@be honestly capitalism is beneath my range of concerns. freeing the means of production, so we all are enabled, is the visionquest i'm on atm. that happens to be anticapitalist right now but if capitalism becomes convenient to the moral cause then i might possibly reasses. liberate technology.
It's time to stop being held back by this libertarian bullshit that corporations might possibly be okay.
@be I like this post on the subject: https://davelane.nz/toxicity-public-multinational-corporations
Corporations are like snapping turtles!
@be so if no corps exist where will people fulfill their needs for supplies? The federal government?
@be Corporations aren't bad per say it's allowing companies to go private and do what every they want including breaking the law that's the biggest issue.
@koreymoffett At least in the United States, corporations are legally prohibited from spending money on anything that is not for the purpose of getting their shareholders more money.
@be I'm just saying that if they were held to the same standards as everyone else such as following the same laws everyone else does i feel like most of the issue would be solved
@be I don't really see what you are saying here, for example they should still pay taxes like everyone else even though they aren't people, of course the amount paid would scale.
So, what shall we call this movement? I think it would help to move past both the terms "free software" and "open source". Communal software? Solidarity software? Communal liberatory software?
@be If you choose solidarity software, (SS), you'll have to, eventually, stand in solidarity with people with disabilities, and any software that isn't accessible, you'll have to reject. Gnome won't like that very much (see the crappy accessibility of Gnome Shell), and KDE, well, you'd have to put them on hold. So yeah probably better to pick something else for the 99%. :P
@be More seriously, maybe communal software, to give the nuance of everyone working together. (CS without a need for a CS degree).
@be communist software, contribute what you can and use what is there.
Now it will probably turn away more people than only fascists though :p
@be Fair Software Movement, was something I came up with a little while ago for a similar reason. It’s fair, everyone wins.
@joerebelloharley I think "fair" is too ambiguous. It provides a lot leeway for creeps and fascists.
I am drawn more and more towards simply "communal software". It is simple and to the point without needing to bring in a lot of loaded political baggage. Sure capitalists might fund some of it, but I think it would be significantly more difficult for capitalists to co-opt "communal software" than the nebulous "open source" which has had its meaning intentionally diluted and stretched to absurdity.
I also like that "communal software" doesn't say anything about source code, which I think could be more welcoming for people contributing in ways that are not programming.
"Communal software" might not totally keep obnoxious libertarians away, but it I think it would do a pretty good job of preventing them from dominating the discourse.
@be Hopefully, me a few years ago could be labelled as that, but I’m not anymore, well, at least not obnoxious, and skeptical of all political figures.
@joerebelloharley Yes I think it leaves enough leeway for libertarians to participate so long as they don't interfere with building community.
@be "Software of the Commons" to directly invoke the Tragedy of the Commons? Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue though.
@splatt9990 I think "commons software" would be too easy for corporations to co-opt for precisely that reason.
Of course, capitalists will try to co-opt "communal software" too. But I think it would be much easier to defend a *communal* definition of the term, like any other word or term in ordinary language. If the defense of the principles relies on referring to some Important White Man's proclamation of what the term means, well, who cares? That's easy for a multibillion dollar company's marketing department to trample.
On the other hand, if everyone intuitively has a sense of what the term "communal software" means, even if they aren't intimately familiar with the history and philosophy of the movement, they could much more easily identify when a capitalist is doing some shady marketing to set their own agenda.
Can ordinary people who haven't read the Great White Mens' definition of "open source" tell the difference between what the Great White Men say it is and what Google and Microsoft say it is? Unless they think the issue is somehow important enough to spend their time researching the issue, I doubt it.
@lightweight @be @splatt9990 Yesterday, I went on a bit of a rant about this same topic (https://social.finkhaeuser.de/@jens/105943742804743427 if you want)
I'm all for "communal software". What I'm more concerned with, though, is how we define that.
Problem is, I *like* the four freedoms, I just don't think they are enough. The "communal" term suggests the right direction.
I struggle a bit to define the necessary other communal aspects in a similarly concise form.
