Thoughts about tech, politics, and more

The power of git-sed

In the recent weeks and months, the FSFE Web Team has been doing some heavy work on the FSFE website. We moved and replaced thousands of files and their respective links to improve the structure of a historically grown website (19+ years, 23243 files, almost 39k commits). But how to do that most efficiently in a version controlled system like Git? In our scenarios, the steps executed often looked like the following:

System Hackers meeting - Lyon edition

For the 4th time, and less than 5 months after the last meeting, the FSFE System Hackers met in person to coordinate their activities, work on complex issues, and exchange know-how. This time, we chose yet another town familiar to one of our team members as venue – Lyon in France. What follows is a report of this gathering that happened shortly before #stayhome became the order of the day.

I love the hidden champions

A few days ago I’ve sent an announcement email for today’s I Love Free Software Day to a large bunch of people. Most of the remarkably many replies have been positive and a pure joy to read, but some were a bit sceptical and critical. These came from Free Software contributors who are maintaining and helping projects that they think nobody knows and sees – not because these software projects are unused, but because they are small, a building block for other, more popular applications.

The 3rd FSFE System Hackers hackathon

On 10 and 11 October, the FSFE System Hackers met in person to tackle problems and new features regarding the servers and services the FSFE is running. The team consists of dedicated volunteers who ensure that the community and staff can work effectively. The recent meeting built on the great work of the past 2 years which have been shaped by large personal and technical changes. The System Hackers are responsible for the maintenance and development of a large number of services.

Protect freedom on radio devices: raise your voice today!

We are facing a EU regulation which may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio decives like WiFi routers, smartphones and embedded devices. You can now give feedback on the most problematic part by Monday, 4 March. Please participate – it’s not hard! In the EU Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) contains one highly dangerous article will cause many issues if implemented: Article 3(3)(i).

FSFE Planet has been refurbished

If you are reading these lines, you are already accessing the brand-new planet of the FSFE. While Björn, Coordinator of Team Germany, has largely improved the design in late 2017, we tackled many underlying issues this time. So what has changed under the hood? The whole system runs in a Docker container now, with all code accessible on our Git. Yes, Docker has drawbacks, but in this case it eases maintenance for our volunteers and makes contributions to design and code very simple.

Idee: Wiki zu gesellschaftspolitischen Positionen von Prominenten

Alles begann, als mein Mitbewohner Lars und ich uns eines morgens fragten: „Mit wem würden wir lieber ein Bier trinken gehen, Thomas de Maizière oder Jens Lehmann?“. Zu de Maizière hatten wir beide eine recht eindeutige Meinung, aber bei Lehmann waren wir uns nicht sicher, ob wir uns mit ihm verstehen würden. Lars meinte sich zu erinnern, dass er ein merkwürdiges Gesellschaftsbild hätte, allerdings zeigte ein Blick auf Lehmanns Wikipedia-Artikel, dass er gemeinnützig sehr engagiert ist.

I love astroid! #ilovefs

You cannot imagine how long I’ve waited to write this blog post. Normally I’m not the bragging kind of guy but for this year’s edition of my „I love Free Software“ declaration articles (after 2014, 2015 and 2016) I just want to shout out to the world: I have the world’s best mail client: astroid! Hugo and me declaring our love to astroid Hugo and me declaring our love to astroid Update February 2018: Meanwhile I have published my mail config incl.

Build FSFE websites locally

Note: This guide is also available in FSFE’s wiki now, and it will be the only version maintained. So please head over to the wiki if you’re planning to follow this guide. Those who create, edit, and translate FSFE websites already know that the source files are XHTML files which are build with a XSLT processor, including a lot of custom stuff. One of the huge advantages from that is that we don’t have to rely on dynamic website processors and databases, on the other hand there are a few drawbacks as well: websites need a few minutes to be generated by the central build system, and it’s quite easy to mess up with the XML syntax.

OpenRheinRuhr 2016 – A report of iron and freedom

Last weekend, I visited Oberhausen to participate in OpenRheinRuhr, a well-known Free Software event in north-western Germany. Over two days I was part of FSFE’s booth team, gave a talk, and enjoyed talking to tons of like-minded people about politics, technology and other stuff. In the next few minutes you will learn what coat hangers have to do with flat irons and which hotel you shouldn’t book if you plan to visit Oberhausen.