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Re: [Libreplanet-dev] Libre Planet status

From: Peter
Subject: Re: [Libreplanet-dev] Libre Planet status
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 09:00:46 +0000
User-agent: KMail/1.8.2

On Friday 10 April 2009 19:32, you wrote:
> Peter <address@hidden> writes:
> >> 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.
> What sort of policy do we need? The Mission Statement and FAQ are meant
> to provide guidance for doing this kind of editing -- if they are not
> sufficient then we need to improve them, and that doesn't depend on any
> wiki software upgrades.

I agree we can provide the documentation immediately, The policy I'm looking 
for is how members join groups and function as a group member. I don't see 
individual activity mentioned in the mission statement. Nor do I see a policy 
regarding users who do not agree to the mission statement. Nor what action 
should be taken regarding users who haven't created their user page or done 
anything in 12 months.

With a wiki upgrade we can insert the mission statement on registration and 
require the user check the 'I agree' box and enter an existing group name. 
This will immediately update their user page and route them to their group 

> >> 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.
> Hm, I think the idea is more that it's okay for groups to have outside
> sites -- that way they can use the technology that they are comfortable
> with -- but we do have standards about what is okay to link to and what
> isn't.

So they should have a group setup on LP, not a link to one.

> >> 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.
> People on the list can help provide guidance, and the mission statement
> is pretty close to right if not finalized yet. Even just pointing out
> things that seem questionable to you so that other people on the list
> can make decisions about them would be very helpful.

Okay, your Boston group has created several very useful and highly technical 
info on free software ethics, such as FreedSoftware. I have no problem with 
the content. My problem is that no-one else can write an article called 
FreedSoftware. There is nothing that shows it originated from the Boston 
group. The only external links are from a user and categories. So I am 
actually confused. Where is the local groups network here? I see no group 
concept whatsoever. Its like the groups sit in isolation to the rest of the 
wiki, with a list of names. 

Did anyone know or care that the Manchester group has something similar 
( My point is using the 
program to create random pages because you can, fails to establish the group 
concept. wiki sites don't have groups, we do, or supposed to. We cannot 
establish a group identity without reinforcing the concept throughout the 
wiki. The Manchester group are a mini-website, which is exactly how I 
understand every group. That is how you build a group identity and coordinate 
many groups. We all should know, that every group has a projects page and 
exactly where to find and categorize them. This is the page schema I am 
referring too. So what am I missing here?

> >> 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.
> I agree that software development and research is definitely not the
> focus. I think in most cases, LP's role here is when it comes to
> priority projects -- which can be thought of as software issues that
> make activism a lot harder to do. Like, not being able to use Flash or
> call someone on Skype is a powerful barrier to switching to free
> software, given the prevalence of that software. The more official,
> forward-facing parts of the wiki should definitely be focused on
> activism and not software development, but as always with a wiki I don't
> think that we need to be too much of an enforcer if someone decides they
> want to talk about a software project on the wiki, as long as it's free.
> There's already plenty of wikis for software development so I don't
> expect that we'll get overrun with that sort of thing.

Yes, I agree HPP are a dilemma, but here I think we need to prioritize. If 
Libre Planet cannot function, then supporting HPP efforts is pointless from 
an LP viewpoint. So, LP must establish itself first, and with the groups 
established and running smoothly, work on assisting with HPP.

> >
> > 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.
> Users definitely will be defining and driving things, and I think that's
> a positive.

I agree, but within a different context. The way users drive things is by 
providing feedback on how to run and create groups, deal with personal 
issues, and teach members about free software ethics. 

> We want to maintain a central core and theme and carry 
> forward with ideas like the ones you describe and try to build support
> for them -- but if people want to do other things that are not
> inconsistent then I think we will be best served by supporting them
> doing that and encouraging the enthusiasm.

I am sure once users understand the group network idea, they will innovate in 
ways we haven't anticipated and there I agree whole heartedly.

> A general level of activity 
> is a very good thing for a wiki even if it isn't all in a straight line.

I'm trusting you on this one. I don't see any line at all. I just don't see us 
setting a group example and focusing on the network aspect. At the moment, 
the mission seems to be in name only.



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