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.
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).
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.
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 Update February 2018: Meanwhile I have published my mail config incl.
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.
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.
Since end of 2014 I published some of my Free Software code – mostly Bash, R and HTML/PHP – on a self-hosted gitweb instance. I did this because I wanted to share the work I’ve done with other people because I’ve learnt a lot by reading other people’s code. Although I’m just a „hobby programmer“, I hoped at least some people can benefit from it.
Do you know being in a restaurant and getting a menu which is longer than the average novel, and you cannot decide for a single meal because every single one sounds more delicious than the other? That’s similar to the problem I was having when writing this blog post… Today is the „I love Free Software“ day, on which people all over the world say „thank you“ to contributors of Free Software, often created in free time and with lots of passion.
Should authorities be allowed to make advertisement for only one company and ignore all the others? Many people strongly disagree, among them myself, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and also the CIO of the Federal Republic of Germany, the IT commissioner of the German Government. The whole story began with something we all had to read sometimes, at least subconsciously, on a website providing PDF documents: „To open the PDF files please download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Imagine you want install GNU/Linux but your bandwidth won’t let you… tl;dr: I wrote a rather small Bash script which splits huge files into several smaller ones and downloads them. To ensure the integrity, every small files is being checked for its hashsum and file size. That’s the problem I was facing in the past days. In the school I’m working at (Moshi Institute of Technology, MIT) I set up a GNU/Linux server to provide services like file sharing, website design (on local servers to avoid the slow internet) and central backups.