Learning about Free & Open Source


#1

Learning about Free and Open Source is something fundamentaly important since the topic comes back all the time in our discourse. But does everyone really know in depth this complicated and exceedingly relevant topic?

I believe we need to educate our community to better understand the core of FOSS when using it as a tool to empower an internet for humans.

I seek a few people that would like to arrange a joint workshop in teaching our community fundamentals in Free & Open Source. Are you that person? Lets educate.


#2

Sounds like a really good idea. I know a little, and have some particular idea around FOSS user community. Yes, let’s put something together to benefit as many as we can!

Simon


#3

I am in Free and Open Source Software since quite a while. I believe I’d have great fun preparing and doing a workshop, but would need proper financial compensation atm.


#4

Hello @erik_lonroth, I have a question: who do you mean when you write “our community”? The IOH community?


#5

I would love to do this with you at Blivande. What a great initiative!


#6

Oh, well, I’m not to picky about what the community really is. Those that show up I guess.


#7

@hugi @asimong

I see a two step process here:

  1. Come together some experts, discuss and produce some material on: “How do we explain and educate in the four freedoms of FOSS to teachers and students”?

  2. Then, a plan on how we run this education through our community in a good and way such as they too can teach others?

The rationale for this strategy is:
Since computers and programming gets introduced very early in children’s lives today - planting FOSS values is of critical importance in how the next generation of internet citizens reflect on software and its use/implementation. Today, they get pumped even in school, with the message from a proprietary world view: “copyright”, “limited use”, “eula:s”, “trademark”, “Intellectual property”, “patents”, “digtal right managements”, “activation codes”, “geo blocking”, etc. etc. etc. These are the things taught in schools today.

We, as in IOH, need to work out a means to foster a generation that desire something else and it needs to start with a narrative that can be understood by teachers, students and people not experts in computer science.

In my role as Open Source officer at Scanai and board member of Open Source Sweden I can provide contact with higher academics should this develop that way, but its likely best to allow this to grow and develop inside a community that already share these values.
I can also provide access to a “test platform” in form of a school (Gymnasium, 17-19 years) to test the education. I know a teacher that would love to participate in such a setup. I might even pull strings on the “Gymnasiechefen” in Stockholm, who happens to be a relative.

These above items are all “possible” paths later, but lets start small and create the education for ourselves first?


#8

Sounds good! We need to find a group that can develop the material. I need to be realistic about what I can offer towards this initiative.

What I can commit to relating to this program is the following:

  1. Providing space at Blivande for seminars, hackathons etc.
  2. Participation in workshops
  3. Edgeryders and Internet of Humans branding if/when needed
  4. Plugging this project into the wider IoH ecosystem

#9

Yes, I can see value in teaching about FOSS principles (I’m no great expert here, though I could help work out how to teach them – I can also see value (perhaps even more) in teaching with examples of FOSS projects, illustrating the principles through them. And also, what has also been missing (badly), teaching people about what needs to happen at a social, collaborative level for FOSS projects to work. How much time I am willing to give pro bono depends on the alignment here.

All good wishes

Simon


#10

Ok, so you mean “this emergent community here in the Internet of Humans space” as opposed to, say, “the tech community in the Nordic countries”, or any other community you might be a part of. Noted. :slight_smile:


#11

Wow, this is really valuable!


#12

Don’t free/open source programs run into trouble a lot of the time because the person(s) who created it often move on to other projects and don’t support them as they need to migrate to upgraded operating systems and hardware requirements?


#13

I assume with “programs” you mean smaller open source software projects.

It is not difficult to find such situations, but the answer to the kind of “inverse” question is true as well: “Doesnt it happen that open source projects can be continued by other person(s) after the original creator(s) do not support them anymore?”.

And in contrast to the also often happening event that a proprietary software product gets the plug pulled out, at least there is the technical and legal possibility to continue using (or migrating) that specific technology.

So, I do not really understand where your question points at. I see a couple of points (maintainer burnout, blind dependency on projects with unclear (future) stories, and all the reasons that lead to failing or abandoned projects).

Besides, it is not the programs that run into the trouble, but those users relying on it and not being able to create a situation (or society :slight_smile: ), where safety nets or a responsibility chain (you are holding one end yourself) are in place for the stuff one relies on.

For the tech-savy: some pretty nerdy puns inside:


#14

Yes you are correct it is true that an open source program of any sort can be carried on by others which is a great virtue and strength. Some of my experience is with nonprofit and other small organizations who are not well funded and go for open source software to save money but like you say it is necessary to have somebody with technical ability to maintain an even move ahead these programs.


#15

Open Source (for humans) - in my opinion - is not about saving anyones money. Its about maintaining a culture of transparency, collaboration, empowerment and freedom.

Running computer systems, in any form, comes with a cost - be it your time or your money - its equally true.

Its true also, that if you don’t care - you are still free (under the four freedoms of foss) to USE the software as you please. However, if you think that running/modifying the software comes without cost, you need to rethink. Free and Open Source Software has nothing to do with cost. Its about what principles the software operates under. In FOSS software, those principles are “hacked” into western copyright law by utilizing a license scheme that guarantee the four freedoms for anyone and mandates that this freedom is passed forward. Its popularly called “copyleft”, but its really just a hack of the existing anglosaxian copyright. As curiosa on this is that it was not until this year that the chines law recognized open source licenses as valid at all under Chinese law which tells a story about the current copyright legislation and its reach.


#16

Well said.


#17

What is the parameter to measure the “know in depth”? I’m on this world since 1997. Is time a good metric?


#18

@erik_lonroth I’m very curious about this. Currently applying for money on how to educate kids and youngsters who have not been reached by existing educational initiatives around coding and software/hardware. Key aspect of the funding applications is having a starting point from FOSS/OSHW in order to widen mentality, thinking and leadership.


#19

Lets get together and try meet soon?


#20

Hi Erik. @hugi showed me the transcript of the listening triads from the event in Stockholm. I was quite taken with a rather eloquent statement you made there, “My dream is to have an internet where everything is truly allowed. And it should be easy to choose where to be, if you disagree with something, don’t go there.”

I wonder if you would be willing to elaborate a bit on this. You had also mentioned monopolies. Do you see monopoly behavior that prevents this? Maybe the key is “easy to choose where to be.” Maybe it just seems easy, but we get funneled into things without our knowing it?