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The FSF Is Looking To Update Its High Priority Free Software Projects List

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  • #11
    Free phone operating system
    AOSP, Ubuntu Touch, PureOS

    Decentralization, federation, and self-hosting - A call for more decentralized services.
    The big providers aren't going to go for this because they can't harvest the information for analytics. How would such software ever gain foothold?

    Free drivers, firmware, and hardware designs - Don't we all love free software drivers and that's been going rather dandy and more vendors in recent years contributing their open-soruce drivers to the Linux kernel. Open-source firmware and hardware designs though is another tough effort but at least the likes of Raptor Computing Systems with their libre POWER9 system has shown what's popular.
    Open source drivers are nice. They can be recompiled if necessary. I personally don't care about firmware.

    Real-time voice and video chat - There exists various free software solutions these days albeit popular ones with the masses is another story...
    WebRTC should be available to everyone by now.

    Encourage contribution by people underrepresented in the community - There is Outreachy, Google Summer of Code, etc.
    We should be encouraging contributions by the competent. If such an individual lives in a cave with a club for a weapon and has a tiny laptop, then so be it.

    Internationalization of free software - This seems to continue to be happening as well as ever.
    Yes. And some things even support Esperanto.

    Security by and for free software - Is security ever complete?
    1. Stop over-designing protocols.
    2. Stop implementing things in C when Rust and C++ exist.

    Intelligent personal assistant - Mycroft is the best open-source alternative to the likes of Google Home and Amazon's Alexa.
    No. Die. Right now. By fire. Keep that crap away from me.

    Help GNU/Linux distributions be committed to freedom - The Free Software Foundation continues to endorse the likes of Guix, Hyperbola, PureOS, Trisquel, and other distributions most have never heard of but ship without any firmware binaries or other blobs.
    What is freedom?

    Free software adoption by governments - A rather sticky and never-ending matter...
    I've seen actual free software (GPLv2) in use by the United States Marine Corps.


    • #12
      Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
      True, like it was in the past (e.g. IRC and XMPP).
      The problem here is that the most popular proprietary services are very "human"... I mean... too simple to use and does not have a "computer" feeling anymore.
      Yes, "not having a computer" is how being a peripheral feels. Either a human controls a computer or a computer controls a human.
      Wait. That's obviously false. Either a human controls a computer or another human controls the computer that controls the original human.
      A human controlled by another human is maybe sad, but it is only wrong if the controlled human doesn't want to, or doesn't know.

      Just like you can't compress a message beyond entropy, you can't dumb down an interface beyond user in control.
      But of course you can always compress more if you change the model. You just don't let the sender say all they want, and you get very good bitrates.
      And then I'm out.

      Excuse my exaggeration. Just like messages can be transmitted less efficiently than its entropy, interfaces can be undeservedly complex, and then simplifying them is
      bliss. But there's always a limit. And the limit lies in the statistical model. I.e. in what you consider feasible and how likely, i.e. in what you allow.

      And just because I like to go out on a limb with my metaphors: human languages are more verbose than entropy.
      They're redundant. They want to survive noise in the channel. They rely on worldviews, right or wrong.
      Human languages build cultures because people with knowledge build culture.
      Human-computer interfaces also are based on people's knowledge of previous systems. They build culture, they evolve, they retain idioms.
      They're below optimal because they want to. Because they were fun to learn and people's fun primed their decoding dictionaries.

      (What's this fool ranting about? Read Claude Shannon)

      Aren't you being a bit too extremist?
      It will at least be 20-30 years until completely free/open designs catch up to current ones, and even so, after those 30 years the new devices will be light years ahead of your free/open ones...
      "ahead" carries a direction. We are not all going in the same direction. We don't all share a shepherd. Some may not want one. (not even the FSF)

      Yep. I don't think there is any problem here...
      I18n is not so different from diversity. Can you contribute to many free software projects if you don't speak English ?
      Is internationalization only applicable to the end product software? Or should we look into the developing process ?


      • #13
        Originally posted by libv View Post
        Wake me up when the FSF decides to become actually relevant and use its supposed political weight to help get real things done instead of just wasting everyone's time.
        Okay, but we'll have to rename you Rip Van libv.


        • #14
          Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
          OK, sorry for being harsh, but I need to put this clearly.
          Can we go back to work?
          (too long; didn't read: Why does this even matter?)
          Sooo triggered.


          • #15
            Originally posted by libv View Post
            Wake me up when the FSF decides to become actually relevant and use its supposed political weight to help get real things done instead of just wasting everyone's time.
            I agree! I respect them from an idealist manner in a considerable
            degree, they made GPL and such possible. But they need to apply their
            ideals to make them a reality, not just be a propaganda organization like these days. They became irrelevant decades ago.

            FSF needs to go back to the roots, put resources on good developers and engineers instead giving money to marketing people.

            They need to invest in infrastructure, planning, project management, paid engineers and developers. Making GitHub irrelevant is a good goal, for example. Savannah is just a crappy and outdated SorceForge fork.

            FSF, Please stop being the typical NGO without pragmatic results to achieve the desired goals. Please make things happen, not just saying others what to do but be the pioneers and moving forces of change.


            • #16
              Not going to quote multiple people here but there is still a need for a truly free mobile OS in the eyes of the FSF. All of the ones we have allow closed source firmware; drivers; etc as the phones they support all have them. It's the chicken and the egg problem. Even if we created a truly free FLOSS mobile OS it would work on exactly zero phones right now. We need to create the phone first. Even the LIbrem 5 and Pinephone have closed source drivers/firmware for the modem and wifi. Which means in turn that the operating systems that run them cannot be FSF approved or truly free. You can argue that the desires of the FSF are too extreme but what is the point ? Do you think they will change their minds ? Furthermore what they want will actually benefit people so why the hate ? In any case just obide by the age old ethos of "you do you". If FLOSS hardware and software don't tickle your fancy then don't use it but don't try to put down those that do want it and do strive to use it.


              • #17
                Originally posted by libv View Post
                Wake me up when the FSF decides to become actually relevant and use its supposed political weight to help get real things done instead of just wasting everyone's time.
                FSF is really (at least) two different parts. The "Advocacy" group which promotes goals ("save the children!"), and the "Funding" group, which collects and distributes funding to support projects such as GCC.

                If the FSF truly believed in their "Advocacy" they should state their intentions to redirect all the money they receive in the future to projects that support their stated priority goals and stop funding those that are not on the list. Walk the walk, and talk the talk.


                • #18
                  The main priority of the FSF should be create or finish their own Kernel and being independent by Linux. Unfortunately sitting on the Linux board there are all the worst companies that couldn't care less about Free Software or users rights as well as users freedom.


                  • #19
                    Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
                    Hard to out-lobby (bribe) Microsoft and Apple.
                    Yep, these guys pay the decision makers a fair chunk to forward their software. The best open-source can do is allow some people in governments to bid the competition down slightly and get a bit better deal for our tax money.


                    • #20
                      More Free software in education (K-12) I think would be great. I am not sure what the factors are that help this gain better adoption but I strongly dislike some of the educational software I have seen. I also mistrust the idea of children getting Chromebooks and using Google Classroom. But any small opportunity to have any Free software adopted I think would be a benefit.

                      IMO, reverting back to a chalkboard/whiteboard for most classes would be preferable. Interestingly, if you watch MIT Open Courseware they teach Algorithms, Calculus, and other technical course with only notes and a chalkboard. The idea that 3rd graders NEED a smart board is just silly to me.