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[Libreplanet-dev] Re: Libre Planet

From: John Sullivan
Subject: [Libreplanet-dev] Re: Libre Planet
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 12:23:00 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110009 (No Gnus v0.9) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Fernanda G Weiden <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi John,
> I don't think I was ever added to the mailing list, so I don't have
> any info on the discussions that might have taken place there.
> Could you please make sure that I am included?
> Sorry about the long delay on answering. I was on end year vacation,
> and just came back to work last Monday.

Yep, you're on the mailing list. You haven't missed anything :). There's
just a few people on this list so far -- just the people who have shown
a lot of interest in getting the ball rolling.

So, for everyone here, here's the current state of things.

The current mock-up of the front page says:


    Libre Planet makes it easy for free software advocates to connect,
    discuss ideas and plan actions.

Use Libre Planet to:

    * Find or start a group in your city or town.
    * Find events and actions in your area.
    * Create social and professional connections without the use of proprietary 
    * Indicate your strong commitment to free software as an ethical issue. 

The network is growing all the time, with over NUMBER groups and NUMBER
activists already. Please join us, or learn more. 

Sign up / Find a group or other activists near you / Take action

Libre Planet is run entirely on free software, right down to the BIOS on
the server. We use an open standard for data format and follow the FSF's
privacy policy, so you are always in control of your personal


The mission is described as:

    The mission of the Libre Planet project is to build a global network
    of local groups, each of which is working diligently,
    professionally, and competently to raise awareness of free software
    as an issue of ethics and freedom.

    So that the name Libre Planet is strongly associated with a clear
    goal, and so that individual groups can cooperate and collaborate
    effectively, we ask that all individuals and groups agree with this
    set of founding principles.

After that follows a set of principles. Part of the idea here is that
this is a specialized and focused network -- there are already plenty of
places on the Internet for people to just do generic or even open source
social networking, so that's not what we're after.

We will probably also be adding something about being committed to the
Franklin Street Statement (or whatever version of it the FSF ends up
endorsing) at, as a free network service.

The wiki at is the seed of what will become Libre
Planet. The first thing that we should all be doing to help this project
succeed is to monitor and contribute to that wiki. I check it every day
myself, making an effort to greet new people, suggest changes in
language, contribute to the priority projects pages, and check links to
make sure they are appropriate. The way that wiki takes shape will help
inform us as to how the more structured software should be configured.

We had originally planned to stick with mediawiki for Libre Planet,
using the Semantic Wiki extension along with Semantic Forms to help
create more structured and easily usable functionality. But, since then a
couple interesting alternatives have emerged.

The first is elgg, written in PHP, at The second is
Pinax, which is Python and Django-based, at We
are leaning toward the latter for systems administration reasons,
because we are already using Django for a lot of things.

So could all of you take a look at these software possibilities --
Mediawiki with extensions, Elgg, and Pinax, and give thoughts about them
in light of this mission? Also, do any of you know other people who we
should bring into this project at this stage? I don't think we need a
lot of people right now to get this going as it is a situation where
there are just a few jobs to get done, so I think a small strong team is
the appropriate approach for right now.

My suggestion is that once we get the chosen software up and running and
basically configured, we invite a small number of activists to come
start using it as a pilot, and give us feedback on how it works and what
should be changed. We have a few strong groups of people that I think
would be willing to do this. After we think we are headed in the right
direction, we can bring in some more people, and then open things wide.
In order for a site like this to work, people coming to it for the first
time have to see some level of activity already happening, and I think
gradually ramping up participation is the way to accomplish this.

There are some texts that we have drafts of that need to be worked on
more as well. After we make a software decision, I'll circulate those
drafts on this list, and once we've all had a look, we can put them up
on the wiki for further improvement. They include a "code
of conduct" which is the set of core principles, and an FAQ.

Sound good? If everyone here could say Hi that would help too :).

John Sullivan
FSF, Manager of Operations

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