@lightweight @be @splatt9990 I figure the UNIX approach of one tool, one job is closely related to the "toolkits over frameworks" kind of thinking. To me, both enable freedoms because they allow much more varied re-use, being less prescriptive to users.
But it's hard to put them into a license - not that I particularly want to - this would have to be more of a manifesto. And then it's still a fuzzy enough thing that people can interpret it differently.
If I start with the idea that engineering is political, then engineering has to aim for certain goals, in the context of our conversation here communal goals.
I do think that there are more exclusionary engineering practices that have nothing to do with unsound design; one is to subsume a lot of separate concerns into one system.
@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 I generally agree with you that our motivating principles and the real world impact we want to have on actual humans should inform the technical decisions we make. But I don't think any particular techniques of accomplishing those goals should be coupled to a political philosophy. So I think your point works better as an abstract principle rather than a specific prescription of "this is the best way to design software".
I harp on about reusability and toolkits and so forth because it's a good example, and whatever definition one comes up with should encourage that.
Maybe reusability is the key term here. Applicability in a diverse range of use cases. Good words elude me for now!
That's essentially the difference between toolkits and frameworks, which is leading in deciding how something is used: the user (toolkit!), or the software (framework!).
I think this discussion digresses a little bit, though, fun as it is. Communal software sounds good.
@be I guess I don't get the White Men thing. Is that a racial comment? If so, why does Their race matter? If not, then what's it mean?
Something the term "communal software" could be used to defend against is Android. I would not call it communal software if it is developed (largely) behind closed doors and public input into development processes and priorities is not considered. A company doing their own thing then dumping a bunch of source code on the Internet without working with other people is not communal.
@mab It means that it's problematic to treat a few privileged people as the ones who get to decide what words mean.
Similarly, I don't think it is "communal software" if it is a fork that is made without any input from the community of the original software, for example Streamlabs' OBS fork.
@be why is everything about race these days? Someone has to decide what words to use and if someone else doesn't like those words, they can lobby to change them. But making it a racial issue when it isn't only furthers any preexisting racial divide or creates one where none existed prior.
To be clear, I think forking software can be great. Sometimes different subsets of a community have such different priorities that it is best if they split and work on different software. But let's prefer to work together wherever practical.
@be Are you going to make a website outlining this philosophy, so that we can link to it?
If so, I can do web design and I can totally help out.
@be Should I make an organization and add you to it? (or vice versa)
If so, what should it be called? Ideas: CSF (Communal Software Foundation), or just CS (that's available), or CommunalSoftware, or whatever you think of.
@josias How about just "Communal Software"? I personally am not trying to establish a legal institution myself. I hope others gather around this and take it further though. IMO part of the point is to decentralize and democratize who gets to decide what it means.
@josias Do you have a preference for a static site generator? Or does Codeberg Pages require a specific one? I'm fine with whatever as long as it is simple to use.
@be I prefer Zola because I'm used to it and am already using it for two other websites.
I think the pages repo has to be the site you want published, so if we aren't using raw HTML, I think we'd have to push the generated "public" directory to the pages repo.
@josias If you could get the static site generator set up with Codeberg Pages, that would be great. I will work on it a bit later.
It describes a cuulture shift away from #consumptionism.
Again though its not sexy, not a pun (those are gold) but its something to consider as an option.
@dsfgs I don't think that would be a good term because you started your post by asking if I knew of the word.
We asked if you'd 'heard the term', not the 'word'. The word, 'covivial' is well-known, to mean 'happy together'.
Its not a terribly common word, but we think 95% would've come across it surely.
Maybe it's more a British/Australian word, hmm…
How can we test this?
Here is a first draft to articulate what a communal software movement could be. Let's continue the discussion on Codeberg: https://codeberg.org/CommunalSoftware/website/pulls/1
@be Great! I'll give it a read! I'll make sure to put it up on The DNG Project page when it's at a useable stage.
@be my only concern with such approach is with license proliferation, if we can avoid that, good. :)
I'd appreciate contributions to make it look nicer. I've been focused on writing the text so currently it's just a plain wall of text.
