18 Sep 2018

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Daniel Pocock: What is the relationship between FSF and FSFE?

Ever since I started blogging about my role in FSFE as Fellowship representative, I've been receiving communications and queries from various people, both in public and in private, about the relationship between FSF and FSFE. I've written this post to try and document my own experiences of the issue, maybe some people will find this helpful. These comments have also been shared on the LibrePlanet mailing list for discussion (subscribe here)

Being the elected Fellowship representative means I am both a member of FSFE e.V. and also possess a mandate to look out for the interests of the community of volunteers and donors (they are not members of FSFE e.V). In both capacities, I feel uncomfortable about the current situation due to the confusion it creates in the community and the risk that volunteers or donors may be confused.

The FSF has a well known name associated with a distinctive philosophy. Whether people agree with that philosophy or not, they usually know what FSF believes in. That is the power of a brand.

When people see the name FSFE, they often believe it is a subsidiary or group working within the FSF. The way that brands work, people associate the philosophy with the name, just as somebody buying a Ferrari in Berlin expects it to do the same things that a Ferrari does in Boston.

To give an example, when I refer to "our president" in any conversation, people not knowledgeable about the politics believe I am referring to RMS. More specifically, if I say to somebody "would you like me to see if our president can speak at your event?", some people think it is a reference to RMS. In fact, FSFE was set up as a completely independent organization with distinct membership and management and therefore a different president. When I try to explain this to people, they sometimes lose interest and the conversation can go cold very quickly.

FSFE leadership have sometimes diverged from FSF philosophy, for example, it is not hard to find some quotes about "open source" and one fellow recently expressed concern that some people behave like "FSF Light". But given that FSF's crown jewels are the philosophy, how can an "FSF Light" mean anything? What would "Ferrari Light" look like, a red lawnmower? Would it be a fair use of the name Ferrari?

Some concerned fellows have recently gone as far as accusing the FSFE staff of effectively domain squatting or trolling the FSF (I can't link to that because of FSFE's censorship regime). When questions appear about the relationship in public, there is sometimes a violent response with no firm details. (I can't link to that either because of FSFE's censorship regime)

The FSFE constitution calls on FSFE to "join forces" with the FSF and sometimes this appears to happen but I feel this could be taken further.

FSF people have also produced vast amounts of code (the GNU Project) and some donors appear to be contributing funds to FSFE in gratitude for that or in the belief they are supporting that. However, it is not clear to me that funds given to FSFE support that work. As Fellowship representative, a big part of my role is to think about the best interests of those donors and so the possibility that they are being confused concerns me.

Given the vast amounts of money and goodwill contributed by the community to FSFE e.V., including a recent bequest of EUR 150,000 and the direct questions about this issue I feel it is becoming more important for both organizations to clarify the issue.

FSFE has a transparency page on the web site and this would be a good place to publish all documents about their relationship with FSF. For example, FSFE could publish the documents explaining their authorization to use a name derived from FSF and the extent to which they are committed to adhere to FSF's core philosophy and remain true to that in the long term. FSF could also publish some guidelines about the characteristics of a sister organization, especially when that organization is authorized to share the FSF's name.

In the specific case of sister organizations who benefit from the tremendous privilege of using the FSF's name, could it also remove ambiguity if FSF mandated the titles used by officers of sister organizations? For example, the "FSFE President" would be referred to as "FSFE European President", or maybe the word president could be avoided in all sister organizations.

People also raise the question of whether FSFE can speak for all Europeans given that it only has a large presence in Germany and other organizations are bigger in other European countries. Would it be fair for some of those other groups to aspire to sister organization status and name-sharing rights too? Could dozens of smaller FSF sister organizations dilute the impact of one or two who go off-script?

Even if FSFE was to distance itself from FSF or even start using a new name and philosophy, as a member, representative and also volunteer I would feel uncomfortable with that as there is a legacy of donations and volunteering that have brought FSFE to the position the organization is in today.

That said, I would like to emphasize that I regard RMS and the FSF, as the original FSF, as having the final authority over the use of the name and I fully respect FSF's right to act unilaterally, negotiate with sister organizations or simply leave things as they are.

If you have questions or concerns about this topic, I would invite you to raise them on the LibrePlanet-discuss mailing list or feel free to email me directly.

18 Sep 2018 11:21pm GMT

Andres Rodriguez: MAAS 2.5.0 beta 1 released

Hello MAASters!

I'm happy to announce that MAAS 2.5.0 beta 1 has been released. The beta 1 now features

For more information, please refer to MAAS Discourse [1].

[1]: https://discourse.maas.io/t/maas-2-5-0-beta-1-released/174

18 Sep 2018 9:05am GMT

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 545

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 545 for the week of September 9 - 15, 2018. The full version of this issue is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, this issue of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

18 Sep 2018 12:12am GMT

06 Nov 2011

feedWhere is Ploum?

