[Freedombox-discuss] the "living room brick"

Jonas Smedegaard dr at jones.dk
Fri Apr 29 12:41:55 UTC 2011

On 11-04-29 at 11:15am, Jaromil wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Apr 2011, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> >  all parts of the system must be...
> > 
> >   a) The product must be long-term maintainable.
> >   b) All services contribute to "the silverlining of the cloud"
> sry for my ignorance, but what does "silverlining" means?

For the "official" interpretation you need to ask the guy putting 
together the phrase in the speech that triggered this very mailinglist - 
or perhaps just sit down and watch speech: 

(Hint: that URL could be much shorter if those editing the wiki page 
didn't put so much info into the headlines)

My interpretation was the elaboration n b) quoted right below:

> > In my opinion b) means that services to ease and/or secure access to 
> > centralized services are irrelevant (and therefore unsuitable) for 
> > FreedomBox, no matter if gigantic and commercially driven (like 
> > Google, Yahoo or Facebook) or not-yet-biggest or non-cemmercially 
> > driven (like identi.ca or riseup.net).

> > It makes perfect sense to me for FreedomBox to include both 
> > public-facing and discretion-seeking tools, including those provided 
> > by gigantic commercial entities - as long as they comply with the 
> > Debian Free Software Guidelines.
> why not the Free Software Foundation guidelines?

Because this is a Debian project.

With "this" I do not mean "everything Eben Moglen is preaching about" 
but the aim at this very mailinglist.

> >  So things like Wordpress or status.net or Crabgrass (when hosted on 
> > the box itself, not -as-a-service hosted at wordpress.com, 
> > identi.ca, riseup.net or anywhere else), are good candidates for 
> > inclusion - when done via packaging in Debian main.
> i'd rather set i2p and other decentralized anonymous network in front 
> of it, still i really like the idea of having crabgrass, lorea and 
> other social networking software packaged in Debian.

I was emphasizing that to me "the silverlining of the cloud" is not 
about avoiding evil _service_ providers but avoiding them all.

I was not favorizing some types of applications over others, just 
throwing *examples*.

> however, aren't we stepping into the domain of GNU Social here?

Debian is a distribution.  FreedomBox is a user of Debian, just as 
Skolelinux, Ubuntu, Gnusense and Knoppix are users of Debian.

no, I do not see it as stepping into the domain of others.

> is freedombox mostly related to social network interaction?

No, FreedomBox is not mostly about social network interaction.  I just 
threw in some not-so-commercial-or-evil-sounding names in.  If all those 
happen to be from a particular league of services, then that was pure 

Please try read my mail again - and read the letters *on* the lines this 
time, not what might seem to be written in the space between them :-)

> again pardon for my ignorance.

On the contrary - those are nice questions!

> does it makes sense to choose an hardware platform, rather than a 
> compilation toolchain that can produce the freedombox software for all 
> complying hardware platforms?

It does not make sense for FreedomBox to be a compilation toolchain, 
because it (like e.g. Skolelinux, but unlike e.g. ubuntu) is a 
binary-level user of Debian, not a source-level one: The plan is for 
FreedomBox to use Debian as-is, without recompilation.

Debian is quite flexible also in what hardware it runs on, but it 
nevertheless makes sense for FreedomBox to be a specific hardware 
platform, because that makes it easier to design for it, and to cut 
costs for production, and to make quality assurance simpler and more 
reliable, and for other reasons I forgot or haven't thought about.

> that's what i call freedom: that i'm able to modify a wide range of 
> devices found on the shelf around the world thanks to the GNU GCC 
> compiler and a bunch of freedomlovers packing together the freedombox, 
> which is easy to compile and has a community doing builds of it for 
> various platforms...

I call lots of different things freedom.  Only a very little subset of 
what I call freedom I also find suitable for FreedomBox, however: 
FreedomBox is not "anything called freedom".  Please read my former mail 
again, especially the first few paragraphs of it ;-)

Kind regards,

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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