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Re: [Libreplanet-dev] FAQ

From: Peter
Subject: Re: [Libreplanet-dev] FAQ
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 08:49:45 +0000
User-agent: KMail/1.8.2

On Wednesday 11 March 2009 22:02, John Sullivan wrote:
> Here is draft text for the FAQ, same deal as the Code of Conduct:
> = FAQ =
> == What is Libre Planet? ==
> Libre Planet is a "big tent" under which local groups working for free
> software and related causes can connect and support each other's
> efforts. Coordination, guidance and infrastructure are provided by the
> Free Software Foundation, but all of the groups are run independently.
> Libre Planet serves to connect free software supporters with each other
> in physical and online space through shared calendars and geographical
> maps so they can better plan and share events and materials.
> Libre Planet is founded on a set of ethical principles and guidelines
> outlined in its [[code of conduct]].

[Libre Planet is a network of groups that operate through a contact person 
within and between each group. LibrePlanet is the main group consisting of 
Libre Planet contact persons for groups in each continent. Each continent 
group has contact members for each country group. Each country group has 
contact members for every provincial/state group. Each provincial group has 
contact members for local groups. Local groups may have contact persons for 
other groups. Information flows throughout the network via the contact 
people. The Libre Planet website is a secondary, but vital connection to the 
> == What do Libre Planet groups actually do? ==
> Individual groups engage in a wide variety of activities. They do things
> like encourage local schools and government offices to use free
> software, they run install fests and events featuring free software
> speakers, they write and publish useful information about free software
> on their web sites -- being part of Libre Planet doesn't mean doing any
> one particular thing, it means sharing a common goal and advancing
> software freedom and doing whatever is appropriate in particular areas
> to accomplish that.

[Every group teaches its members about software ethics, how to publicize free 
software ethics, and create groups. All groups share the same training 
manual, and follow the same group practice. However, their public activities 
vary widely depending on the local socio-political conditions and cultural 
climate. Because groups are more aware of local conditions, LibrePlanet 
cannot prescribe how groups should conduct themselves, but will expect them 
from time to time to respond appropriately to specific threats against 
software freedom.]

> == Where can I find a Libre Planet group in my area? ==
> Check [[Find a group]] for a group in your area. Also try the search box
> to the right. If neither of these things turn up a group in your area,
> then maybe you should start one!
> == How do I join a Libre Planet group? ==
> Find the group in your area. Then add your name to the membership list
> on the wiki page, and subscribe to their mailing list. If the group has
> an associated Savannah project, you should join that too.
> You probably also want to subscribe to the general Libre Planet list.

[If you have not been contacted by a local member, you should send a 'request 
to join' email to a local group mailing list found on their website. A member 
will arrange an interview with you. At the interview they should explain 
LIbre Planet's mission, how the group achieves it, and what it expects from 
its members. If the interview goes well, they will sign you up. You may not 
join a group over the internet as Libre Planet is a physical group network.]

> == Who can start a Libre Planet group?                                ==
> Anyone can start a Libre Planet group.

[Only approved members can start a group.]

> == How do I start a Libre Planet group? ==
> First, check and see if there is already a group in your area. If there
> is, it's a good idea to work with them. If you don't see a group near
> you, please start by reading our [HOWTO](starting-a-group.html).

[Members who have gained the required training and show a passion for free 
software ethics and a desire to help others may submit a 'create group' 
request. If the group approves the request, members may register their group 
as its contact person. The group must assist the contact person in starting 
and running the new group. Ideally, groups should cluster as a function of 
population density, closer together in cities than rural areas.]

> == I'm in a similar group (like a GLUG) already -- Why should I be involved
> with Libre Planet? ==
> The idea is to plug your GLUG into Libre Planet, not to replace it. Just
> add your group to the Libre Planet network.

[When you join a Libre Planet group, you are joining a global free software 
society. Your GLUG continues to run independently from Libre Planet and has 
no connection or affiliation with it.]

> == What's the difference between a GLUG or LUG and a Libre Planet group? ==
> Many Libre Planet groups may also be GLUGs. Groups gathering under the
> Libre Planet name are groups whose work for free software has ethical
> motivations. They want free software not just because it's not made my
> Microsoft or because it works better -- they want it because they want
> to live in a free society.

[Libre Planet is not a user group and its purpose is not user oriented. Even 
if your GLUG supports the same principles as LIbre Planet, it does so from a 
user perspective, not as a network. A Libre Planet group is connected to all 
other groups and therefore enjoys the benefits of a global society.]

> == I met my local Libre Planet group but I don't like it. How do I replace
> it? ==
> Are you sure you can't work with them? Try to attend and get to know the
> group, and see if you can work with them. If you think the group is
> doing something that makes Libre Planet look bad, then let us know.
> There's also nothing wrong with having multiple groups in an area if
> they really want to be separate, but generally this causes fragmentation
> and it's better to have everyone working together.

