If I was better at remembering names, I would have connected earlier that the guy spamming the FOSDEM mailing list with his political peeves is none other than the last FSFE Fellowship winnier.

FSFE seems to have held the last election in 2017, before it was yearly. I'm not up-to-date on my FOSS drama, but I seem to recall that after the election, there was some kerfuffle about the results? Or I'm imagining that..

Sadly, this confirms my recent opinion about FSF(E). I wish it weren't so.

I grew up with the Free/Libre vs Open Source split, and have generally sided - except for practicalities - on the Free/Libre side of things. But growing up with this, I've also noticed how smart voices on such topics have also often had some questionable other opinions.

I think that actually comes down to a fairly reasonable mechanism, but that's a quick side topic I'll skip for now.

The point is, a lot of FOSS drama is unfortunately not about the topics, but the personalities involved.

Of course, personalities shape what an organization pursues as worthy topics and vice versa. It's not like this division is clean.

However, right now, it seems as if almost every organization that did something outstanding for FOSS in the past has proceeded to shit the bed.

I'm not even going to bother naming names or incidents. You guys know them better than me, in many cases.

It's just really hard to throw support one way or another when everything seems terrible.

Ironically, as much as I support Free/Libre software from a licensing point of view, it seems that right now the healthiest community and organization is actually the decidedly Open Source ASF. Of the large ones, at least.

I mean, I'm one degree removed from them. I tend to get more inside views on ASF drama than I get from anywhere else, and I still have that view.

Some days I wish ASF would just quietly switch over to GPL, and we could move on.

Not gonna happen, I know, but I can dream.

@jens for the life of me i can't be bothered by the nuances of licenses

Yes they are probably quite important in some state of the universe but its not the state of the universe we are in, or even remotely nearby

What really matters after decades of broken promises is to empower *masses* of people with self-sovereign computing (including mobile). Emphasis on masses (=billions)

It doesn't feel that it is license details that prevent that from happening...

@openrisk License details are roughly on the same level of importance to empowering masses with self-sovereign computing as education is for solving world hunger.

That is, there is absolutely no immediate connection. But the avalanche effect it has is probably the only way to get there over time.

Simply put, copyleft forces corporations to co-operate with communities rather than dictate terms. This isn't about software. It's about changing everyone's relationship to software.

@jens i am not sure the corporate-community relation has been the obstacle. I do appreciate both cumulative effects and the legal framework implications but it feels those are luxury problems: how some successful inroad might get derailed, coopted or whatever

The free/open software movement has a virality (utility) problem in an age where people are more than even prone to virality (pun)

@openrisk I'm certain it's not the only obstacle, but it surely has been one in the past and continues to be so. It's just also getting a bit subtler.

You see this in recent years in how Python (PSF) is taken over by RedHat's concerns. By how Microsoft manages to insert proprietary tooling into FOSS communities, making them dependent. By how docker is removing more and more community features and turning them proprietary.

Good corporate-community relationships are less exploitative.

@jens @openrisk Not to mention, if Mozilla had used GPL, the third most popular mobile OS in the world would have had to say free and open instead of being enclosed into yet another centralised sewer of surveillance. (Mozilla are still happy to work with them, btw.)



I still keep my litle plasticky firefox os zte mobile as a reminder that what should happen is not what will happen

i was willing to try a sub-par phone for what it represented for the future, but most people didn't

but why didn't firefox os not catch on in the first place? not because of its license

i wish people would talk, analyse and nitpick as much about all these other factors and obstacles that must be overcome to expand the foss universe


@openrisk @jens FirefoxOS (KaiOS) is one of the most successful closed source operating systems in the world today.

@openrisk @jens (And that’s not a bug, but a feature as far as Mozilla or the rest of Silicon Valley is concerned. That’s what we just understand.)


given that mozilla tried and *failed* with their own effort (2012 - 2015) and KaiOS was released in 2017 that is actually a controlled experiment of sorts

ignoring the real possibility of bad timing, what made KaiOS an apparent success given it is the same (low end) target market?

are the proprietary bits making it more attractive? are the entities involved more incentivized by larger monetization prospects? how much of that links back to licenses or other arrangements etc


@openrisk It seems to me that there's a market for KaiOS only because no one else had a viable platform for 4G feature phones about four years ago. Closed app store and preinstalled Facebook / Google crap might have helped on the vendor side. I think the KaiOS browser platform hasn't been updated for years and is not in a good shape anyway?

@aral @jens


@galaxis @openrisk @aral @jens I'll tell you exactly why hardware manufacturers and mobile devices in particular are averse to FOSS operating systems - it's because they have things to hide.

Usually patent violations but also hardware bugs fixed in binary driver blobs.

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