FSF? I don't know, maybe someone else can
> think of something better?
>

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Time4Tea
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Iscritto: 07/16/2017

That is true. Although, as I've said before, mailing lists have their uses but function very differently to forums. Not everyone wants every post to be sent to their mail Inbox and in my opinion mailing lists are less accessible to newer or more casual users/visitors.

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

I don't know what you mean by "Less accessible", but in regards to
accessibility, I see that mailing lists have several advantages:

1. Don't need a new account, use your own email. It's easier to
remember. The only thing that *can change* is the password (however,
this password change isn't a requirement, only a recommendation);

2. Choose any email client you want. You are also free to use the
limited webmail system that your email provider has. However, some
email providers only allow webmail access, or they hide POP3 and SMTP
server information or connection instructions from the novice users
in their help/support channels;

3. If you use email with POP3, you can take messages with you, to read
or work on them offline or on the go, useful for people with limited
internet connection. In the case of the provider's webmail, you won't
be able to use POP3, so you can't read offline. Thankfully, most
senile email providers also allow POP3 and SMTP access;

4. Some document markups allow you to reference to messages stored in
the email clients, this allows you to make your daily life easier
because you are one click away from openning the message;

5. Some email clients have better accessibility options and integration
(e.g.: shortcuts, screen reading) than web interfaces.

2018-01-01T16:06:23+0100 name at domain wrote:
> That is true. Although, as I've said before, mailing lists have their
> uses but function very differently to forums. Not everyone wants every
> post to be sent to their mail Inbox and in my opinion mailing lists
> are less accessible to newer or more casual users/visitors.
>

Time4Tea
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Iscritto: 07/16/2017

I think there are several reasons why mailing lists are less accessible to new users than a forum. The sorts of users I am thinking of here are less computer-savvy users than you or me (or most free-software supporters). I would think that an 'average' internet user has at least some familiarity with internet forums - perhaps they have seen them around or have used them before. Whereas, many of them may not know what mailing lists are or how to use them.

An internet forum is also more 'visible', in my opinion, than a mailing list. There is a whole webpage dedicated to it, often with nice, appealing graphics and/or formatting, to make it easier to read. Everything is just there in one place and works through the browser - it's fairly obvious how to make a new post and reply to others. Plus, all of the conversations that have taken place before are all there, in one place, and can be easily browsed. Also, forum posts are often included in internet search results. I'm not sure that the same is often true of mailing list conversations, is it?

It's true that, to post on a forum, you often have to make an account first. However, usually the existing content can be browsed without creating an account.

Using a mailing list isn't quite so simple for new users. First, of course, they have to find it, which may be easy, may be not. Then, they have to figure out how to use it, which I don't think is quite so simple as a forum. They have to figure out how to subscribe to it, which isn't always obvious if you haven't done it before. Then, they have to figure out how to deal with the floods of e-mails coming into their mailbox. Yes, it can be done easily enough with e-mail filters (for those that know how to use them), but this represents some level of effort and creates a 'barrier to entry' for new users. I can imagine that a new user, who perhaps only has a passing interest in the topic in question, might take the view that it isn't worth the hassle of dealing with all these e-mails and might decide not to bother. With a forum, everything is kept in one place on the website and there is a minimum of 'set-up' required for new users.

Then, another issue with mailing lists is that to search through previous conversations, you have to go to another place - the archives. These are often presented as lists of plain-text e-mails and are not usually formatted in a nice, pleasant way, like a forum usually is. I know this 'formatting' might seem like a minor point; however, when you are trying to sell a concept (or anything really) to someone new, presentation and first impressions matter.

Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike mailing lists at all and I'm happy to use them myself, for certain things. But, in my opinion, they require a level of 'investment' that makes them unsuitable for engaging with newcomers to a scene or more casual people that just have a passing interest.

I think the same goes for IRC, to be honest. Many internet users are impatient, and just want the information to be there, on the webpage, at the click of a button, otherwise they won't bother and they'll go somewhere else.

