[Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade

Matthias-Christian Ott ott at mirix.org
Mon Jun 25 19:39:26 UTC 2012

On 2012-06-25 21:10, Markus Sabadello wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Michiel de Jong <michiel at unhosted.org>wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 6:41 AM, Stephen Michael Kellat
>> <skellat at fastmail.net> wrote:
>>> In a [hostile] regime, this is not a plug and pray platform
>>> that requires no training.
>> that's probably the appropriate conclusion. and i think we should not
>> underestimate the importance of freedombox in the US and also in
>> Europe. This is something we need. On all levels, and for the general
>> public. So i think it should be a tool aimed both at relatively-free
>> and not-so-free countries, at the same time, keeping in mind the
>> differences between the use cases, and providing documentation with it
>> to educate users.
> Yes definitely.. The FreedomBox was born out of Eben Moglen's vision to
> liberate
> us from the centralized Facebooks, Googles, etc. It is about having data
> under
> our control, and about decentralized communication. My understanding is
> that the
> use case of political activism is of course important, but just a subset of
> the
> FreedomBox idea.

I think this pretty much sums up to views upon the project that have
often been been brought up on this mailing list: There are some people
who want it to be a free, censorship-resistant, distributed, meshed,
secure etc. (insert your favourite property here) device, which is in
itself a noble and ambitious idea but perhaps a bit to too difficult
given the readily available technology in the near future, and others
who simply want it a small server that provides an alternative/a
substitute to the above mentioned types of services.

There has been a lot of discussion, but little progress compared to the
interest the project initially had and to some extent still has. Perhaps
one should focus the efforts on features that can be delivered in a year
or two and accept that these ambitious ideas are part of the next big
step and that having working software is more important in the current
situation. If that means that the FreedomBox is not the perfect computer
for dissidents, we will have to accept this for now (remember that most
people volunteer in their free time).

Maybe applying a more structured software development process (e.g.
assigning people to tasks and keeping track of their progress and
maintaining a development plan/schedule) could help to make better
progress, so that the FreedomBox becomes something tangible and usable
instead of an idea, though it could be difficult without full-time
developers (just a thought).

I don't know if this has been said before on this mailing list as I have
not always the time to pay close attention, but following the discussion
of the last weeks I think this had to be said.


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