[Freedombox-discuss] FreedomBox Summit

Joseph Nuthalapati njoseph at riseup.net
Sat Nov 10 04:51:13 GMT 2018

Hash: SHA512


Here are some developments I'd like to see in FreedomBox in the
near future:

Table of Contents

1 Separation of Operating System and Applications
2 FreedomBox Contrib
3 User Feedback and Analytics
4 Improving Adoption

1 Separation of Operating System and Applications

  I think the FreedomBox platform should take a lesson from the Android
  platform in separating the operating system from its applications.
  FreedomBox, the consumer operating system for servers, should provide
  the core framework with a few server applications shipped as stock
  applications, e.g. Radicale, Syncthing, Dynamic DNS, Let's Encrypt,
  Tor etc. The remaining applications should be provided as apps through
  an "app store" of sorts. The development of FreedomBox apps can be
  taken up by interested third-parties, not the core team. We already
  have 25 applications and counting, the maintenance of which is taking
  up significant time and efforts from the FreedomBox team. We'll be
  completely overwhelmed with application maintenance when the number of
  applications reaches 50.

2 FreedomBox Contrib

  Debian packaging for some large applications like federated social
  networks (diaspora*, mastodon etc.) has turned out to be a Sisyphean
  task. It's worth noting that the one year's effort spent on packaging
  diaspora* was undone when the upstream released a new major version.
  Packaging the new version turned out be as much work once again. This
  is likely to happen again when the next major version is released.

  Most modern federated applications are being written in languages with
  packaging systems that encourage too many small packages. diaspora*
  alone has 250 Ruby dependencies. Mastodon needs both Ruby and NodeJS

  The diaspora* team has been fairly successful with their contrib
  package called disapora-installer, but the diaspora package itself
  requires too much manpower to maintain. I propose that we should
  create a freedombox-contrib package that when installed can install
  applications like diaspora* through their contrib packages
  (diaspora-installer in this case).

3 User Feedback and Analytics

  Passive collection of anonymized user interaction data is what guided the
  development and improvement of most modern commercial platforms. I
  believe that we should do proper web and mobile analytics with a
  self-hosted solution like Matomo. A low-hanging fruit in this category
  is to do regular user surveys with a few carefully formulated

4 Improving Adoption

  Discussed earlier on the mailing list at

Danny Haidar <haidar at freedomboxfoundation.org> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I want to open a discussion about the FreedomBox Foundation's
> upcoming FreedomBox Summit. As we discussed on our progress
> call on October 13, the FreedomBox Foundation is hosting a
> meeting in New York City on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 with
> Sunil Mohan Adapa, James Valleroy, Eben Moglen, and me. The aim
> of the meeting is to discuss the main challenges facing the
> FreedomBox project and to plan for our future.
> When I first announced this meeting on our progress call, I
> mentioned that we want the agenda to include items recommended
> by the community. I want to ask each of you on this discussion
> list to help us out with this. In short, we are planning to
> discuss the most important issues facing the FreedomBox project
> as we continue to grow, attract new users, and expand into
> hardware sales. My questions for you: what do you think are the
> most important challenges facing the FreedomBox project? What
> do you want to see us do in the future? We want FreedomBox to
> become a mainstream consumer privacy solution. What do you
> think we need to do before we get to that point?
> These questions are intentionally broad--please feel free to
> interpret them however you wish and answer as narrowly or
> broadly as you'd like. As I said, we want to give the community
> a voice in this meeting, so you should feel free to raise any
> issue that you care about.
> I will take note of all the questions I get and try my best to
> incorporate your ideas into our agenda. You can feel free to
> email me your ideas in this thread, or to my email address
> privately at <haidar at freedomboxfoundation.org>. Alternatively,
> I also plan to bring this up on our upcoming progress call this
> Saturday, November 10--so you can bring your questions to that
> call if you want.
> I hope to hear from many of you!
> Best,
> Danny

- -- 
Joseph Nuthalapati



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