"Towards A Communal Software Movement" is now online! What do *you* think about it?
Big thanks to everyone who has participated in the discussion in this thread. I don't intend for this to be an immutable document. Let's keep improving it, add more links, make it look nicer.
@be I wonder what it means for single developer projects, regarding all the non-code contributions like bug reports, feature requests, .... And is GPL a proper license for communal software?
@weirdconstructor A single developer working alone obviously isn't a community, but it can become one if the license permits that.
@weirdconstructor My computer doesn't run on little side projects written by one person. It runs primarily on large, complex software developed by communities. That's not to diminish the importance of small projects because obviously every software starts somewhere.
@weirdconstructor An interesting current example is PipeWire. It is mostly coded by one person. But he worked with lots of people who would be impacted by the project to plan its design. Now lots of people are helping with testing and reporting bugs. I'd say that's community software.
@weirdconstructor I want to reiterate that I don't think we should focus on binary judgements of whether software meets specific requirements to decide whether to call it communal software. Instead, ask if it is consistent with the principles.
@weirdconstructor That will allow the term to remain flexible to address the challenges that will come in the future that we're not even thinking about now.
@be something like https://www.vice.com/en/article/5dzam3/the-path-to-destroying-capitalism-might-go-through-a-software-license ? wonder if its compatible with gpl
I had an interesting conversation about how "communal software" would be best translated into Spanish. I learned that "communal" in Spanish has connotations of helping, somewhat like "charity" or "welfare" in English. My friends suggested "software cooperativo" instead.
That got me thinking about using "cooperative software" in English too. I think I like it better than "communal software". "Cooperative software" feels more inviting to participate. If you don't consider yourself part of a community, "communal software" may not seem as inviting, as you may think it is for other people. What do you think?
@be I like both, but I agree that cooperative software sounds more inviting. I think someone a couple days ago offered, in one of these threads, "technology" instead of "software".
I like that because it is encompassing of the entire system that allows for the experience of a person interacting with a digital reality.
What about "cooperative technology"?
FWIW, I asked my friends what they thought "software libre" meant in Spanish. To my surprise, they talked about getting the software for no cost without getting in trouble. So I think that "libre" isn't even a great term in Spanish. IMO emphasizing individual liberties misses the point just as emphasizing practical advantages or zero cost miss the point. The point is people working *together* to meet their own needs.
@be oh, that’s also something I talked about yesterday, and I do tend to think of the community part as weighting the most on what people value
@xerz My friends (who are from Columbia FWIW) also suggested "software público" but we thought "software cooperativo" was better. They immediately associated it with cooperative enterprises, which is great!
@be keep in mind, “communal” specifically does have very strong left-wing connotations, but then again I think some people see that as an upside
and then “community” as an adjective may also evoke a sense of nonprofessionalism
@be cooperatives are relatively commonplace and were also supported by fascists at the time, so I don’t think it’s a particularly divisive thing here
@xerz I think "cooperative" may not repel capitalists as much as "communal", but I think it could still be an effective tool for challenging capitalists when they try to coopt it for the private profit of a few over the community.
@xerz I'm not trying to entirely push corporations out, but reframe the discourse in a way that makes it hard for them to dominate.
@be is this actually what all this drama in the FOSS scene is about right now? I’ve heard about this RMS letter but it seems like a load of drama and I like to stay out of drama. But my curiosity is getting the better of me.
@aspie4K This discussion is trying to figure out a better way forward now that we can stop being held back by Stallman.
I finally got around to watching all of Revolution OS last night. That made it very clear that pushing the term "open source" really was about emphasizing compatibility with capitalism. Bruce Perens repeatedly talks about venture capitalists' reactions.
Stallman couldn't effectively challenge what was happening with "open source" because he didn't directly critique capitalism. He just dug his heels in, got more dogmatic about insisting on *his* term and insisting that everything keep going his way instead of reflecting on how his tactics were failing and adapting to meet new challenges.
