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#ilovefs Report 2018

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Developers Italia celebrating I Love Free Software Day

On Wednesday 14th of February, our community celebrated the annual "I love Free Software Day". A day to declare love to the communities most important to you as well as saying "Thank You" to the Free Software projects surrounding us every single day. The Free Software Foundation Europe also wants to thank everyone who cheered and contributed to make this day as special as it could be.

We counted hundreds of Tweets, Toots and Posts both on Twitter and the Fediverse as well as tens of blog posts, photos and artworks all showing love to the countless of people out there contributing to Free Software every day, be it in the form of code, translations, documentation, community work, designing or managing. Thank you very much to all of you amazing people!

First signs of love at FOSDEM

XMPP as a tool for free speech

Just like last year, we already encountered lots of people eager to show love at FOSDEM. Besides the big projects such as GNOME, Debian, Firefox, Python, Linux or VLC, many also mentioned smaller or uncommon projects as well as general love for Free Software or values that can usually be found in Free Software Communities: "Openness", "Freedom", "Choice" or "self-determination" were terms we often heard. If you want to see more people expressing their love for Free Software, make sure to check out the full gallery.

CentOS and OpenSUSE have a shared love for RPM

The projects attending FOSDEM also had the chance to thank their communities for contributing, bugreporting and helping. Not only that, we were also able to bring several projects together to find the similarities (or differences) they appreciate and show their shared love of Free Software.

I Love Free Software Day

Wordcloud of projects

All mentioned projects on Twitter and the Fediverse

When the day finally came, we received an overwhelming amount of messages from the community, expressing themselves, thanking their favorite projects and developers or advocating Free Software in general.

In order to analyze the sheer amount of love messages and contributions coming in on I Love Free Software Day each year, we finally took a step up as well. Our current intern Jan wrote a Scraper in GNU R which helps us not to miss a single #ilovefs post and give every project the gratitude it deserves. Parts of it would not have been possible without the help of Vincent, our second intern. A cheer for collaboration and yet another proof that Free Software is awesome!

Together on Twitter and the Fediverse, we counted exactly 439 "I Love Free Software" posts by 243 individual accounts containing the #ilovefs tag, mentioning 95 projects and developers. You can find a few visualizations showing the results of our collected data.

time graph

Participation in #ILoveFS on Social Media through time

platform graph

Participation in #ILoveFS on Twitter and the Fediverse

The tools we wrote are Free as well and available for everyone to use, study, share and improve! But it is not all stats and data. The important thing is behind all of the numbers: The message these people want to send out and the feeling of a community of people so diverse and yet like minded when it comes to values like openness, acceptance, empathy or acknowledgment of what we can create together.

iLoveFS by Grise Bouille

#iLoveFS by Grise Bouille

There are multiple examples of this, like the amazing post on StreetComplete's issue-tracker by rugk, where this user thanked the project and it's developer(s) in a lengthy text and received very nice feedback as well. Sebastian Schauenburg's blog post where he calls for even more sympathy and communication among developers and within the communities themselves. A few projects also published blog posts themselves, for example Nextcloud, showing us how the 4 Freedoms of Free Software made their very own existence possible. Then there is some really good and creative artwork for example by Grise Bouille or this cool photo posted by Developers Italia (the Italian community of developers of public services) celebrating Free Software, WikiData showing how to express your love for Free Software and many, many more that we are just not able to mention in this short report.

Save the date!

In case you missed your opportunity to thank your favourite project, mark February 14 as "I Love Free Software Day" in your calendar for next year. However, you shouldn't think it is the only day you are allowed to show your love. It's obvious we should show our appreciation and gratitude throughout the entire year – there is simply no wrong time for that!

We would like to thank everyone involved in and contributing to this day, as well as the countless developers, translators, community managers, artists and anyone involved in Free Software.