Archive for the 'web application' Category

Proprietary services or free desktop software?

Actually that question is more of a flame bait or a non-starter for a real discussion. I would answer it by choosing a third option, freedom cloud service. Read on to find more about it.

There are some people, RMS for example, who say that freedom minded individuals should avoid using proprietary services. I’m not going to defend proprietary, but if we think that people are going to give up on proprietary services, and go back to the desktop, as the only alternative, we are fooling ourselves. Once people have discovered network services and the collaboration that can be done with it, they are never going back to the desktop and working offline. Working on the desktop is like taking notes while watching TV: nobody is ever going to know about it and people work to make themselves known! The people’s short term need is to communicate with others, and, even if on the long term that means they give up their freedom, short term needs always prevail. Short term communication will always win against long-term freedom. A service will always win against a piece of software.

No doubt, on the long term, if we do not build freedom services that are consistently better than their proprietary counterpart, proprietary service maintainers can insert proprietary plugins both on the client side. We are going to lose the progress we have achieved on the free desktop software and people’s data will be just as locked in as with the old proprietary software.

We need not to advocate for going back to the desktop free software, because that is a losing battle, we need to build freedom services that fill the communication gap between people better than the proprietary do. We need a process to help us design and maintain a freedom service consistently better than we currently do.

I agree ‘cloud computing’ is a trap, I disagree on the way out of it. I say we should build an alternative freedom service cloud. I will cover how to build such a freedom service and problems associated with it in a later post.


AGPL application suite

Password manager:

Free web operating system:

Browser chat: AJAX Chat

Toward Free Network Services,


Eliberatica 2009

Ok, I do not know how to cover a conference properly, so I’ll just say that this year I saw more social networking and people were more action focused. I also got the sense that more and more Romanian people want to get involved in the free software movement. Keywords for this conference would be ‘action oriented’ and ‘social networking’, which is great.

A little about myself: I am interested in all things free culture, from software, to artwork, to data, but I am particularly interested in free as in freedom network services (FNS for short), from free cloud service to collaboration services between artists.

What I apprieciate most about this conference is that I had more time to socialize with people around: I had the opportunity to talk with Georg + Monty on patents, javascript AGPL, managed services and mostly stuff related to my trial at making a web/network service.

Now, I’d like to say a few words about the presentations:

Continue reading ‘Eliberatica 2009’