Because... CSAIL partially depended on donations from capitalists. Such as Epstein. Epstein was Minsky's patron, and it was defending Minsky's relationship with Epstein which allowed RMS to boil himself in hot water."
Stallman was supportive of the early free software businesses like Cygnus. He didn't like what the "open source" people were doing by begging venture capitalists for investment and forming publicly traded corporations with VA and RedHat. But because he didn't critique capitalism, he couldn't articulate what the problem was in a way that many people found appealing. He just dug his heels in.
Because... CSAIL partially depended on donations from capitalists. Such as Epstein. Minsky was the first person at MIT taking money from Epstein, as far as we know, and Minsky was RMS patron at CSAIL. It was defending Minsky's relationship with Epstein which allowed RMS to boil himself in hot water."
Because... CSAIL partially depended on donations from capitalists. Such as Epstein. Minsky was the first person at MIT taking money from Epstein, as far as we know, and Minsky was RMS patron at CSAIL. It was defending Minsky's relationship with Epstein which allowed RMS to boil himself in hot water.
Because... CSAIL partially depended on donations from capitalists. Such as Epstein. Minsky was the first person at MIT taking money from Epstein, as far as we know, and Minsky was RMS patron at CSAIL. It was defending Minsky's relationship with Epstein which motivated RMS to boil himself in hot water.
@be yeah, “cooperative enterprises” is the first thing that also comes up to my mind as a Spaniard lmao
@xerz I think "cooperative software" could be a good term for pushing back against "benevolent dictators for life" as well as corporations.
Dictators for life are a problem. "Open core" is a problem. Proprietary relicensing is a problem. Corporations determining the agenda for software development is a problem. Supporting ICE is a problem. The rhetorics of "open source" and "free software" both fail to articulate how these are problems.
@weirdconstructor @xerz I thought about about "public software" briefly but I don't like it as much as "cooperative software". "Public" doesn't communicate the values about how it is made. I think it communicates that the software is available to anyone, not very different from "open source" or "software libre". So I think it would be just as easy for capitalists to coopt. Also, at least in the US, "public" could imply that it is a government program.
Stallman's response was "tell people that it's really GNU so they learn about why we started GNU". That ship had already sailed years before. People called it "Linux" already and trying to call it "GNU/Linux" at that point came across more as a selfish attempt to take credit than a principled stance for a political agenda. It's also an obviously ineffective communication strategy. If you need an hour long lecture to explain what you're talking about, few people are going to care.
What if Stallman's response was to start calling it "cooperative software" or "communal software"? Maybe more people would have cared to pay attention to what he was saying. But instead he tried to put his ego all over it and generally people didn't care.
@be @xerz I will focus on what I do best: write software and tinker with stuff.I will publish my software under AGPLv3 (or any later). All I really know about #rms are his views on free software, and I share them.And I know that the #FSF published some good licenses for supporting those views.I will continue using the licenses as long as they are compatible with my views and goals. I want to spend my days on earth writing software, have nice interactions with devs and users and not with drama.
The recent drama is unsurprising from this perspective. Stallman's response to the challenges of capitalists coming to free software were increasingly futile attempts to retain control. As time went on, I think his assertions of power became increasingly reactionary and absurd. And so it culminated last week in the explosive announcement that he was back in control of the FSF and he didn't care what anyone else thought about it.
@be Don't really think calling it Communal or Cooperative would have been any different than referring to it as Free Software. A simple rebranding wouldn't have fixed the underlying issues.
@bpepple Of course simply rebranding it wouldn't solve all the issues. But maybe it would have attracted more people to take principled stances and fight for them than chase quick fortune in the dot com bubble.
@be I’ve been working this angle for a bit, specifically around cooperative source; IP held in a semi-permeable membrane where human people can run it however they like, as well as entities formally structured as Rochdale coops.
the missing link is in community development on both the user (consumer) and maintainer/contributor side; as well as developing mutually beneficial socioeconomic relationships between consumers and maintainers.
