Other countries (was: Re: FSF UK?)

Frederico S. Mu�oz fsmunoz at sdf.lonestar.org
Wed Jan 3 00:19:06 UTC 2001

On Tue, Jan 02, 2001 at 10:53:06AM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> "Georg C. F. Greve" <greve at gnu.org> writes:

Ok, as usual I will be commenting things with the focus on Portugal,
for obvious reasons.

Please note that I am not pushing anything or saying that everything
here is ready and waiting; indeed some things are still lacking, and I
will try to expose them here.

> > So for countries other than the beginning four, we will be talking to
> > people, get to know them, start thinking about the legal aspects, but
> > that is pretty much it for now - if you want to things to move faster,
> > you might consider setting up an associate organization (see status
> > update document) in your country or joing the organization that will
> > probably become the associate organization.
> Personally, I suspect that the time is right for a FS organisation in
> the UK, as I believe it is second only to Germany for Linux
> penetration.  The recent proliferation of Linux magazines and Linux
> sections to mainstream computing magazines, with their generally good
> coverage of the wider GNU project means that the communication
> networks needed also probably exist.

In Portugal I count 4 Linux monthly magazines. It's not high, but
please consider that the population is of 10 million, and that the
number of ppl that actual read *anything* drops the numbers to 1/3,
and from these the number of ppl that read computer magazines drop to
about 1/20 :) It's not only here though, this kind of percentages are
common to just about every country I know.

Other than that there are 3 portals (a la /. - PTnix, Gildot, Linux
CheckPoint - this guys actually had to issue a public cry for help
because the penguin they borrowed from the Zoo runned away and got
lost in Lisbon!) and at least 2 big GNU/Linux organizations (the PLUG
and POLI, each of them wiith webpages filled with resources). The GIL
is a more scientific group composed from ppl of universities.

There was already a manifesto issued by all of them, the P3M
manifesto (from 'Portugal Deserves More and Better', the last three
words are all with an M in postuguese), that was sent to just about
every news-source and made quite an impact.

This is all very nice, but see bellow for what could be considered the
other half :)
> There have been isolated projects concerning the use of Free Software
> in various fields, but I don't yet know of any united organisation for
> them.  I'll ask around and see if anyone here does.
> > As far as the UK is concerned I wouldn't know whether any local
> > organziation that would become associated... anyone feel willing to
> > give an overview of all UK GNU/Linux organization together with an
> > estimation of the "Free Software firmness" and "GNU awareness?"
> The only other structures which I am aware of are the uklugs group.  I
> think that LUGs here are reaching a fairly stable point and some sort
> of central FS support body would be welcomed by them.  It may even be
> possible for uklugs to become such a body, but that depends on their
> philosophical viewpoint, I guess (I think we need GNU
> "fundamentalists" more than Linux pragmatists).  Again, I'll ask.


This is the other half.

All this groups (and I restate, they, even considering the
overlapping, have a lot of members) are Linux groups. Byt this I mean
not only that they use Linux, but exactly what was said about

I have no doubt that many ppl within this groups (and even outside,
I'm not an active member of any of them, although I'm in the PLUG and
translating for the GNU Translation Project) are what we can consider
'fundamentalists' in the good, FSF sense :), but the vast majority is
like the vast majority of all Linux users.  Adding to that there's
another important point: there really isn't anybody, AFAIK, here that
is enough known to outside ppl as having ' the faith' - several guys
are well admired here, but that's all. That per se excludes any
participation in the medium future, because this things are really a
matter of trust, and here in that regard we have to start from the

Having said all this I really would like to know exactly what it takes
for an org to become an associate or something... because the truth
is, I'm trying to think of the best way to get things going here
(note: getting things going is spreading the news, adverstising the
FSFE, discuss forms of particpating, etc. I'm *not* in any way taking
the lead on anything or voluntearing for anything. I think you got my
point), and as such I would like to have feedback on what steps to
take. If not, then the FSFE will prolly reach 2040 and we will still
be happily oblivious of it's existence.

As an addenda, and before anybody asks the perenial question 'What
have *you* contributed to the free-software community?', I'll answer:
very little. Just testing, translating, web pages, debian
maintanership and little more.

Best Regards,


Frederico S. Mu�oz		GNU	http://www.gnu.org
fsmunoz at sdf.lonestar.org	Debian	http://www.debian.org

http://sdf.lonestar.org - SDF Public Access Unix Systems
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