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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2014-03-06" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - March 2014</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body microformats="h-entry">
  8. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – March 2014</h1>
  9. <h2>The UK attempts to break free from vendor lock-in</h2>
  10. <p>The UK government is making progress towards less vendor lock-in. In
  11. January, they <a
  12. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/01/30/uk-to-pick-odf-as-default-document-format/">published
  13. a few principles</a> for future government IT contracts. They want to break the
  14. dominance of the big software companies who provided the vast majority of
  15. software and services to the UK government.</p>
  16. <p>Now they are asking for comments on the standards they should use for
  17. "sharing or collaborating with government documents". Among other things, the
  18. government proposes to make ODF the sole standard for office-type documents.
  19. The FSFE has <a
  20. href="/activities/os/2014-02-uk-consultation-os.html">submitted comments
  21. on a proposal</a> by the UK government to use only document formats based
  22. on Open Standards in the future. <a
  23. href="http://standards.data.gov.uk/comment/929#comment-929">Microsoft
  24. also submitted a lengthy comment</a>, urging the government to include
  25. OOXML in its list of standards, to which <a
  26. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/02/26/comments-on-uk-governments-consultation-on-document-standards/">
  27. we responded as well</a>.</p>
  28. <h2>Why Open Standards aren't enough: the minimal principle</h2>
  29. <p>Although a good data-format can only be an Open Standard, FSFE's <a
  30. href="http://www.intevation.de/~bernhard/">Bernhard Reiter</a> argues that
  31. this requirement alone is not enough. Originally written for last year's <a
  32. href="http://documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> in German, the
  33. article <a href="/activities/os/minimalisticstandards.html">"The minimal
  34. principle: because being an open standard is not enough"</a> is now available
  35. in English. In a nutshell Bernhard argues that the data-format needs to solve a
  36. problem adequately: It should be a good fit from a functional point of view, as
  37. well as on a technical level. In order to judge this, there are a number of
  38. things to consider: efficiency, maintainability, accessibility, extensibility,
  39. learnability, simplicity, longevity and a few more. Two central questions posed
  40. are: How well does the data-format solve the problem and --more interesting--
  41. is there a simpler format that could solve the problem just as well?</p>
  42. <p>Read <a href="/activities/os/minimalisticstandards.html">the article</a>, <a
  43. href="/contact/community.html">discuss it on our public mailing lists</a>,
  44. and if you are a developer always ask yourself if it can be done simpler.</p>
  45. <h2>Lots of motivation for Free Software contributors</h2>
  46. <p>On February 14th, people all around the world followed <a
  47. href="/news/2014/news-20140211-01.html">our suggestions</a> to express their
  48. gratitude and appreciation to Free Software and its contributors on " I love
  49. Free Software" day 2014! Blog entries, e-mails to developers, a comic, a
  50. picture by the leadership of the German Green party, an #ilovefs festival,
  51. blogs dedicated to Free Software in general and developers in particular, and a
  52. lot of microblog messages were dedicated to Free Software. We were overwhelmed
  53. by the resonance.</p>
  54. <p>Contributors of Free Software projects work hard to ensure our freedom and
  55. on this day surely many of them gained new motivation. Thanks to everybody who
  56. participated in this year's #ilovefs campaign and if you have not been
  57. involved <a href="/news/2014/news-20140221-01.html">enjoy some of the many
  58. love declarations we collected</a>.</p>
  59. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  60. <ul>
  61. <li>On Document Freedom Day (March 26), FSFE and the Greens/EFA group in the
  62. European Parliament are <a
  63. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/02/14/free-speech-crypto-and-free-software/">organising
  64. an event in the European Parliament</a> to discuss how cryptography can help us
  65. break the grip of the surveillance state. The draft program includes Werner
  66. Koch (of GnuPG fame, and one of FSFE’s founders), Karen O’Donoghue (Internet
  67. Society), French journalist Amaelle Guitton, and Swedish IT security expert
  68. Joachim Strömbergson.</li>
  69. <li>Free Software in the public administration: After a <a
  70. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/canton-bern-parliament-votes-open-source">decision
  71. by the Parliament in the Swiss canton Bern</a>, the government has to
  72. implement a bill which lists six measures to support Free Software in the
  73. canton's public administrations. The Canaries <a
  74. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/canaries-continue-save-open-source">
  75. are increasing their Free Software usage</a> and in <a
  76. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/more-and-more-linux-riga-children-hospital">Riga
  77. they are using more Free Software in children hospitals</a>.</li>
  78. <li>Furthermore the European Parliament <a
  79. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/02/05/european-parliament-calls-for-distributed-systems/">passed
  80. a resolution</a> that, among other things, highlights the need for
  81. decentralised services with strong privacy protections.</li>
  82. <li>With our <a href="/campaigns/android/android.html">Free Your Android
  83. campaign</a>, we ask developers to also publish their mobile applications
  84. in <a href="https://f-droid.org/">F-Droid, a Free Software repository for
  85. Android</a>. After talking with the LibreOffice developers about it, briefly
  86. before FOSDEM <a
  87. href="https://f-droid.org/wiki/page/org.libreoffice.impressremote">they
  88. published "Impress Remote" version 2</a>, a program to control your
  89. presentation. Thanks to Daniel Martí, Christian Lohmaier, and Norbert Thiebaud
  90. for the work.</li>
  91. <li>Fighting compulsory routers, raising awareness about "Secure Boot", a
  92. joint motion against software patents in the German Parliament, supporting a
  93. working group in the German parliament about Free Software, raising questions