@zee That's a really interesting point. Would users be more likely to financially support developers directly without depending on begging capitalists for funding if it was called "cooperative software" rather than "open source" or "free software"? I think it could be considerably easier to make models like Krita and Ardour work with the label "cooperative software".
@zee To be clear, I don't think it's a good idea to try to keep corporations from doing horrible acts with software we write through copyright licensing. I think that's a worthy goal, but I think the negative side effects of making it hard to combine software in novel and useful ways outweighs the benefit and ironically gives capitalists an easy way to divide and conquer the movement.
@zee I think a more effective tactic will be shifting the discourse towards "cooperative software". That way, when corporations come with their tainted money, hopefully more developers will have the courage to say "well, maybe I'll take your money. But we have to put governance structures in writing to ensure the community interests are put before profit, or fuck off with your dirty money."
@zee I think capitalists would have a hard time arguing that they're acting cooperatively if they're getting contracts from ICE.
@zee or even arguing they might do business with ICE (if their competitor didn't already have the contract) https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/-/merge_requests/30656
@be Which kind of license would you see as fitting for this movement? I believe copyleft licenses like the GPL or EUPL are an important part of making sure that corporations can't simply fork a project without contributing back and without having an open governance, thereby defeating the whole idea of the movement.
This of course makes the license incompatible with some other projects, which you also mention you don't want to happen. But without copyleft, the whole idea is to easy to destroy.
@be Which kind of license would you see as fitting for this movement? I believe copyleft licenses like the GPL or EUPL are an important part of making sure that corporations can't simply fork a project without contributing back and without having an open governance, thereby defeating the whole idea of the movement.
This of course makes the license incompatible with some other projects, which you also mention you don't want to happen. But without copyleft, the whole idea is too easy to destroy.
@Jbb I wholeheartedly support copyleft! And the AGPL. And the efforts to think beyond the AGPL. I'll leave the lawyering to the lawyers though. https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2020/jan/06/copyleft-equality/
@be +1 for the cooperative software name btw.
communal to me (from a German language background) sounds more like a local area project, like for a specific town or so
I'll work on significant revision to the "Towards A Communal Software Movement" essay and renaming it to "Towards A Communal Technology Movement". I might not have time today, but hopefully in the next couple of days.
@be agree, which is why I’ve been working the angle for the last two years and literally formed a maintainer and contributor owned software coop to steward product and service development.
@be I was literally reading through this thread and about to respond suggesting "Cooperative Software" when I got to this. Then you can tap into all the values of the co-op movement that already exist, and it sounds like that's what you have in mind. Something along the lines of the 1995 Statement on Cooperative Identity, except for software: https://www.ica.coop/en/cooperatives/cooperative-identity
@sam Thanks, I'll look deeper into that! Maybe I'll add a link to that statement when I revise the essay.
@be i think it's got to do with rms's very concept of what freedom is and why freedom is good is fundamentally united with the ego that he'd never allow something like this to be done with his idea of free software
@carcinopithecus Right, Stallman was and is focused on freedom *for himself*. He does talk about community, but it is not the emphasis of his discourse and he doesn't effectively communicate what that means. I read Stallman's essays years before I learned to code much. The point about community was largely lost on me until I actually participated in one beyond the occasional bug report.
@carcinopithecus I think most people don't consider that they could possibly have influence over what their technology does because they don't know how to code and they're used to a world where a company just makes something and says take it or leave it. If they do try to get a company to change something about tech, the response is usually a condescending "lol not our problem", "lol that's just how it is", or "because fuck you, that's why".
@carcinopithecus Having a say over what your technology does should not require knowing how to code. And also, I believe an introductory coding course should be a requirement in high schools so that people believe they actually could change the code themselves.
@bob @carcinopithecus Stallman talks about being able to hire someone to change the code for you, which again, is stuck in a bygone era of computing. Of course, plenty of custom software is still written for businesses, but most people don't have the means to hire someone to change an application on their personal computer.