(sorry for the long post)

quantumgravity
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Iscritto: 04/22/2013

I personally don't like mailing lists and I wouldn't even know how to subscribe to a mailing list in such a way that my mailbox doesn't get flooded with unfiltered posts. I definitly wouldn't like to set up a seperate folder for this list each and every time I switch my mail client.
And really, I think that i'm not the only one who stays away from mailing lists, so I definitly vote for a forum.
To my eyes, they are nothing but relics from the past and I fail to see the benefit.
Whenever I search for something, let's say a technical problem, it's just a pain to find the solution wrapped in a lenghty list of messages without any visual styling and all the nested replies.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

You haven't used a proper email client then (or maybe it wasn't configured correctly) because any such one will have "visual styling and all the nested replies."

quantumgravity
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Iscritto: 04/22/2013

I meant using a search engine and finding some information in the html archive of a mailing list.

Besides, i want to have the freedom of using webmail and no dektop mail client.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

As far as I understand, the proposed solution is the one used here for instance, based on GNU Mailman 3: https://lists.fedoraproject.org/archives/

You can search the archive.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

"Besides, i want to have the freedom of using webmail and no dektop mail client."

That can be done. You can even move between the two without issue. It's called IMAP where your messages stay on the server. Plus, the use of webmail means both an email client and the web mail interface are both accessing the same store of emails.

"I meant using a search engine and finding some information in the html archive of a mailing list."

I suppose it depends on the mailing list software but GNU Mailman has a threaded view too. An example http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2017-12/threads.html and you can see that Nicolas posted a message, Eric replied to it, Nicolas replied to Eric, Nicolas replied to Eric's response to Nicolas's message, etc. But yes, as Magic Banana showed, the interface in Mailman version 3 is much nicer.

I imagine the driving thing behind that is the young people of today seeming to live inside the web browser and deeming everything outside of it to be verboten.

I'm reminded of computing in the 1960's and 1970's with terminals aka "thin clients": All the work was done in a big centralized computer and the local device was really just a screen showing what they were doing, with minimal (or even no) local storage. It makes me think like the young people of today are actually circling back in time to this type of architecture.

calher

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Iscritto: 06/19/2015

I'm young, and I like Evolution much more than my webmail.

I love being able to use email almost like normal even when I have no
network connection.

Time4Tea
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Iscritto: 07/16/2017

> I imagine the driving thing behind that is the young people of today seeming to live inside the web browser and deeming everything outside of it to be verboten.

As I suggested in my post above, your average web user is inherently impatient and munches on web pages like candy. A casual visitor to a site (e.g. a free-software site), who maybe just has a passing interest in the topic, wants everything to just be right there, on the web page, at the click of a button. If there are multiple clicks or 'set-up' involved, they probably won't bother - they'll just move on.

jules_verne
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Iscritto: 01/02/2017

I think you would be very fortunate to pursue such idea. In fact I also feel the lack of such as a board purely dedicated to the free-software community. I imagine it would be very nice to create one using a mix of what the Trisquel forum is with somewhat of a normal image board like 8ch is.
You could even create different boards. Let's suppose a /b/ for random, /t/ for torrent and maybe a /tech/ for technology? All the boards working with no js. All the boards obligatory being free-software-friendly and all the boards with restrict rules for the purpose of keeping the friendly neighbourhood. Maybe you could copy the system used on this very forum?
I have no idea on a good name.

Mangy Dog

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Iscritto: 03/15/2015

Any incentive that would unite the community (that is rather spread out) is a good idea, the question would be, will you have enough participants for it to be worthwile.A few years ago i addressed "somewhere" a similar project that would put all GNU/Linux Libre distributions under one umbrella/Forum (FreeSlack, ConnochaetOS, LibertyBSD..ect).

Why a Forum ?
Why not some other form such as here : https://linuxfr.org/

If you are developping Uruk wouldn't this be a bit strenous ? ie taking quite some time of yours ?

gnutastyc
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Iscritto: 11/13/2017

Just with the people asking for general advice on free software in this forum, you could probably create a nice community

davidpgil
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Iscritto: 08/26/2015

The Trisquel communit yis so strong that people from otehr communities ask Free Software questions here even when unrelated to Trisquel. Pretty impressive.