What happened during GSoC 2011?

I know I'm very late, but I really wanted to talk about this year Google Summer of Code.

For the third year in a row, I was a mentor. And this year I have a huge deception to share. I'm really sad. This week, I'v received the GSoC 2011 t-shirt. They sent me the wrong size. XXXL. I can use it as a sleeping bag with my girlfriend. I'm really disappointed.

GSOC 2011

Hopefully, GSoC is not only about receiving a t-shirt. It is also about mentoring a student.

Nearly two years ago, I started working on a complete refactoring of GTG. The code was a mess, with a lot of duplicate everywhere, with two bugs appearing while you were trying to solve one, etc.

I abstracted the structure we were using in several places and started to write a library to handle those "Acyclical Directed Graphs". As usual, it appeared that development was taking longer than expected. Weeks turned into months. Then, when it started to look good, I discovered that I forgot one critical point: thread-awareness. I felt hopeless.

Because I didn't had the motivation to do that heavy work, I proposed it as a Summer of Code project to a very motivated student: Izidor Matušov[1].

Words doesn't do any justice to the excellent work that Izidor did this summer. He's simply awesome. Some students are goods because they have previous experience. Izidor kicks asses. He learns so quickly, he's so assertive. The work was even harder than what we anticipated. But he managed to achieve everything, including feeding me with cookies at the Desktop Summit, where we met and had an awesome hacking week.

Lionel (Ploum) & Izidor at Desktop Summit

As much as I'm deceipted about the t-shirt, I'm delighted about the work achieved this summer. Izidor now knows GTG nearly as much as I do. He's taking initiatives, like organizing an online GTG hackfest on November 26th[2] and he's a bug-answering machine.

Dear Google, GNOME foundation and Lanedo[3], I would like to thank you. Thanks to your support:

  1. I received a worthless piece of clothes that travelled half of the world in order to clean my cat's dirtiness.
  2. GTG 0.2.9 should be released before the end of the year
  3. GTG gained a new co-maintainer
  4. I gained a new friend. And it probably worth everything else.

Congratulations, co-maintainer Izidor. And welcome to the community!


[1] Yes, I'm able to write his name correctly, thanks to my wonderful keyboard layout

[2] #GTG, on Gimpnet, during the whole day

[3] Lanedo paid for the travel, the accommodations and, as you can see on the picture, the clothes during the Desktop Summit

06 Nov 2011 6:23pm GMT

05 Nov 2011

feedWhere is Ploum?

The aristocratic desktop (part 4) : Kill The Double Click

Part 1 : Introduction
Part 2 : Home is Desktop
Part 3 : There's no tray icon in GNOME !
Part 4 : Kill The Double Click

When I started installing the best desktop possible for Marie and Jean, we were still in the GNOME 2.X era. GNOME 3 solved my previous concerns. No in the way I envisioned it, but solved them anyway. No more desktop icons, no more tray icons.

But now that I'm introducing Marie and Jean to GNOME 3, I still have some concerns. And one of that main concern is the infamous double-click!

Mouse click

Do you remember? Jean is a very brilliant mind, even though he never used a computer during his whole life. As a reasoning scientist, he was trying to find the logic behind my teaching.

During one of our first lesson, "Using the mouse", the conversation went like this:
- How do I know if I have to click or double click?
- Well, you double-click on icon and simple click on links and buttons.
- How do I know what is a button or an icon?
- …

Since that time, I've tried many times to find a logic behind single or double clicking. There is not. You have to learn it by experience. And it is totally, utterly pointless.

I also realized that a single click was something really hard for Jean. Achieving to click on a given point without moving the mouse is really hard for older people. Then, ask them to click twice, with a completely arbitrary speed, without moving the mouse, not to quickly, not to slowly. Impossible.

Marie, on her side, was double-clicking everywhere. And, surprisingly, it works most of the time.

So, why do we have double-click in some places? Because we want to be able to select an item without "activating" it. How often does it happen? Never for Jean. Very rarely for Marie.

To summarize, we are making the most frequent action very hard to nearly impossible in order to allow a very rare action?

I tried to disable completely the double-clicking in Nautilus.

Do you know what?

It works. Even for me. I had chronic pain in my hand and disabling double-click was a relief. I explained to Marie to never double-click anymore. She's still double-clicking from time to time but everything works even better than before. Jean was eventually able to launch a file from within Nautilus.

Selectiong multiple files Selection of one or multiple file with single mouse click

What about selection of files? I explained to Marie to draw a square with the mouse. And, yes, she found that absolutely intuitive. The only drawback I found so far was the inconsistency with lists, where double-clicking is still required. Marie called me one day because she tried to play a specific song in Rhythmbox. It wasn't working. I realize that she had to double-click on the song. "But you told me to never double click anymore!". Sorry Marie.