@bob @carcinopithecus What Stallman does not talk about is working together cooperatively with the developers of the software to reach a consensus about how the software should be changed. This is a much more meaningful message for average users than saying you could hypothetically hire someone to change an application on your personal computer if you're super rich.
@bob @carcinopithecus He does, but he is so out of touch that he doesn't realize this is pretty much meaningless to most people because they don't understand what collective control over the software could mean. He doesn't understand what it's like to be a normal person in today's world who doesn't know anything about programming.
@carcinopithecus Oh and actually getting a real, in depth answer from people who know what they're talking about because they made the thing? Forget about it. They hire a barrier of support personnel who only know the bare minimum of how to deal with the most routine problems.
I am probably working along similar lines (except I ignore RMS completely) and I think you could be interested in adding the commons in general and netCommons in particular to your cognitive map.
I see great potential in two-way osmosis between sociopolitical and technological spaces (they actually merge in every one of us, and no denial can change it ).
Concepts of the commons, stewardship, mutual aid and open licences (Creative Commons my favourite) have largely informed big part of IT community. On the other hand, decentralised infrastructure, localised data and the whole interoperability paradigm, the Fediverse is built upon, is slowly seeping into the political imagination of self-organised communities (with a minuscule help from me).
It bears the potential of significant synergy to push humanity towards a more cooperative and less confrontative way of living (provided we avoid emergency shutdown due to climate disaster, of course)
I'm with you so far, but then what about Free/Libre Culture? Communal Culture?
Also, the one thing I liked about Open Source (and to be sure there wasn't a lot) is that it conveyed the idea of source as the proffered distribution. I wonder if that can be captured somehow?
@emacsen If you emphasize source code, first you have to explain to people who have no idea how computers work what source code is. It's a distraction.
@emacsen I don't know. Call it "cooperative culture" if you want? 🤷 It's related but kinda tangential.
Imo, "capitalism" isn't the problem here, "trade" is. Take a look at this post - https://fosstodon.org/@futureisfoss/105972234864449536
@futureisfoss I think you're missing the point. The problems you decry are the result of people following the incentives that capitalist institutions create to get as much profit as possible for a small group of owners regardless of the consequences.
I was just sharing my opinion. You're right that capitalism makes the effects of trade much worse, and that capitalists wouldn't exist without trade.
But the root cause of these problems lies with trade itself, its what drives people to make more money/wealth. Also its impossible to have equality in a trade-based world. It can be little hard to grasp this idea, but if you're genuinely curious about it, I recommend you this book - https://www.tromsite.com/books/#dflip-df_6562/1
Yeah, that can happen with anything. People always misinterpret stuff as time goes on, lol.
I just wanted you to know that such a thing exists. They have a directory full of trsde-free stuff at https://www.directory.trade-free.org/. And there's already a lot of FOSS software/projects listed there. Whatever app you're creating, as long as its trade-free, it can be added on that list. This way, the free software or communal or whatever movement can peacefully coexist with this one :)
@koreymoffett @be actually, I'd argue that private companies *can* be good. They don't have the "maximise shareholder value" as their single incentive like *public listed* corporations. I'd say the latter are inherently in a race to the bottom, ethically speaking. I've written about it here: https://davelane.nz/megacorps
@splatt9990 @be like "Trickle-down economics" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yzeOqV7eKI ) the "Tragedy of the Commons" has been debunked quite thoroughly, for what it's worth... https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/the-tragedy-of-the-tragedy-of-the-commons/
cooperative tech 💜 i think i like it moar than “communal tech” but only because i the connotations of “cooperative” strike me as… less convoluted in the languages i speak.
also this thread is 😻
21 miaou salutes!
@lightweight I wasn't saying private companies are bad, I'm saying at least in the US when companies go private they seem to be able to just do what every they want including ignoring laws. My point was if we were to hold companies to the same standards as everyone else meaning follow the laws of the countries they are in I think that would fix a large portion of the issues
@koreymoffett I think every private company has to be judged on its merits, but every listed corporation, as it grows, ends up evil. It's inevitable.
