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Re: [Libreplanet-dev] Libre Planet status

From: Peter
Subject: Re: [Libreplanet-dev] Libre Planet status
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 06:41:39 +0000
User-agent: KMail/1.8.2

On Thursday 09 April 2009 21:34, you wrote:
> Peter <address@hidden> writes:
> > Hi John,
> >
> > I'm getting concerned with the direction the Libre Planet is going in.
> >
> > 1- People are registering themselves and adding links to their own sites.
> >
> > 2- People are selling their own products on this site.
> >
> > 3- People are discussing software issues, not ethical ones.
> >
> > 4- The mission statement has been utterly ignored.
> >
> > 5- People who have setup groups are getting no help in running them.
> >
> > Any estimate when the wiki will be upgraded so we can address these
> > issues?
> Right, the fact that people are doing things is okay, and we don't have
> to wait for the wiki to be upgraded before we can start dealing with
> things that are incorrect. 

I agree, except we don't have a policy in place, which makes things tougher 
for everyone. With a functioning wiki, we could avoid some of the issues.

> It's okay that people are registering 
> themselves and adding links to other sites, that is what they are
> supposed to be doing.

My understanding was LP would be their group site, so no outside links. The 
exception was if they already had a free ethics site running, or intended to 
do so, they could link to that. They are supposed to form and run groups. I 
seem to be more conservative on this point, perhaps because I see little 
effort toward developing groups and a great effort in other things.

> However, if they are adding things that are 
> completely inappropriate, please remove them and explain why. If they
> are adding things that might be appropriate if some changes were made
> (like, they talk about open source a lot more than free software or call
> their group "linux" instead of "gnu/linux"), then those things can be
> moved to the appropriate talk page with a request that someone make the
> needed changes before those resources are placed on the main wiki.

I'd love to do that, but I'd need the mission statement, or some policy to 
refer to. I don't think I'm the best person to make these judgment calls and 
can easily make the situation worse. My contribution here is mainly my 
software skills (such as they are), although I will pitch in wherever else 
I'm needed.

> Part of the vision of the wiki is to help people coordinate software
> projects though, so there is nothing inconsistent with that and the
> mission statement I don't think.

Maybe you're right, but I see it has gone beyond coordinating. I believe LP 
has a role to play in getting people involved, promoting interest, and 
publicizing the formats, etc. But I don't see LP's mission as participating 
in the development process as this attracts technical type people, not the 
public relations type. I have seen really intersting stuff, like using the 
LGPL for closed source distribution, which is the kind of issues LP groups 
should be dealing with. Software research is, imho, outside the scope of LP.

My take on LP is that it becomes a media centre (literally) along the lines of 
the Fry video (GNU's 25th birthday), only much more dramatic. We stream radio 
and video broadcasts, run comic stories, and create a free software ethics 
'Disney World'. We have serious news and activist agendas which groups 
provided and participate in. Groups can actually host local plays and other 
dramatic arts.

We create products out of 'free ethics', such as card/stamp/icon collections 
and posters/wallpapers which people can trade and display. This requires a 
large input from marketing and artistic type people, not software developers. 
This branding is done for all groups, so each group need only localize the 
products, not design them.

Indeed, we can develop (GNU) software packages (LP branding) and include a 
collector's item, or something, and run a 'holiday' (thanksgiving, or 
whatever) GNU free collection bonanza. (Note the free as in free ethics, not 
as in gratis item)

I don't think going head-to-head with how the media/public currently defines 
free software is the right way to create a culture. Rather, embracing the 
current attitudes and giving them a 'free ethics' twist is a better long term 
strategy. Over time, we can widen the gap between proprietary and open 
source, so that the 'free ethics' distinction becomes 'obvious' to everyone.

> It's going to be bumpy, just hang in there and talk things out with the
> people who are contributing. The increased level of activity is
> exciting, and we just need to be building a team of people to help with
> daily editing.

I am pleased in the interest people have shown in LP. I am just disappointed 
we don't have a functional site to get people started on the right track. My 
main concern is that we lose too many people during the startup period. The 
'bumps' I am currently experiencing are with getting a handle on LP's purpose 
and development because I take the users activities as the expression of it.



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