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [Trisquel-users] i'm Thinking about doing a free software Community(Forum)
> Local Time: January 2, 2018 11:33 AM
> UTC Time: January 2, 2018 4:33 PM
> From: name at domain
> To: name at domain
>
> Just with the people asking for general advice on free software in this
> forum, you could probably create a nice community

davidpgil
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Iscritto: 08/26/2015

I think that the fact the people from other free/libre distros come to the Trisquel forum to ask about their own distro or to ask these greater questions about having an open discussion about free software means that we MUST unite these communities.

In our discussions on the trisquel-dev chat we have spoken of revamping the Trisquel website after Trisquel 8 is released. Perhaps the discussion should be how to work together briding the gaps between each Libre community in a united front of some type.

The communities of Parabols, Uruk, Trisquel, etc could all be linked from this site/community. I think the leaders of these communities should email each other an arrange some compromise. I don't think this idea needs to be a united front. If its lead only by AliMiracle, I think it will fail because it would be too much work.

I keep tying "United Front"... maybe It should be called Free and Open Front (FOF) ... Don't be limited by only free software either, free hardware too!

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [Trisquel-users] i'm Thinking about doing a free software Community(Forum)
> Local Time: December 30, 2017 6:40 PM
> UTC Time: December 30, 2017 11:40 PM
> From: name at domain
> To: name at domain
>
> hi
> i'm Thinking about doing a free software Community(Forum)
>
> Is it useful to you?
> and What should I call it??
> have fun and be free
> ali miracle and be free
> ali miracle

Mappack (non verificato)
Mappack

Great idea, I would love a forum for Free Software in general. I have no idea about what it should be called, though.

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

FNF's Not a Forum?

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

tech.lib.re/software
tech.lib.re/hardware
culture.lib.re/literature
culture.lib.re/music
politics.lib.re/speech
politics.lib.re/democracy
academia.lib.re/science/climate-change
academia.lib.re/open-access-journals
tech.lib.re/software/distros/trisquel
tech.lib.re/software/replace/skype
tech.lib.re/hardware/replace/raspberry-pi
culture.lib.re/music/share
culture.lib.re/licensing/creative-commons
tech.lib.re/software/bad/apple
tech.lib.re/hardware/bad/intel
tech.lib.re/hardware/crowdfund-campaigns/single-board-computers
culture.lib.re/music/crowdfund/operas
tech.lib.re/software/crowdfund/games/engines
tech.lib.re/software/screenshots/sexy-desktops
tech.lib.re/software/perpetual-argument-zone/systemd

calher

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On Sun, 2017-12-31 at 22:31 +0100, name at domain wrote:
> tech.lib.re/software

https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Main_Page

> tech.lib.re/hardware

https://h-node.org/

> culture.lib.re/music

https://libre.fm/

> tech.lib.re/software/distros/trisquel

https://trisquel.info/

> tech.lib.re/software/replace/skype

https://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects/voicevideochat

... etc

> tech.lib.re/software/screenshots/sexy-desktops

Haha! An r/unixporn that doesn't require JavaScript would be nice.

> tech.lib.re/software/perpetual-argument-zone/systemd

Troll Lounge should be renamed to "systemd?".

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jorgesumle
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Iscritto: 06/01/2016

> Troll Lounge should be renamed to "systemd?".

That's a terrible idea, we don't want an army of systemd trolls. Regular trolls are enough, don't make it worse please.

jorgesumle
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Iscritto: 06/01/2016

Yes it is (I mean, it will be), so the name doesn't make sense. It's a recursive nonsense.

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

Okay, You're Right. OYROIAF Is A Forum.

GrevenGull
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Iscritto: 12/18/2017

I'm in.

