Boost this if you want to be part of an explicitly anticapitalist technology liberation movement.

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.

"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 "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.

@splatt9990 "Creative Commons" has been co-opted. @lightweight can tell you more about that if you're interested.

@lightweight @be @splatt9990 Yesterday, I went on a bit of a rant about this same topic ( 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.

@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 I don't think it's a great idea to mix engineering best practices into a political philosophy.

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 Well, I understand that point of view. But as activists of all kinds like to say, everything is political.

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.

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 Because that approach limits reusability, and reusability is the thing that lets the community instead of the maintainer decide how to use things.

It's... a difficult track of this to get *right* for sure.

@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".

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 Oh, absolutely! The only way to do that well is to go for an abstract enough definition!

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!

@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 My understanding is that's what made Emacs so popular.

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 Emacs is a funny example here. It's very extensible, which makes it reusable. But it isn't as easy to use emacs in something else.

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.

@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 And yet, Stallman actively obstructed Emacs from becoming more useful for writing C & C++ by integrating with Clang... because Stallman reasons.

@be @jens @lightweight @splatt9990 Considering that the linked conversation happened more than a half decade ago and nothing has changed is telling.

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 @jens This comment is what prompted me to think about how good engineering practices would contribute to user freedom and that's why I wrote the maturity model draft… basically just to see where I put them.

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.
"this comment" being the one about mixing philosophy and engineering best practices

@clacke @lightweight @splatt9990 @be I feel like there's a streamlined text waiting in between that manifesto and your list. I'm going to let both simmer for a bit, maybe I'll come up with something. Either way, highly interesting stuff.

@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.

@be @lightweight @splatt9990 @jens Yes, I blushed when I read that part of your manifesto and you are absolutely correct, haha.

But pretending that this gatekeeping framework is real has helpful for me to sort my thoughts at least.
I would be absolutely devastated if anyone ever sold communal software certification services and I threw up in my mouth a little just typing that.

@clacke @lightweight @splatt9990 @be I don't think a framework is bad, as long as it's clear enough that it's guidelines rather than rules. It helps people who want to do things right think about the bases they should cover.

@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 @be The level definitions are subjective enough that it should be fodder for internal discussion on what to work on enhancing rather than binary gates for certification.

But that also means maybe they aren't actually levels, but parallel aspects, as @bookwar hinted at in… .
@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 @bookwar @be Is there some degree of foundational support from the lower numbers? So that maybe it makes sense to work on things in parallel, but maybe it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to go sky high on aspect n+3 until you're pretty high on aspect n?

@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.

@clacke @lightweight @splatt9990 @jens Yes, I think the zeitgeist is ripe for new terminology and philosophy to replace the old. I'm pleasantly encouraged how much support there is for this right now.

@lightweight @be @splatt9990
Still, as important as I think something of the above is, it's still aimed square at some variant of a tech user, and I do not think that the "communal" goal is met until software is inclusive.

That word there subsumes a lot of design decisions, such as having high contrast interface options, good UX, etc. and internationalization that it's a huge thing in its own right.

Tricky to find a balance here that works.

@jens @lightweight @splatt9990 @be Licensing plus governance structures. The C4 captures some of it, but like how the four freedoms are not the GPL or any other particular license there might be a generalized definition that could describe what e.g. the C4 is without insisting on a particular implementation.

I'm sure @webmink has a summary somewhere on the community governance principles he grills every project on whenever he is on FLOSS Weekly.
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