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[Debian-sf-devel] Re: submission of free projects tool d

From: Vicente Ruiz
Subject: [Debian-sf-devel] Re: submission of free projects tool devel -
Date: 18 Feb 2003 00:08:17 +0100

On Mon, 2003-02-17 at 17:40, Mathieu Roy wrote:

> Naturally, because Savannah have something to do with computing and
> because of the origin of Savannah, the software seems mainly to be
> usefull for software projects.
> But we have nothing against an evolution in a more general
> way. Savannah could be used for different kind of projects and we
> would be glad of it.
> So if you can work on improving Savannah in this way, we would have
> nothing against.
Yes, is logic, but let me explain a little bit what happens with

Why we use debian-sf? Few months ago, I started to install savannah
in site. But when I read in the INSTALL file of savannah:

"We get a lot of requests from people who want to use the Savannah code
but we will not have time to spend in helping developing it. For those
users we  recommend Debian-SF because Savannah has not been packaged in
a way that users can install, configure and start using it easily."

and I read the opinion of people about debian-sf and Savannah I decided
to install and adapt debian-sf. But I use as a very
good reference of a mature and working tool.

I was thinking all the day about how Savannah or debian-sf can be
modified to manage "free projects" (not only software) [1], and it's not
easy. I'll try to show you:

Now the modifications that I made in debian-sf are not very important:

- Languages modifications to talk about Free Projects and not Software,
collaborators and not software developers, and things like that.
- Code modifications with the same goal.
- Not to use CVS by default, and things like that.
- New categories of projects, languages, licenses, etc.
- New themes.

All these changes make the tool a little bit more usable and oriented to
manage Free Projects by any kind of people, but it's necessary more

These changes are easy to integrate with Savannah or debian-sf, more or
less. But the first problem that I see is that I don't know if the rest
of the developers are interested in use the modifications and if they
want that Savannah or debian-sf software begins to be "Free Projects
Management Tool" instead of "Software Management Tool".

But this is a minor problem, there is a biggest problem.

Why I began with I was searching the possibility to use
a platform to develop "Free Projects" with any kind of people, not
necessary software developers, people with other skills (architects,
doctors, ecologists, teachers, sociologist, etcetera), and create
together free projects about architecture, ecology, economy, pedagogy,
..., and to share these "Free Knowledge". All with the philosophy of
Free Software but in other situations.

I tried to find a site with these philosophy but I didn't find it. Then
I decide to work to install a platform to permit this.

But the big problem is that normal people, don't know very well what is
Free Software, GNU/Linux, and the philosophy of GNU, and you have to
explain very good these concepts to permit to them to understand how the
Free Software Community works and to understand that they can do the
same and create "Free Projects" using their skills and working together
with other people with the same problems/interests.

In our Manifesto: we try that any
kind of people understand us, but it's difficult already.

When somebody understand the philosophy and want to use our tool in (a modification of debian-sf) it's very difficult for
them to understand how the tool works, to create projects, mailing
lists, forums, etcetera.

For this reason, we need a tool very, very usable for any kind o people,
and maybe the modifications to make Savannah or debian-sf more usable
have not any interest for the rest of software developers, maybe.

I would like to work with other developers in Savannah or debian-sf but
I don't know if they have or they can have the same goals. 

Furthermore nowadays I'm the only active software developper in (other people try to contribute in other ways) because
now we are making public the site officially (more o less), then I don't
want to isolate myself.

Well, it's difficult to explain with my poor English, but I think that
you can see where is the problem. Sorry for the extension.

Any comments and feedback will be appreciated.


Vicente Ruiz

[1] Yesterday a wrote a draft:
"Free Project Definition. An adaptation of the GNU's Free Software
Definition for any kind of projects"
Because sometimes software developers don't understand what is a "Free
Project" (not Software) and our goals. But it's only a draft.
I have to check with address@hidden if there is any problems with the
original copyright, because I'm not a licenses expert.

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