Lain
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Iscritto: 12/11/2017

This is a great idea. I think the FSF has a forum for members, but it's pretty dead. We certainly do need a free software forum that everyone could access though. Let me know if there is any way I can help.

oysterboy

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Iscritto: 02/01/2011

There is already one such forum, albeit in French (it is Quebec-based). The forum software is Discourse, as far as I know. You may want to contact the owners of that forum so that they can help you set up a new instance in English.

https://forumsdulibre.quebec/

jorgesumle
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Iscritto: 06/01/2016

> Is it useful to you?

Not for me in particular. There are some free software forums already:

Also there are a bunch of IRC channels, mailing lists...

chaosmonk

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Iscritto: 07/07/2017

While this is a good idea, your work on Uruk might be more important.

FindEssential
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Iscritto: 08/23/2017

What would be more useful is if the various free software projects provided their own forums that they maintained within the value set of their project. Right now there are many projects that don't do a very good job supporting their users or products and they end up here where less help is available to them.

Uruk has a mailing list currently, but I think its time it launched its own forum too. It has gotten big enough and is well supported enough to stand on its own.

Thats where your energy should be. A general, unfocused forum on "free software" will just become a dumpster fire in moderation hell. It will suck up your time making it too difficult to meet your other goals and Uruk will suffer.

I firmly believe that part of the reason many free software projects burn out or go dormant is because the people behind them are too nice. You can't meet everyone's needs and you need to stick to what you are both good at and what you can logically maintain. It might be great to "give the people what they want" at first from a popular support standpoint, but popular support rarely materializes into useful partners that can actually contribute in a real way.

strypey
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Iscritto: 05/14/2015

Mailing list and fora are both text media, supporting branching conversations. The only difference is the method of delivery and reply (email vs. web). As mailing list/ forum software continues to be developed, the distinction between the two is breaking down, because it makes sense to use a package that allows people to participate through either email or web interfaces, as they prefer.

Many modern mailing list server packages (like GroupServer) support forum-style subcription management, message searching, and direct replies. Many modern web forum server packages (like Discourse) allow for email delivery and replies. Loomio enables text discussions through both web and email, as well as decision-making using a variety of poll types (so more suited for teams than casual, open-ended discussions).

I think it would make sense to have a unified set of software freedom fora, on one website, with a range of topic-based fora, and help fora for specific projects (eg libre distros, specific applications and so on). The question is how would we get a critical mass of people together who have time to admin/ moderate/ participate, and how would we make decisions about where to host, which software to use, what to call it etc?

Maybe, if we want to get really ambitious, we could try to create a federated set of fora? Could ActivityPub or another standard(s) be used to federate multiple forum packages on multiple hosts, so that people can read, join, and post to the Trisquel-users forum from any of those hosts? The could help to solve the problems of fragmentation (different groups silo'd on different hosts), without trying to herd everyone onto one host.

ADFENO
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Iscritto: 12/31/2012

2018-03-07T13:58:33+0100 name at domain wrote:
> replies. Many modern web forum server packages (like Discourse) allow
> for email delivery and replies. Loomio enables text discussions

We currently need help solving some end-user JavaScript freedom issues
in Discourse, if you know a developer who can help fix the issues
presented in ([1]), or even better: remove automatically-executed
client-side scripting (JavaScript/WebAssembly/whatever) ([2]). It would
be great to start that contribution, specially since HTML, CSS and
server-side code can do many things more securely and dinamically
nowadays.

So if you know a developer who can help, or someone with free time,
please forward this message.

[1] https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Talk:Discourse#LibreJS_output_for_front_page_of_a_demo .

[2] https://mikegerwitz.com/2018/01/Meltdown-Spectre-and-the-Web .

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BenWaters
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Iscritto: 03/07/2018

Given that they just opened a "General Free Software Talk" board on this site I would say no. There are already a few forums, for example the FSF has a forum, although I believe you need to be a member to view it and it's not very active. It seems like this forum already has enough Free software supporters in general, so better not to splinter the community unless there is a significant reason.

alimiracle
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