@koreymoffett they become big enough to influence the regulatory environment in which they exist, and in many cases (like the Frightful Five) rewrite the laws that regulate them, because they effectively control gov'ts, like the US'.
I put them last.
In Open Source, engineering practices basically come out on top, topped only by the licensing.
Little did I know you had already written your manifesto. I was shown to it after I finished my list and my chin fell to the floor. The zeitgeist is strong with this one.
I talked with a friend about these issues the other day just before I learned about the rms surprise.
@jens @clacke @lightweight @splatt9990 Yeah, I want to integrate @clacke 's list when I revise the essay, but do so from a perspective of presenting a set of guidelines for making the principles practically meaningful, not presenting absolute legalistic criteria handed down from the mountain that is treated as holy commandments which may never be modified to meet future developments.
I'm sure @webmink has a summary somewhere on the community governance principles he grills every project on whenever he is on FLOSS Weekly.
But that also means maybe they aren't actually levels, but parallel aspects, as @bookwar hinted at in https://fosstodon.org/@bookwar/105975107813450240 .
@clacke @lightweight @splatt9990 @bookwar @be Something like that. It's still a bit fuzzy to me while I think about other things. Entirely in the abstract, maybe we'll need to class items into less dependent dimensions, but find some order to them per class.
But I also don't want to overcomplicate things. It's just that sometimes that kind of structure makes sense.
Here, I really need to let it bubble a while.
This essay discusses many of the same issues. I especially like this part:
"The modern browser is nominally free software containing the trifecta of telemetry, advertisement, and DRM; a retro video game is proprietary software but relatively harmless."
Sure, "kommunalprogramvara" in Swedish would mean "municipal software", but this is English. Let's translate it to the proper terms in other languages.
open source > What can you do with the code
free software > Why do you want the code and why was it written
communal software > Who is affected and who benefits
I used "community-driven software" just the day before I discovered your term, maybe that's why I'm attached to your term because it says the same thing but shorter and better.
If you really want to scare away the fascists, ancaps and corporations maybe you could go with "collective software". 😁
So, cooperative software -- ambiguous as it is -- seems to be good enough for me. General meaning around co-ops is not about getting something without paying (while it is possible upon agreement) but about people being paid fair and just money for their work and not extracting rent.
I renamed the essay to "Towards A Cooperative Technology Movement" and moved it to https://cooperativetechnology.codeberg.page/
@bob Good point. Do you have suggestions how to explain that better? Feel free to open a pull request https://codeberg.org/CooperativeTechnology/website
"Cooperative" is certainly a good term, as in fact is "community". I might point out, though, that limiting the scope to "software" presents a difficulty of its own. After all, even just within the scope of information technology (which is far from being the only technology which shapes our lives), if the hardware is locked down, it doesn't matter what software freedoms you may have. If the hardware is unrepairable, you have to keep going back for whatever "they" want you to have now.
Here is Christine Peterson's story of how she came up with the term "open source": https://opensource.com/article/18/2/coining-term-open-source-software
It's very interesting that "cooperatively developed" software was discussed as an option for a new term in that same meeting but "open source" was favored by the group. I am not sure why "cooperatively developed software" was not favored by the group, but Eric Raymond's comment says that "open source" was "perfect for our propaganda needs - ideologically neutral".
That is consistent with what I was saying before. Eric Raymond wanted an "ideologically neutral" term that capitalists would find nonthreatening. "Cooperative software" is not ideologically neutral, which is why I am now advocating its use.
FWIW, Christine Peterson did not invent the term "open source". Caldera was using it in 1996 and possibly a little earlier. I believe that Christine Peterson was not aware of Caldera's use of the term and she likely thought of it independently. Caldera's motivation for using the term seems to be the same as the group discussion that lead to the start of the OSI, namely rebranding "free software" with a term that capitalists could accommodate.
@be Tim O'Reilly often gets omitted from this open source origin story, but he had a huge part in it. He was the one funding the conferences and the one who gave OSI all of the megaphones to broadcast "open source".