[If it is a dislike of one or more group members, that is an unfortunate fact 
of life. However, you are not required, or expected to like anyone at Libre 
Planet, nor they you. What is required that you can work with others to 
create a free software society. If personal differences disrupt the group, 
then you may request that a member you can work with start a group with you 
as its member. In this way you can work in the group through the contact 
person and the two of you can grow your own group.]

> == Does the FSF run all the Libre Planet groups? ==
> No, the groups are run by the people in them. The FSF helps coordinate
> and guide them, and provides infrastructure and resources.
> == What resources do I need to run a Libre Planet group? ==
> There's not much that you absolutely have to have, but having things
> like a page on this wiki, a mailing list and an IRC channel is a good
> idea. You can find details about setting up these resources in our

[At a minimum you need the group training manual and a meeting place. You may 
use your contact person's internet access, although that isn't essential.]

> == Can I just list my local group? Why is there an approval process at all?
> ==
> The FSF doesn't control the activities of the Libre Planet groups, but
> as a member of this network, we do want to make sure that we are all
> working toward a coherent goal and that nothing is happening under the
> name of this goal that will hurt its achievement.
> An approved group is a group that is fully up and running, has the
> required resources set up and has met the approval of the FSF Libre
> Planet team. As such, you can see approved groups as groups with a
> proven track record. Non-approved groups are typically groups that are
> still forming, and if they continue to develop, they will get approved
> status too.

[Because Libre Planet is effecting global changes, it requires every group is 
suitably informed about free software ethics and act responsibly under public 
scrutiny. It only takes a few careless words, or acts, to create serious and 
lasting damage to Libre Planet's cause. We make each group responsible for 
educating and training its members to create groups and therefore rely on 
their judgment in deciding who is ready. 

If you believe approval was unfairly denied, see 'How do I resolve problems in 
my group?']

> == How do I stay in touch with what's going on outside my group? ==
> Subscribe to the general Libre Planet mailing list.

[Your group should have a contact person who is a member of another group. 
That person is required to inform your group about all the groups it is in 
contact with, and pass on your activities, and all the groups you're in 
contact with, to the contact group. Usually this information can also be 
found on the website, but requires internet access.]

> == How do I resolve problems in my group? ==
> Please see our tips and procedures for resolving problems.

[Your group's contact person is responsible for resolving member disputes. 
There is a chain of contact persons leading from your group to LibrePlanet. 
You may push your problem through the contact persons to LibrePlanet. At this 
point the problem should have been scrutinized by several informed people, so 
Libre Planet should have everything they need know in resolving the problem. 
They may, however, require an interview with the involved parties, and if 
they cannot resolve the matter, refer it to the FSF itself for final 

> == What do I do if my country is too big to have single meetings? ==
> It might be a good idea to all consider yourselves part of the same
> group, but have separate local meetings.

[You're only required to have meetings with your group members. However, 
regional and country groups may organize rallies from time to time at their 
discretion. Suitable arrangements should be made through your contact 

> == Can I use the Libre Planet logos on my documents/websites/merchandise?
> ==
> Yes, as long as your group is approved, and as long as those logos are
> used in promotion of the Libre Planet goals and respect the project
> guidelines.

[You may, but country and regional groups can submit their own logos for 
approval, which you should use instead or in addition to Libre Planet's.]

> == Where can I get free software CDs and schwag to hand out? ==
> The Libre Planet staff can often send you CDs and materials in
> connection with specific events that approved groups have planned.
> Please contact us with some information about the event, like the date,
> name, and number of expected attendees.

[If you don't have internet access, your contact person should locate copies 
from another local group. Otherwise, you can download or order from the 
LibrePlanet group itself. Note that LibrePlanet may redirect requests to a 
country or regional group instead to reduce international issues.]

> == Can groups have more than one mailing list? ==
> Each group should have one mailing list.

[Groups are expected to have at most one, but additional suitably motivated 
requests will be granted. However, such lists may be revoked if they cause 
confusion or otherwise interfere with normal mailing procedures.]

> == What are the requirements to join a Libre Planet group? ==
> That's up to the individual groups, but the idea is that anyone who is
> interested in software freedom issues and can work together as part of a
> team can join.
> == Can I change ownership on an IRC channel? ==
> You can change ownership of your channel by talking to the current
> channel owners and the Freenode staff. If there is a dispute about
> channel ownership, please contact the FSF Libre Planet team.
> == I have a question that's not answered here.  ==
> You can email the Libre Planet staff at address@hidden, or since
> this is a wiki page, you can add your question to the Talk page, and
> check back for an answer.

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