Strategy and serendipity

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at
Wed May 8 07:03:48 UTC 2019

Am Montag 06 Mai 2019 17:39:09 schrieb Paul Boddie:

While I agree that newsletter, discussion involvement and communication
can be improved, I also think that it is already at school grade B (British 
System). So it it is happening, functioning and it leads to distribution of 
information and opinion building. Anybody can judge this for themselfs, but 
my point is that I do not want a list where a constructive, respectful 
discussion is possible. This is not the only place where discussions happen
and if we voice criticism it should be kept in perspectice.

Let me focus on the mobile strategy questions you raise:

> On Monday 6. May 2019 10.27.57 Bernhard E. Reiter wrote:
> > To make an example:
> > I found some of your articles on mobile computing with Free Software
> > helpful, we could see if we collect information about this more
> > systematically. To include new "fair" approaches like the Shift-phones or
> > LineageOS-MicroG on used phones. If some folks are interested in this a
> > group of volunteers within FSFE can do a lot of useful things.
> Those articles were written by my brother, not me. 

Actually I am referring to the history section "For the Long Term" of
which I believe was written by yourself.

The writeup is interesting and may help to shape a better tactis
and strategy if it picks up some more initiatives like
 * The advances with chipset for MediaTek and other main
   SOC producers
 * SailfishOS(X)
> I think I often make the point that advocacy has its place in encouraging
> Free Software adoption, but there also has to be viable Free Software to be
> adopted. 

Additionally, financial means are needed for developing Free Software 
solutions offering, especially if they need more investment to complete user 
experience. So it can be considered a system where if you get more money into 
procurement of Free Software, you'll end up having more Free Software. And if 
you have more Free Software solutions, more people will "buy" into it.

> We are at the point where, unlike with desktop computers, we cannot simply
> wait for "the market" to solve the problems facing Free Software on mobile
> devices.

This is why we don't just wait for "the market", we have to enable it.
But for all actions of FSFE, the important point is that they can only be 
effective if we have volunteers working on it. So unlesss there are 
volunteers it is hard to do something. Most of these topics need to be 
followed up over many years and our strategy is to first keep open 
possibilities or prevent major problems for initiatives. One example: The 
fight against software patents. Another one: the push towards open standards 
(which enable competition which means people can still use a different 
software or hardware to participate in private or public processes).

> Advocating that people buy an ancient Galaxy device that was presumably
> intercepted on its journey to being scrapped or sent to landfill, "while
> stocks last", is not a sustainable situation over time. And Free Software
> should be all about sustainability. This is where the FSFE and other
> organisations lack apparent strategic direction.

To me a strategy is visible, but I also hope we get more people to work on it
to make it more explicit. (As said above our resources are limited.)

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: | contribute
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