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Re: [] 'Alternatives Working Group' on Loomio

From: Danyl Strype
Subject: Re: [] 'Alternatives Working Group' on Loomio
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 22:05:01 +1200

Kia ora koutou

Eric, thanks for the detailed reply. I understand much better now what
your concerns are.

On 11 April 2014 19:58, Eric Wong <address@hidden> wrote:
> The main browsers still depend heavily on components by those companies
> (or are non-Free, even worse).  Some sites tend to be unusable without
> JavaScript, and it's hard for a non-JS user to know what's missing when
> much JS is obfuscated (or the user isn't a programmer).

I realise this is a bit of side issue, but just for the record, use of
"Javascript" is not in itself a problem, as long as the scripts are
libre. Obfuscated scripts (whether in "Javascript" or any other
language) are a problem, but not a reason to avoid using a GUI or a

> Forum/blog sites mostly have different commenting
> mechanisms and account systems.  The standardized ones tend to be
> non-Free/centralized; the decentralized ones have little adoption.

I agree this is a problem, but I think it's rather unfair to blame the
lack of agreed standards for federated social networking on browser
makers. That would be like blaming them for Flash. The decision to
adopt Flash as a de facto standard was made by website builders, not
browser makers, who actively worked on the HTML5 <video> and <audio>
tags to replace Flash. Mozilla have been actively working on
BrowserID/ Persona, which implements decentralized authentication is a
way that provides more privacy than using an OpenID host, and it's
been adopted by most browsers, but it hasn't had much uptake by
website builders. Loomio have implemented it.

> If people keep using GUIs, that is their prerogative and I have no right
> to change that.  It is my dream to be able to coexist and communicate
> with everyone, including GUI users, with only Free software/services
> and without leaving my terminal.  Text-only communication should not
> require a GUI.

This is fair enough, and although I would be lost without a GUI, I
actually share much of your sentiment about bloated GUIs for simple

Loomio are actively working on building in seamless email gateways, so
that a user can interact with a Loomio group as if it were an email
list. The challenge is to implement the decision-making functions in
email - each discussion can have one proposal running at a time, to
which users can reply with 'agree', 'abstain', 'disagree', or 'block',
and give a short position comment. If you would like to give them the
same kind of detailed feedback on your needs as a text-only user that
you've shared with us, I'm sure they'd be happy to work with you to
make sure Loomio meets them. They are also working on an SMS bridge,
so text-only interaction is a priority for them.

> Anyways, I am working on making mailing lists more accessible and to
> encourage drive-by participants for some lists I run.  Hopefully I get
> it in a usable/demo-able state soon.

That sounds great. Let us know when you've got an alpha we can try out.


Danyl Strype
Community Developer

"Geeks are those who partake in our culture."
- .ISOcrates

"Voting... is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The
last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will
get a version of it through a dessicated question, and then will
submerge it in a Niagra of similar opinions, and convert them into -
what else? - another piece of news. Thus, we have here a great loop of
impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which
you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you
can do nothing."
- Neil Postman, 'Amusing Ourselves To Death'

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