#ilovefs Report 2015
On Saturday, 14 February 2015, people all over the world showed Free Software contributors their appreciation. It was the fifth year the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) asked people to participate in the “I Love Free Software” day. This report shows a variety of love declarations that happened this day, including blog posts, pictures, comics, poems, and an #ilovefs Android library. The FSFE thanks everybody who motivated Free Software contributors this year, and ask everybody to mark 14 February in their calendars for next year's “I love Free Software” day.
Your cryptovalentine and our defenders of privacy
This year many people focused their activities on -- what FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff described as -- “powerful tools that help us defend and regain the freedoms we’ve lost, and the ones we’ve given up”: Our sister organisation encouraged people to ask someone they like -- romantically or otherwise -- to be their “cryptovalentine”. André Ockers, FSFE's vice president Matthias Kirschner, and many people in our photo gallery expressed their appreciation to all the hardworking Free Software contributors who work for our privacy like GnuPG, Tor, Tails, Chatsecure and many others.
In their blog, EFF explained why they love Free Software:
“Without the freedom to fix security holes and share these changes with others, nonfree software leaves computer users to fend for themselves. Free software reintroduces a sense of solidarity amongst computer users. Rather than developing a dependency on a single vendor, users are free to collaborate with others to add features and fix bugs. In contrast, changes to proprietary programs depend on the whim of a program's owner.”
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.
There were also many people who praised the value of working together in the huge amount of communities Free Software brought into the world. For example, Robinson Tryon, who already is a very active part in some projects and urges others to acknowledge the people behind Free Software. Similar messages come from successful Free Software communities themselves who build upon the shoulders of giants. Debian, KDE, MegaGlest, OpenSUSE, OwnCloud, and others appreciate the many projects around them from which they can learn and give back to, but also the vast number of individuals who participate by coding, translating, writing documentation, and spending valuable time in general. FSFE's Matija Šuklje takes the same line when saying that there are a lot of (not only) Free Software projects which inspire and impress him every day. And Silke Meyer also looks at the Free Software movement from a political viewpoint when stating that it is crucial for free communication between people and that we do not only need code but also the people who fight as activists for a free society:
"Thanks to all those who do not contribute to free software projects but who work on this by political intervention, campaigning, activism! We can’t win this by just developing free software. But we can’t win it without free software either."
Framasoft published two beautiful but unfortunately untranslatable poems in French and in Nico Rikken wrote a love poem dedicated to the diagramming software “Dia”:
Roses are red. Handles are green.
You’re the finest diagramming software I have ever seen.
Always there to help me out. And you ask nothing in return.
Creating things together is all I really yearn.
Dia I know we will be a great team.
We can work together even upstream.
So let this be my tag line:
Would you be my Valentine?
What else happened?
There was a huge amount of messages in social networks, people expressed their love in pictures (e.g. in our gallery, or by members of the Vignate GNU/Linux user group), posters were created (e.g. by Linda Martinez), the Document Foundation themed their bug tracker, and Anatolij Zelenin wrote an Android I love Free Software Day library which is already included in the Android app Mirakel.
Like in the last years we had many organisations and individuals thanking Free Software contributors in articles. Beside the others mentioned before, for example Dario Tordoni thanked the F-Droid developers, Jens Leuchtenbörger wrote why he loves learning vocabulary with AnkiDroid in combination with QuickDi, and Max Mehl thanked the contributors of Taskwarrior, command-line task-management tool.
We were happy to see many organisations expressing their love in other languages than English, for example: Framasoft (in French), Wikimedia Germany (in German), KDE Spain (in Spanish) the German Green Party (in German), which also announced that they will soon hand in a parliamentary enquiry about Free Software.
Mark the date for next year!
We hope all Free Software contributors out there were motivated by this year's #ilovefs day. But maybe all the people, who participated this year, missed to thank your favourite Free Software program's contributors. That is not a bug, it is a feature! Add a reminder to your calendar for 14 February and thank those who have been forgotten this year. (Of course you can also show your appreciation for Free Software contributors during the rest of the year, too.)