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.

Here is a first draft to articulate what a communal software movement could be. Let's continue the discussion on Codeberg:

"Towards A Communal Software Movement" is now online! What do *you* think about it?

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?

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.

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 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"?

@tychi @be this has the advantage of turning into the nice short phrase of coop tech

@be Hmmm... I wouldn’t mind it, but it means I have to change all the docs *again* 🤣🤣🤣

@be I think it's now quite well known that open core and proprietary relicensing are problems. Also contributor license agreements. But for maybe a decade or longer it was believed that those things were a mutual win for people writing public software.

@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

@Jbb That's what my Columbian friends said about "software communal" in Spanish too.

@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:

@sam Thanks, I'll look deeper into that! Maybe I'll add a link to that statement when I revise the essay.

@be I like "communal software". "Cooperative" sounds like it's insisting on a certain form of organizing the work.

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". 😁
Correction: The term I used was "community-driven free software" because I was using the free software term but wanted to emphasize what it meant to me and why the distinction was relevant for that particular piece of software.

@clacke @be that’s my issue with “communal” too. 🤜🤛 “cooperative” works in 5/5 languages i know, “communal” get’s convoluted or diffused/confusing in 2 out of 5. But i’m fine with both.


"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.

@publius Yes, that's why I changed the title of the essay to "Towards A Cooperative Technology Movement" and the URL to cooperativetechnology.codeberg


Once more I fall into the trap of replying before reaching the bottom!

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