[Freedombox-discuss] FreedomBox experiment & Sister project

Sébastien Lerique seblerique at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jun 15 03:20:21 UTC 2011

Hello everybody,

Like others, I have been following this list for a few months now, and
felt it was time to peep into the discussion. Before anything else, I am
a huge fan of what takes place here! It's a very important project I

  Point 1:

Since the beginning of 2011 I have been working on my own server (now a
"freedombox playground"), aiming to provide services to friends and
family. For more info, see the main page[1], the development wiki[2], or
the description of currently available services[3]. The approach seems
similar to what Bob Mottram is doing (although for the moment it is
Ubuntu Server 10.10, on a desktop tower, with 640Go HDD). My current
goal really is about testing various candidates for services and finding
what suits best (based on interface, integration, etc.). I haven't
focused on hardware, or "perfect" security, yet. Just for the info.

  Point 2:

Running that server, it appeared to me that standard DSL link
reliability is quite an issue. First it can be very unstable, and
secondly having an asymmetrical bandwidth makes sharing of photos (and
other potentially large files) quite slow; and of course it can't
support an occasional slashdotting. I think it is an important problem
-- I wouldn't want my blog or social networking account to be off-line
every now and then. A solution I see to it, though maybe partial, would
be taking advantage of the fact that many boxes would be in that same
situation, and developing a way to distribute service-providing between
boxes owned by friends (some sort of mix between P2P and CDN). At this
point it is still very vague.

I am well aware that this is not part of the fundamental FreedomBox
requirements (and should not be implemented in FB 1.0, I think), so with
a fellow electronics and industrial computing engineer we started
working on that, calling it the Evomuse project. More information on the

To make sure we don't miss on user-friendliness, we will be designing
from the user's starting point. The initial plan was to integrate with
any possible FB user interface, but since not much has been produced yet
(there are very valuable discussions taking place here but, yes, the
subject has somewhat diluted itself until Bdale's initiative -- e.g. I
don't really know if I'm off-limits here), and since it is hard to work
on distributing services (and UI) without knowing what those services
are or what their UI will be, we decided to develop a complete solution
to self-hosting one's internet activity ourselves, with additional
distribution of service-providing. It looks a lot like duplicating
efforts (at least partly), but for the moment we can't make any progress
otherwise. Of course we take what good advice shows up on this
mailing-list and FB wiki, and I will be contributing here anything that
could help FB development. I hope this initiative will eventually bring
its own contribution to freedombox, maybe by merging code into FB
3/4/5.0 or god knows how. For now, I see it as a different flavor of the
freedombox, at least until work can be done in common.

A big difference of course is that we're only two on it, so we agree on
design a lot faster than in a 400-person discussion (but, of course,
this 400-person discussion is of great inspiration); on the other hand,
when it gets down to coding things will be slower for sure.

  Point 3:

I am no expert in free software communities (far from it), but I think
this community is in need of someone who can "manage" the debate:
someone who can synthesize what the current state of debate is every now
and then, possibly make sure discussions are assigned the right topic,
or off-list discussions are moved out. Some kind of leader, but not
taking any decisions, just allowing constructive debate to take place.
The idea is to make sure the Brownian movement this do-ocracy is
eventually makes progress towards a given direction. (Self-contained in
this remark is the problem of agreeing on this fact, and choosing such a
person or accepting who assumes the role.)

Cheers everybody

[1] http://mehho.net
[2] https://wiki.mehho.net/Mehho
[3] https://wiki.mehho.net/Mehho/CurrentStatus
[4] http://www.evomuse.org/wiki (http://www.evomuse.org/ is being
re-organized, for now only the /wiki is relevant)

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