Take ownership of Free Software as a cohesive whole

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 49

We have been mostly thinking on the lines of choosing among available options when it comes to Free Software be it distros, Desktop Environments or specific software. Only a small minority of Free Software users takes ownership of Free Software and considers contributing to Free Software or fixing problems or bugs. I think this was mostly fine when it comes to software that can be run entirely on our devices without needing any server components or did not involve convincing your friends. But situation has changed now and we need to now consider services running on servers and convincing our friends and family as a mandatory requirement to using Free Software powered services. I don't think expecting everyone will self host is practically possible due to the cost and maintenance burden. So community hosting and more contribution from everyone is essential for sustainable replacement for big tech. So we need to reorient our thinking and messaging to reflect this. We need to prioritize missing features and apps that our friends highlight and offer a buffer between users and developers. We can ask people to just write to us and then some of us can analyze it and file issues with upstream software where required. In case the developers are not responsive, we need to find other developers willing to work on it and organize crowd funding. Thoughts? Volunteers?

  • Create list of high priority features

  • Actively seek volunteers for the services we run. Create documentation, to do list and step by step on boarding guide with links to relevant tutorials for each step.


Pirate Praveen Tue 24 Aug 2021 5:32PM

To illustrate this point further, I'd like to take the example of matrix bifrost bridge and some of its limitations. One missing feature is support for offline messages when connecting to matrix rooms from xmmp apps. This results in lost messages and overall broken bridge for many people joining our groups from xmpp. So what do we do here? For most people, it just means we can't use the bridge reliably so stop using the bridge. For some, it is important to have these options and some think about filing issues. Okay the issue is already reported but the project does not consider it a priority, what do we do now? Are we really utilizing the potential if Free Software to the fullest if we only consider using what is available already? Should we not think about funding the features we consider important? Yes, this can be difficult when there are many features as implementing each feature can take a long time and finding the right people can be difficult. But do we really take this possibility seriously?


Akshay Tue 24 Aug 2021 5:44PM

This is an inevitable development. I fully agree.


Pirate Praveen Thu 26 Aug 2021 12:35PM

I have created a group to coordinate efforts to build mam support in matrix bifrost bridge

Please join and help out if you think this is an important feature.

Update: matrix link via bridge