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Ежемесячный бюллетень

Librem 5: a PC in your pocket +++ Booths are back


In this issue we look into the software development of Librem 5 phone and of Phosh, the popular graphical environment for Linux phones. And booths are back! We are happy to discuss Free Software in person again.

Illustration with two pictures from booths and one of a disassembled phone.

A PC in your pocket: Librem 5, a Free Software phone

Librem 5 runs the fully convergent PureOS, which means you can take a mobile desktop with you within your phone. Its dedicated graphical environment, Phosh, is becoming a popular option for Linux phones. Guido Günther, FSFE supporter and one of Purism’s main developers, reveals details of Librem’s software development with us in our interview. Convergence, the ability to have almost the same OS in phones and laptops, benefits software development. Guido explains: “Using mostly the same components across devices helps avoid developing the same things twice, one for mobile and one for desktop. It allows people with knowledge of desktop Linux to find their way around right away [… and] to contribute more easily as it is the same technology stack.”

Librem 5 opened
You can disassemble Librem 5 using just a screwdriver. An easy to repair phone is a sustainable option.

The FSFE is advocating for the publication of source code of drivers, tools, and interfaces for the ecodesign and sustainability of products. Over one hundred entities support this demand, and Guido confirms its importance for hardware sustainability: “Finding or writing Free Software drivers can be very challenging, especially when it comes to complex things like the GPU, as these are very complex devices. Similarly for software components in the camera stack. But having free drivers is a requirement for sustainability.” Finally, Guido recalls FrOSCon as a highlight of the FSFE local group Bonn.

Save the date

Back to the booths!

After a long time of restrictions in social gatherings, we were finally able to have two booths in the weekend of 20-21 August. The FSFE had a booth in the Open House event of the German Federal Ministry of Environment in Berlin. It was a booth full of people and energy, thanks to the overwhelming participation of the FSFE local group Berlin. More than five volunteers were on the spot throughout the weekend, explaining Free Software to the audience. At the booth we were presenting upcycled Android phones and explained how Free Software can help overcome software obsolescence. One highlight was the visit of State Secretary Rohleder to the booth. We demonstrated old phones that can still operate securely with Free Software.

Person pointing to one out of four old phone devices demonstrated in a booth, two people listening.
State Secretary Rohleder visiting the FSFE booth where we demonstrated that old phones can still operate securely with Free Software. CC-BY-SA-4.0 BMUV/Christopher Wehrer. August 2022

During the same weekend the FSFE had a booth at one of Germany’s largest GNU/Linux conferences, FrOSCon in St. Augustin, Germany. The FSFE Women group joined and met there and discussed with members of the Open Office booth the process of converting software into Debian packages. Lina Ceballos presented REUSE in a talk.

Three people smiling behind a booth wearing masks.
The FSFE Women group had a booth in FrOSCon and discussed with the audience of the conference. August 2022

Our groups and community

Aarhus: During their August meetup, the FSFE local group Aarhus followed the recent developments in Denmark regarding potential Free Software usage in schools. The Danish Data Protection Agency has, in reaction to a complaint from a parent, found that the use of Chromebooks and Google Classroom in schools in the municipality of Helsingør is unacceptable and unlikely to comply with General Data Protection Regulation.

The group also discussed the EU chat directive, translations into Danish, and types of conferences where ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ can be presented. The group will meet again on 22 September.

Hamburg: The FSFE local group Hamburg had its monthly meeting and will meet again on 12 September.

Netherlands: The FSFE country team Netherlands is starting an international coalition about Free Software in Education, coordinating its efforts with organisations who work on education IT. The team will meet again on 21 September.

Translators: The FSFE translators group met online in August. Bonnie Mehring gave a tutorial on using Git and guided new contributors into making their first pull request. Luca Bonissi demonstrated the webpreview tool. At the end of the meeting the participants enjoyed many rounds of charades, pondering upon confusing sketches.

In August we published the first pages translated into Turkish: Our general page about Free Software and why Democracy requires Free Software.

Vienna: The FSFE local group Vienna held an information stall at Veganmania on the Donauinsel, enjoying interesting conversations with people who wanted to learn about Free Software.

Zurich: The FSFE local group Zurich met in August and discussed the activities in the educational sector and division of responsibilities. The group will meet again on 8 September.

Get active

Since the launch of the “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative, it has grown a lot and experienced increasing support. Now there is a new and fun way of showing your support for “Public Money? Public Code!”. Create your own SharePic! It is easy: choose a picture of yourself, go to the SharePic generator, and add your support message. Ta-da: your personalised SharePic. Share the picture on your favourite social media using #PublicCode.

Contribute to our Newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou