[Freedombox-discuss] Introductions

Ethan Frey ethan at chaostheater.net
Thu Aug 26 15:02:28 UTC 2010

Hi, I'm Ethan Frey, a Debian/Linux user and (web) programmer.  I also saw
the videos of Eben Moglen from Debconf and was quite inspired to help make
this a reality.  I was very happy to find there was already a group
brainstorming how to make this happen, and I agree with Lars' proposal to
have some short-term targets to aim for.  This helps us see the project
proceed and have more context (and a testground) for harder issues like a
p2p distributed,  encrypted, highly available filesystem that is resistant
to abuse (which is a great goal, but quite demanding as a starting-point). 
I am not a debian developer and don't feel in the position to prepare
packages,  but I would like to contribute my time and skills to the

On Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:40:03 +0200, Bruno BEAUFILS <bruno at boulgour.com>
> One the one hand I really think that we should be able to offer a
> solid framework to developpers so that thay can imagine any services
> they want to offer. On the other hand we need to offer reference net
> services we need to be at least, IMHO :
> * mail server (with webmail)
> * web server (with blog/wiki/cms tool)
> * calendar server (with webclient)
> * instant messaging server (jabber or something like that)
> * file server (with web access to certain part, typically photos)

I agree that these webapps are pretty much the basis of a box that would
be useful to your average (non-programmer/admin) user. There are many more
features that would be great to have, such as GPG encryption with a network
of trust, distributed filesystems/backups, a distributed social network,
plug-and-play PBX system, tor routing, etc. But I also  see the value of
having a usable box sooner rather than later, when there is the time to
implement all the hard (interesting) features.  There is already a
commercial software trying to do something like this basic feature set (at
least web server, calendar, and file server):


I would like to work to prepare some of webapps to be deployed on an early
version of the box (eg. Alpha 4 in Lars' model).  The most interesting to
me is a webmail client.  I envision something like this:

  * Modern interface (eg. something like gmail with conversations and
  * Easily aggregate mails from multiple POP/IMAP/webmail servers (yahoo,
hotmail, gmail, etc.)
  * Receive and send mail directly from a local (qmail?) server
  * Support GPG encryption/decryption on the server (eventually tied into
other services and the web of trust)
  ** Nice UI design and AJAX-y responsiveness would be a plus

I looked for some webmail apps and most of them work like IMAP clients,
and do not and cannot support conversations/labels.  Posterity seems like a
nice candidate, as it mostly supports the first three requirements, and is
writen in Python (not PHP :).  However, the development seems to be
abandoned about 2 years ago.  I am thinking of shaking the cobwebs off the
code and extending some of the functionality to match the above


Does this seem like a useful project to help out with the freedom box?  Do
the set of requirements seem good, or is there some big features I am
forgetting?  And is anyone else out here a Python coder that wants to work
on this as well?  Or does someone know the perfect webmail client that does
all this already?

I'm looking forward to getting to work and seeing what we can create


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