FSFE Newsletter - November 2016
Public consultation on our Fellowship
Since 2005, the FSFE has maintained two distinct brands: the FSFE and our Fellowship. While this made sense initially, we've grown increasingly uncomfortable with the way this created a separation between the Fellows and the FSFE as two separate entities, despite the fact that we're all working together! Accordingly, we've reduced our activities promoting the "Fellowship" as something distinct from the FSFE, and now talk more about "FSFE Groups" rather than "Fellowship Groups", for our local groups.
We now need to come to a decision on how to develop these brands in the future. Based on an initial discussion between our coordinators and in our core team, we've developed a proposal which you will find below: it essentially means that we would deprecate the Fellowship, and bring everything under the umbrella of the FSFE. As an important part of our community, your feedback is valuable to us. For this public consultation, we would be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter by the 30th of November 2016, after which we will provide a summary of the feedback received on which we will base our decision.
Any changes that stem from this proposal, in its current form or in the way we will shape it based on the feedback provided, will be put into practice during 2017. You can provide your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that in the proposal below we use a term "Supporter" as a new alternative to "Fellow". We would very much like to hear your thoughts on this too. Other options suggested include "Patron", "Supporter", "Contributor", "Donor", and possibly other names you may think of too. There is also the option to keep the name "Fellow" as a term, and only deprecate "Fellowship".
The "Fellowship" and "Fellow" names are deprecated. Activities done in local groups or which were otherwise named in conjunction with the brand "Fellowship" shall be brought under the name of the "FSFE": an FSFE event, an FSFE local group, and so on.
Our "Community" is anyone who identifies as being a part of the FSFE, be that by supporting and encouraging our activities, contributing financially, or participating in the work. We want everyone to be a part of our community, regardless of their level of engagement.
Anyone who contributes financially with the intent of contributing regularly is a "Supporter" of the FSFE. The Council may set a minimum threshold for a regular contribution to account for transaction costs. Financially, our Supporters provide the solid foundation on which the FSFE stands: their regular financial contributions give stability to the organisation. We call our one-time contributors "Donors".
We encourage everyone who wants to be part of our activities to join one of our teams: either a topical team (as a translator, webmaster, or similar) or a geographical team (the Berlin team, the Nordic team, and so on). By joining one of our teams they become a "Team Member" of that team (system-hackers team member, translation team member).
EIF v.3 – citizens demand more Free Software, while businesses seek to promote true Open Standards
The European Commission (EC) has finally published the summary of the contributions received for its public consultation on the revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), a set of guidelines for public administrations to deliver their e-government services. The FSFE has previously submitted its comments and recommendations on the proposed draft. According to the results of the public consulation, the majority of respondents amongst citizens asked for more Free Software and Open Standards when revising the EIF, whilst respondents amongst businesses and private organisations asked the EC to "promote the use of (true) open standards and support of standards in new technologies". We hope the EC will follow the wishes of EU citizens and implement these recommendations in the revised EIF.
From the community
André Ockers wrote about his participation in the first FSFE Summit and 15th anniversary celebration, as well as Guido Arnold, who also blogged about his experience at the FSFE summit.
Björn Schießle blogs about the History and Future of Cloud Federation where he explains the concept of server-to-server sharing in Owncloud/Nextcloud and its development to a "federated cloud ID", which looks similar to an email address. Like email, "federated cloud" refers to a user on a specific server.
Are you interested in real-time communications? Daniel Pocock encourages you to become a speaker and participate at FOSDEM 2017, one of the world's biggest conferences addressing Free Software developers in particular.
Iain R. Learmonth presents PATHspider 1.0.0 and highlights the changes that have been incorporated to the latest version of this framework for performing and analysing existing network impairments.
What else have we done?
The FSFE's current Vice-president Alessandro Rubini stepped down to focus on his work with the Free Software community in Italy. Taking over from Alessandro is Heiki Lõhmus, a student of aeronautical engineering from Estonia. Alessandro Rubini is a long time advocate of Free Software: as the FSFE's Vice-president, he has contributed with invaluable efforts to push for Free Software, not only in Italy but all over Europe. Heiki Lõhmus has actively lobbied the Estonian government to publish the software used for the Estonian elections as Free Software and now receives the baton for Vice-president of FSFE to carry on Alessandro’s excellent work.
The FSFE sent three recommendations for actions to foster the use and implementation of Free Software (in German) to the new government that is currently being formed in the state of Berlin.
The local FSFE group in Rhein/Main was present at a street festival (Rotlintstraßenfest) in Frankfurt to promote the FSFE and explain and inform the people about Free Software.
The system hackers have decided to decommission our (very) old pad service. They invite anyone who's interested in the FSFE offering a pad service to get in touch to setup a new team which can create a new pad service.
From October 24 to 27, the FSFE's President Matthias Kirschner and the FSFE's Policy analyst Polina Malaja participated in several community events in Greece. They gave talks in the National Technical University of Athens, in the Athens Hackerspace (in Greek) and in the National Hellenic Reseach Foundation (in Greek).
On October 4-6, the FSFE participated with a booth in the LinuxCon + ContainerCon Europe 2016, which took place in Berlin.
The "FreieSoftwareOG" represented the FSFE with a booth in Offenburg (in German).
Please read the proposal for the Fellowship brand above and send your comments or thoughts to email@example.com.
Good Free Software News
The public procurement authority of the French state renewed its two contracts for free software support services provided for ministries and other governmental agencies. Both contracts were awarded to the French free software services provider Linagora and were originally initiated in 2012. More good news from France and the city of Nantes, where the switch to LibreOffice last April has lowered the IT costs by EUR 1.6 million and will keep saving the public administration EUR 260 000 per year.
The FSFE in the Press
- netzpolitik.org [DE] Berliner Koalitionsverhandlungen als Chance für Freie Software.
- netzpolitik.org [DE] Urheberrecht: USA erlaubt Tüfteln an eigenen Geräten.
- PCMAG [EL], The President of the FSFE in Athens.
- Business news [EL], GFOSS: Talks about Free Software.
- Greek Union of Computer Engineers [EL], Free Software Day with the FSFE President Matthias Kirschner.
- epixeiro.gr [EL], Free Software, Open Access and Enterpreuneship Day.
Help us to improve our newsletter
Do you think we have missed some news, or you'd like specific news to appear in the next newsletter? You have been reading about the FSFE in the press and would like to share this with us? For this and any other feedback, please share it by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,
your editors Erik Albers, Olga Gkotsopoulou, Jonas Öberg and Polina Malaja, FSFE