@JordiGH 'O’Reilly’s PR genius lay in having almost everyone confuse the means and the ends of the free software movement. Since licenses were obsolete, the argument went, software developers could pretty much disregard the ends of Stallman’s project (i.e., its focus on user rights and freedoms) as well. Many developers ... stopped thinking about broader moral issues that would have remained central'
@be Yeah. Although i kind of wonder if there isn't some grandiloquent hyperbole here. I don't think everyone really cared about software freedom and stopped when O'Reilly started doing his PR work.
@JordiGH No, but they were overshadowed by the new people, money, and marketing hype of "open source".
More from Eric Raymond about that meeting:
'We discussed the vexing issue of labels, considering the implications of “freeware”, “sourceware”, “open source”, and “freed software”. After a vote, we agreed to use “Open Source” as our label. The implication of this label is that we intend to convince the corporate world to adopt our way for economic, self-interested, non-ideological reasons.'
@JordiGH Here is Eric Raymond praising Ayn Rand: "Perhaps I would, if Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Ayn Rand had not already done an entirely competent job (whatever their other failings) of deconstructing `altruism' into unacknowledged kinds of self-interest."
Why have we given this guy's ideas a platform? 🙃
@decentral1se @bob Yeah, I think that is better language to communicate the idea without getting confused with saying that anyone should have unlimited access to any server. Could you make a pull request on Codeberg to change that? https://codeberg.org/CooperativeTechnology/website
@be The phrases existed, in scattered use, inconsistently applied, with dubious meaning and sometimes the phrase appear in what doesn't seem to be about source. Just like if the phrase "red fruit fly" appears it doesn't meant that people are talking about red fruit, sometimes people are talking about "open source code" in some of those instances without meaning "open source".
We wouldn't all be saying "open source" if it weren't for OSI. They're the ones that made us all say it.
@JordiGH Yes, and OSI's ideas have never fully defined the term. Its lack of inherent clarity makes it a perfect capitalist buzzword (buzzphrase?) that is trivially easy to coopt and conflate with unrelated things for marketing purposes. For example, consider GitLab calling itself an "open core company": https://about.gitlab.com/company/
They could not do that without the meaninglessness of the "open" buzzword. How absurd would "cooperative core" sound?
No person nor organization has the authority to unilaterally define what a term means. That's not to say the OSI's criteria don't have value, but IMO it's absurd to say that people using the term "open source" differently are incorrect. They're not incorrect, they're using a meaning that isn't consistent with the OSI, and that's the OSI's fault for using such a vague term.
You're wearing clothes that designers chose for you. There are ramifications that echo through culture because a select few want them to proliferate.
Regardless of how most people use it now, "open source" wasn't our idea. It was OSI's idea to make us say it. They did such a good job at picking a term that sounds so natural, that we think it's our idea.
@be Hmm yes, the thing libertarians hate and tankies sometimes pretend to like but don't actually...
1. I am going to provide Polish translation as soon as I am up and at my laptop.
2. I believe Solarpunk movement can be a valuable ally, too.
a tesselation of fractal organizations kicking ass and making the world a better place.
Technology is not just software.
The algorithms expressed in software, were originally expressed in hardware, and are continuing to be discovered in biology. :D
"Co-operative Infrastructure" might be a better way to describe it.
What sort of shared map do you see as being used as the axioms?
And the range of solution-spaces depends on the number of people that your solution is designed to help.
The ROEI-Per-Person for each solution will vary according to the number of people involved. :D
Also that too often when discussing technology, we think about how we use the components we have access to from the industrial supply chain, and not about how there's a large amount of complexity hidden by this level of abstraction.
Look at Aluminium, for example.
Louis 14th had a special set of cutlery used by honoured guests, that was made from Ally, when Ally was expensive and rare.
As soon as Ally became cheaper to make, it stopped being a luxury material. :D
But the level of technological development that was required for the price-drop to take place was large and hidden by the supply chain.
The combination of geothermal energy, next to the bauxite deposits in Iceland, or the use of energy from the Hoover Dam in the USA, lead to the availability of Aluminium increasing. :D