[Freedombox-discuss] Introduction

Chris Hall bitmonki at gmail.com
Sat Mar 23 10:03:16 UTC 2013

Greetings & Salutations one and all!

My name is Chris, and I've been getting paid to write software for over
30 years, for all sorts of organizations: military (I started in the US
Marines), government (federal/local), an airline, two banks, two
consulting firms (one local startup - successful!, one global) and one
dot-com startup (vulture capital ate it).

It is with *great* interest that, after watching Mr. Moglen's
presentation at ISOC-NY I've been slowly working my through this mailing
list's archives.  Mr. Moglen is an engaging and effective speaker.  As a
result, I have initiated my own move away from 'the cloud', even though
I wasn't really in it: no Faceboogie activity, although I have a place
holder account as I also do on Goobook+ and TweetiePie.

First, I'd like to say that I consider both Mr. Moglen and Mr. Stallman
(RMS!) to be of a stature like unto the Founding Fathers and Mothers of
the USA.  What they have accomplished is in my mind easily as important
in today's world, or perhaps more accurately, a necessary extension of
the Founders' work.   I honestly think that 'genius' is not too strong
of a word in this context.  Thanks, guys! :D

I first heard of 'Free Software' from a colleague with a Unix background
around 1993/4 (?) -- being a professional software developer/consultant,
I snickered "really?"  My colleague said it wasn't as silly as it
sounded at first, and gave me a URL.  So I suspended my disbelief, and
checked it out.  But it took a couple of years for me to really 'get it'.

I started using Linux at Red Hat 3.x, and when the upgrade to 6.0
botched badly, I switched to Debian for my desktop/servers and have
never really looked back.

Speaking with my 'corporate consultant' hat on, its pretty clear that
Freedom Box is what we used to call a classic 'systems integration'
job.  (And I'm aware that I'm preaching to the choir on that.)

So as I worked my through the archives here, I couldn't help but do a
mental survey of all the Debian software I was aware of, with an eye to
this project.

For various reasons, Erlang kept coming to mind: 
Communications-oriented, check! Multi-platform, check! Reliable, check!
Debian package, check! Web server, check! SSH, SSL, PKI, check, check,
check! XMPP, check! ODBC, check! Lightweight, mmmmm, ok, check.  (FWIW,
there is also a stards-compiant 'media gateway/border controller', etc.,
for (I'm guessing) H.323 support)

That's just in the Debian install.  Full Disclosure: I am not an Erlang
evangelist, but I did run an ejabberd instance for a couple of years in
the very late '90s.

A little quick googling also found: SIP/RTP, check! Jingle, check!
SMTP/IMAP/POP ('standards-compliant'), check! FastCGI (for PHP backend),

I'm aware of the thread from, I think, July 2011 where Erlang was
discussed here, and seemingly dismissed after a comment about the trust
model for its distributed database.  Honestly, even if that was a
'minus' (arguable IMO, given the larger context) One against all the
time saving features I just mentioned?

So I've installed it Erlang 1.14-debian, and will see what I can come up

I currently run, on 2 separate Debian VPSes, Yate for SIP/Jingle,
lighttpd PHP-FPM with APC, Friendica, and a Word Press 'multi-site
(sub-directory')' install, with MariaDB (MySQL drop-in replacement, even
did the 'drop in' over a MySQL install).

I'll let y'all know how it goes consolidating those into Erlang.

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list