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Re: Tools for communication, coordination and project management

On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 12:52 PM, Laura Arjona Reina <larjona@debian.org> wrote:

> What does it even mean "a non-free service"?

A canonical definition may be difficult, but I think that we can agree
that at least, all the services for which their "core" software (core in
the sense of the service that they provide, different than other similar
services) is non-free, can be called "non-free services".

No, I don't agree at all. It does not seem so simple or intuitive to me.
Interested people can have a look at
for some ideas about free/nonfree services.

Right, the ideas of "a workgroup" of anonymous people, some 10 years ago,
that were never discussed, supported or confirmed by anyone else.

The "freedom" in free-software is about the freedom of people to do with
the software whatever they want: use it, study, customize, distribute, etc.

When it comes to services these things are not relevant anymore because
the program runs on the computers of the service-provider. Some other
things become relevant in this case, like:
 - The privacy of the user.
 - The security (protection) of the account and the data of the user.
 - The ownership of the user data. What are allowed the user and the
   service provider to do with them.
 - Can a user make a backup of all his data?
 - Can a user transfer his account and his data to another service-provider
   or is it locked-in?
 - Can a user delete all his data and his account? (The right to be forgotten.)
 - Can a user interact easily with users from other service-providers?

This is just what comes out of my mind, and I am not an expert on these issues.
For a more detailed list of topics/issues have a look at the General Data Protection
Regulation of the EU: 
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation
They are making big service providers pay penalties for not complying with
these regulations.

About storm.debian.net, I can give some details since I am one of the

Service description: https://wiki.debian.org/Services/storm.debian.net

The software (sandstorm, Apache2 licensed, details in sandstorm.io) is
run in a machine by a Debian Developer, and kindly offered to the whole
Debian community, for any contributor that wants to use it.

Installing your own service is Ok for yourself, or your family, or your close friends.
But if you try to offer a service to worldwide organization like Debian,
you have to make sure that you meet certain criteria or expectations.
For example how secure is the system? How reliable or robust? What is the
performance? Does it respect the privacy of the users? Is it certified by FSF? Etc.

Developing software on your spare time might be Ok. But offering a service
on your spare time is a completely different thing. Because it is inevitable
that sometime there will be something that needs to be fixed immediately
on the system, but you cannot do it because you have other more important

Being myself user and admin, I can create and manage user accounts, send
invitations for people to join, explain how it works and assist in
questions/issues, etc. Ping me by mail off list or in #debian-outreach
if you need anything.

Does it work well? I would say yes! I see it used every day by several
different persons. I use it myself too!. I recall storm.debian.net being
used in the past for at least one GSoC project in Debian (the mentor
asked for an account for the student). Of course you can also find
people not satisfied with it (too much _javascript_! Long URLs! Slow!
Don't like the colors! Allows to sign in using GitHub/Google accounts!).

In summary, I would leave the decision about which tools to use to the
particular mentor+applicant pair. If anybody decides to try/use storm,
ping me for anything, I'm happy to help.

I agree on this.

Best regards,

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