I'm myself incredibly frustrated by any system that requires double-click. Why do we still have double-click by default in GNOME3?

Part 1 : Introduction
Part 2 : Home is Desktop
Part 3 : There's no tray icon in GNOME !
Part 4 : Kill The Double Click

Picture by Dave Dugdale

05 Nov 2011 12:17pm GMT

28 Oct 2011

feedWhere is Ploum?

J'irai pisser sur votre moquette

Si vous deviez me décrire en deux mots, nul doute que fourbe et profiteur vous viendraient spontanément à la bouche. Paresseux, parasite et inutile suivraient de près. Et j'en suis fier. J'en ai même fait mon mode de vie.

Ma technique est simple mais éprouvée. Je croise un inconnu dans la rue à l'air affable. Tenez, prenez ce jeune homme à l'allure dynamique. Il s'appelle Jean, c'est ma prochaine victime. Il ne se doute encore de rien mais j'irai dormir dans le lit de sa femme tout en vidant son frigo.

Au premier abord, je fais le numéro du sympa-sociable, les circonstances m'ont conduit dans la rue, où j'ère sans but précis, mais je ne me plains pas, je ne quémande rien, au contraire, je refuse tout geste de pitié trop ostentatoire. J'ai ma fierté.

Lorsque Jean se propose de m'emmener manger à la maison, juste pour la soirée, je fais d'abord mine de ne pas être intéressé. Mais mes yeux acquiescent et Jean, en rigolant, insiste, me forçant presqu'à le suivre. Inutile de vous dire que c'est ce que j'attendais mais la victime doit croire qu'elle a l'initiative, c'est primordial.

Martine, la femme de Jean, n'est que moyennement contente de cet imprévu. Qu'à cela ne tienne, je fais mon charmeur, je séduis tout en ayant l'air de ne pas vouloir déranger. Je fais également un peu le pitre pour la dérider.

Et ça marche. Avant la fin de la soirée, elle discutera avec moi plus qu'avec Jean lui-même, ce dernier étant parfaitement inconscient du destin de proie que je lui réserve. De manière indirecte, je fais comprendre que je n'ai nul part où aller. Jean et Martine n'ont pas le cœur de me renvoyer seul dans le froid de la nuit. Ils se proposent donc de m'héberger, juste pour une nuit. Tandis que je m'installe confortablement sur le sofa, j'entends Martine descendre l'escalier. Elle est en déshabillé, prête à aller au lit.

- « Bonne nuit ! » me lance-t-elle avec un sourire innocent avant de remonter dare-dare dans sa chambre.

Je ricane. Je n'ai même pas eu besoin de répondre. Une seule soirée me suffit. Homme ou femme, nul ne me résiste. Je suis comme ça moi.

Bien entendu, le « seulement pour une nuit » se prolongera. Je commencerai doucement à faire comprendre mes goûts précis, envoyant Jean au supermarché afin de m'acheter ce que je souhaite. Lorsqu'elle rentre du travail, Martine a à peine un regard pour Jean. Elle se rue à l'intérieur pour voir comment je vais. Pendant ce temps-là, je me prélasse sur le canapé, je me balade un peu. Avec mon air faussement négligent, j'ai pris soin de casser quelques bibelots auxquels ils tenaient beaucoup, par pure cruauté.

Lorsque Jean partit quelques jours dans sa famille à l'étranger, je n'hésitai pas: je me glissai une nuit dans le lit de Martine, sans même lui demander, sans même m'annoncer. Elle prit un air faussement surpris mais je sais qu'elle n'attendait que cela. Elles sont toutes les mêmes. Jean nous a surpris en rentrant plus tôt. Cela ne lui a pas plu. Il m'a dit qu'il m'avait sorti de la rue, qu'il n'acceptait pas cela.

Par méchanceté, j'ai répondu en déféquant sur la moquette du salon. Il a pu tout nettoyer. Il n'était vraiment pas content mais Martine a fini par le convaincre de me garder et d'exercer le moindre de mes désirs.

Il faut dire qu'ils sont vraiment bien mes deux esclaves. Je dors dans leur lit, ils me nourrissent, nettoient sans que je n'aie besoin de faire attention à rien. Quoi que je fasse, ils me regardent avec un air attendri et me trouvent adorable. Même au milieu de la nuit, il suffit que je me mette à miauler pour qu'ils s'enquièrent immédiatement de mes besoins.

Des esclaves aussi dociles, c'est rare. Je vais les garder encore quelques temps.

28 Oct 2011 4:59pm GMT