  94. about Free Software in several elections, organising compliance workshops,
  95. and lots of talks and events. Read the <a
  96. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/german-fsfe-activities-in-2013/">2013 summary
  97. from FSFE's German team</a>.</li>
  98. <li>With the end of the support for Microsoft Windows XP, and a low adoption
  99. rate of Windows 8 it is a good time to convince people to switch to
  100. GNU/Linux. Our sister organisation <a
  101. href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/help-the-fsf-bury-windows-8">FSF
  102. wants to improve online resources for helping people to achieve this, and
  103. demonstrate GNU/Linux to new audiences</a>.</li>
  104. <li>They also published an <a
  105. href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/interview-with-joerg-henrichs-of-supertuxkart">interview
  106. with Joerg Henrichs of SuperTuxKart</a>.</li>
  107. <li>As every year FSFE was present at FOSDEM with a booth. This year with a
  108. lot of new posters, leaflets, stickers, t-shirts, and our Fellows <a
  109. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2014/01/29/fosdem-2014-fsfe-fellowship-and-speaking-schedule/">gave
  110. lots of talks</a>.</li>
  111. <li>What has happened with Free Software in schools and universities? Read <a
  112. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/02/free-software-in-education-news-%E2%80%93-january/">the
  113. new Free Software in education news</a>.</li>
  114. <li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  115. <ul>
  116. <li><a
  117. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2014/02/05/fsfe-in-the-news/">Carsten
  118. Agger gave an interview</a> for the Danish newspaper about software patents
  119. and the European Parliament election.</li>
  120. <li>The Fellowship group in Aarhus/Denmark which Carsten coordinates, is <a
  121. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2014/02/22/opening-reception-at-open-space-aarhus/">moving
  122. their meetings into the new hackerspace</a>.</li>
  123. <li>Henrik Sandklef wants to better understand his students, read why he
  124. learned Haskell to achieve that in part <a
  125. href="http://sandklef.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/understanding-my-students-or-why-i-started-learning-haskell-part-i/">1</a>,
  126. <a
  127. href="http://sandklef.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/understanding-my-students-or-why-i-started-learning-haskell-part-ii/">2</a>,
  128. and <a
  129. href="http://sandklef.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/understanding-my-students-or-why-i-started-learning-haskell-part-iii/">3</a> of this blog series.</li>
  130. <li>Fellow Iain Learmonth <a
  131. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/irl/2014/02/06/debian-med-sprint-2014/">reported
  132. from the Debian Med Sprint 2014</a> in Stonehaven, Aberdeen.</li>
  133. <li><a
  134. href="http://computerfloss.com/2014/02/brown-dogs-barbers-crowdfunding-book-computer-science/">
  135. Karl Beecher is writing a computer science book</a> for everyone.</li>
  136. <li>Karsten made a proposal <a
  137. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2014/01/30/transparency-in-eu-policy-making-a-modest-proposal/">for
  138. more transparency in EU policy making</a>.</li>
  139. <li>Having been inspired by the prospect of chat integration within
  140. Roundcube, <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=741">Paul Boddie set
  141. out to install a suitable XMPP server</a>.</li>
  142. <li>Daniel Pocock writes about <a
  143. href="http://danielpocock.com/jitmeet-webrtc-free-communications-takes-another-big-jump">
  144. about JitMeet a web application from the Jitsi team</a>.</li>
  145. <li>Erik Albers now published his article <a
  146. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2014/02/20/eigene-geraetehoheit-als-bedingung-der-privatsphaere/">The
  147. right to control your own devices as a requirement for privacy (in
  148. German)</a> in his blog, after it was published in the book <a
  149. href="https://netzpolitik.org/2014/wir-verschenken-unser-buch-ueberwachtes-netz-der-sammelband-zum-nsa-skandal/">Snowden
  150. surveillance book by netzpolitik</a>.</li>
  151. <li>Isabel Drost-Fromm argues that <a
  152. href="http://blog.drost-fromm.de/posts/on-being-aggressively-public.html">if
  153. something didn't happen on the mailing list it didn't happen at all</a>.</li>
  154. <li>Our intern Max Mehl wrote <a
  155. href="http://blog.max-mehl.com/2014/wirklich-sichere-whatsapp-alternativen/">about
  156. secure alternatives to WhatsApp (in German)</a>, covering surespot,
  157. Telegram, ChatSecure, TextSecure, and Kontalk.</li>
  158. </ul>
  159. </ul>
  160. <h2>Get active: Participate in Document Freedom Day!</h2>
  161. <p>There has been so many news about Open Standards in this edition. Do you
  162. want to help us to promote them? If so, Document Freedom Day on 26 March is a
  163. good occasion for that. Last year <a
  164. href="http://documentfreedom.org/news/2013/news-20130419-01.html">we had 59
  165. events in 30 countries all over the world</a>. This year Sam Tuke and the
  166. DFD campaign team aim for 75 events, but they need your help.</p>
  167. <p>Either organise a small event or educate your friends and colleagues through
  168. other ways about Open Standards. You can now <a
  169. href="https://documentfreedom.org/how-add-event">register your event</a> or
  170. <a href="https://documentfreedom.org/en/promotion.en.html">order promotional
  171. packs with new materials</a>, including multilingual posters and leaflets,
  172. flyers, and stickers, as well as <a
  173. href="https://documentfreedom.org/en/products">new t-shirts</a>.</p>
  174. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
  175. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  176. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
  177. <!--/e-content-->
  178. </body>
  179. <sidebar promo="about-fsfe"><!--
  180. <h3>FSFE News</h3>
  181. <ul>
  182. <li><a href="/news/">Press Releases</a></li>
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  185. <li><a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/">Planet Blogs</a></li>
  186. <li><a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a></li>
  187. </ul>
  188. --></sidebar>
  189. <author id="kirschner" />
  190. <date>
  191. <original content="2014-03-04" />
  192. </date>
  193. <followup>donate</followup>
  194. <tags>
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