FSFE Newsletter - June 2012

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Jun 4 18:33:02 CEST 2012

= FSFE Newsletter - June 2012 =

[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201206.en.html ]

== Free Software, Open Source, FOSS, FLOSS – Same same but different

There are two major terms connected to software that can be freely used,
studied, shared and improved: Free Software and Open Source. You can
also find different combinations and translations of those terms like
FOSS, Libre Software, FLOSS and so on. Reading articles about Free
Software or listening to people involved in Free Software often raises
the question: Why do they use one term or another and how they differ
from each other?

Long time FSFE volunteer Björn Schiessle wrote a good article[1]about
this topic, how to deal with the different terminology.


== State neglected web standards, company now faces EUR 5600 in fines ==

In Slovakia, the state has mandated electronic means as the only way of
fulfilling certain statutory obligations. However the dedicated web
solution excludes some citizens from participating as it is not
interoperable and runs only on the non-free software from one vendor. In
absence of any non-electronic option, this means that the state mandates
the use of a certain product from a certain vendor. People who did not
own the copy, had to buy one. A Slovak textile importer deemed that the
state should not force him to use a certain software for its business
and fulfilled its legal obligation by paper. Now the company faces EUR
5600 in fines.

Current FSFE intern Martin Husovec decided this is not just and made it
his internship project to change it: he is working on the case, reading
court files, wrote FSFE's press release[2], and an executive summary of
the EURA case[3]. He is motivated to ensure that no one is forced to use
certain non-free software in Slovakia just to fulfil the law, and will
keep you updated[4].

2. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120509-01.en.html
3. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120509-02.en.html
4. http://fsfe.org/news/news.en.html

== Will the UK be lobbied into the FRAND trap? ==

Free Software could be blocked from the UK's public sector use if the
new policy allow"FRAND" terms[5]within British standards. As recently
revealed by Freedom of Information Requests[6]: Intensive lobbying
efforts have focused on pressuring the Cabinet Office to back down on a
strong definition of Open Standards over the past few months.

5. http://fsfe.org/projects/os/why-frand-is-bad-for-free-software.en.html
6. http://www.freedomofinformationrequests.co.uk/

FSFE is trying to counter this development. In May the FSFE asked North-
West UK businesses to tell Government that Open Standards matter[7], and
we will continue to work on the case.

7. http://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120528-01.en.html

== Democratic elections with non-free software? ==

In France, the FSFE has raised its concerns (French)[8]on the online
voting process implemented for French electors registered abroad. FSFE
strongly criticised the complete lack of precautions, the opacity of the
voting process, and the request to use proprietary software to vote.

8. https://fsfe.org/news/2012/news-20120525-01.html

== Something completely different ==

- "My cooking can't be a copy of your cooking." Richard Stallman wrote a
  new article"Network Services Aren't Free or Nonfree; They Raise Other
- This month's Fellowship interview[10]is with Giacomo Poderi, member of
  FSFE's general assembly, has worked as a translator and editor for
  FSFE, as well as completing a masters degree in Philosophy. Currently
  he is working on a Ph.D in sociology, which looks at the user
  experience in Free Software Projects, focusing on the turn-based
  strategy game "The Battle for Wesnoth".
- According to joinup[11], software written by or for public authorities
  and public organisations in the Basque Country will by default be made
  available to others as Free Software starting this July.
- What happens with licenses when the licensor gets insolvent? IfrOSS
  wrote a proposal (German)[12]about insolvency questions with Free
  Software Licenses, which FSFE also supports.
- Open Standards: "How did we get to a point where we will pay for the
  'privilege' of having a vendor take our data and lock it up such that
  we have to pay them, again and again, to access it?" asks Jake Edge
  from LWN in his article"Who owns your data?"[13]. Will you "rebel" at
  next year's Document Freedom Day[14]?
- In the lawsuit Oracle vs. Google FSFE's Carlo Piana[15]and FSF's John
  Sullivan[16]published articles covering the topic.
- A selection from the Fellowship blog aggregation[17]:Fellowship
  representative Nikos Roussos gave a speech[18]about Free Software
  solutions that can be used for self-hosted web services.
- Georg Greve does "not believe that Windows is the future of the Free
  Software desktop." Sounds obvious? Is it? Here is his blog article"A
  bridge leading nowhere: Outlook-centric groupware"[19].
- Clean, playful, wide use in Free Software, out-of-the-boxiness. Fellow
  Karl Beecher argues why to choose Python for teaching[20].
- FSFE's vice-president is hacking on Searduino[21], a software to make
  it easy to program C/C++ for Arduino. It is also a simulator for
  source level Arduino API so it is possible to directly test executable
  code without the Arduino board present, and it can even do more.
- Or are you looking for a good configuration for your tiling window
  manager? Fellows shared their configuration files for Awesome[22], and
- Beside that Hannes Hauswedell wrote about improving e-mail
  privacy[24]by removing header information when using GnuPG and
  Thunderbird, and
- Isabel Drost explains how to ruin software projects fast and rapidly.
  E.g. by referring developers as resources, not not investing in
  tooling, or by other suggestions[25].
- Finally, if you have the problem that one of your presentations is
  still too long, she also has suggestions how to shorten it[26].

10. http://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=590
13. https://lwn.net/Articles/496418/
14. http://documentfreedom.org
15. http://piana.eu/java-verdict
17. http://planet.fsfe.org
18. http://roussos.cc/2012/05/14/liberate-your-cloud-data/
19. http://blogs.fsfe.org/greve/?p=505
20. http://computerfloss.com/2012/05/why-choose-python-for-teaching/
22. http://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2012/05/05/my-awesome-wm-config/
23. http://blogs.fsfe.org/thomaslocke/2012/05/05/my-xmonad-wm-config/
24. http://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2012/05/12/improving-e-mail-privacy/


== Get Active: PDFReaders 2.0 – Your help is needed! ==

Our petition[27]is signed by 72 organisations, 57 businesses, and 2327
individuals. The Green party filed an oral request in the European
Parliament[28](5 questions) , and in the German Parliament[29](18
questions with introduction). The German agency for IT security is
recommending pdfreaders.org[30]in their new migration guide and
highlights that you should not advertise for non-free software readers.
And 539 public administrations removed the advertisement for non-free
software, which is a success rate of 25%.

27. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/petition.en.html
28. http://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/parliamentary-questions-eu.en.html
30. http://pdfreaders.org

After long discussions and considerations the PDF readers team is now
preparing a major update to PDFReaders.org, adding: a more appealing and
cleaner front-page, with one recommendation for the auto-detected
platform; free pdf reader recommendations for mobile platforms; and free
pdf browser plugin recommendations.

Please have a look at the current reader overview and the TODOs
there[31], and tell us[32]if you know any other free PDF reader that we
have not listed, and which Android reader you would recommend.

31. https://wiki.fsfe.org/PDFreaders/todo2012/Overview-Page
32. mailto:feedback at pdfreaders.org

Thanks to all the Fellows[33]and donors[34]who enable our work,
33. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join
34. donate/thankgnus.en.html

Matthias Kirschner- FSFE

Free Software Foundation Europe <http://fsfe.org>
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