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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Documentation

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Documentation
Date: 06 Dec 2002 17:33:11 +0000

Hi Rogue,

On Thu, 2002-12-05 at 14:15, Rogue M.Vox wrote:
> > I fully agree. Before making a lot of noise, we should have something 
> > in our hands. Thus I would first try to get a stock pile of documents and 
> > then
> > start to make them widely known. If we attract a lot of attention now, 
> > we might just disappoint people and they will remember that later on.
> This is a good point. As a spectator on this list for some months I'm 
> not quite sure I understand the specifics of the AFFS. This is not 
> meant as a criticism but just to point out that some of us people not 
> actively involved yet are not sure how they could help with the 
> direction the AFFS has set for itself and support the objectives.

To be honest, if people criticise negatively, we just ignore it - all
positive criticism (like yours) is taken gladly; it's not perjorative
word (for AFFS, at least :). 

The objectives of the AFFS are set out by the constitution (available on
the website, in the 'About' section). The four objectives are:

1. promote and advance the knowledge, development, use and application
of Free Software pioneered by the Free Software Foundation and others.

2. facilitate the exchange of information and views on the use and
development of Free Software.

3. inform upon the subject of Free Software.

4. encourage internationalisation and localisation of Free Software.

I rank this all as "development of Free Software": the word development
being used in its general sense (i.e., not something you do when coding
:). AFFS will seek to encourage anything that develops Free Software. To
this end, we have identified (currently) three key areas: Education,
Government and Software Patents. We want to make sure that people
learning about IT are taught about Free Software (education), we want to
make sure that people responsible for public procurement of software are
aware of Free Software (government), and we want to make sure that Free
Software is legally viable in this country for the forseeable future
(software patents are the biggest risk to this currently; followed by
the EUCD).
Hopefully this gives you some idea of what our goals are. We are
incredibly general: we support anything that benefits Free Software. Of
course, we also have specific goals, but if people want to raise other
subjects, or join in the current efforts, please do shout. So far, we
have tended to do more things offlist than on (in terms of fsfe-uk), but
that doesn't have to be (shouldn't be) the case.

Just in case people didn't know, AFFS' website is

> > We should also remember, that we wanted to produce an advertisement 
> > page for AFFS in case we are offered a free-last-minute-page in a 
> > magazine again.
> This is an arena I certainly can help with though I can't promise it 
> would be designed fully with free software (Mac OS X is certainly more 
> unix than Windoz if that's a consolation)

Well, Free Software != Unix, but I know what you mean :o) I'm not sure
that it's currently even possible to publish without using proprietary
software, which is very sad, but at least (I suppose) Mac OSX makes
people more aware of GNU, and tools like Fink make Free Software more

> PS: in any case, if I can help handing over leaflets in the London area 
> again, do not hesitate to ask!

Sadly, the RMS stuff was a bit last minute :o) I tried to plan ahead a
little bit, but there aren't many of us in London! I will try to post
the list fairly far in advance of meetings/etc., and according to our
diary the next event is April, although there's a pretty good chance of
an AFFS event before that next year. 

Personally, of course, I would like to see another London event, but
we're quite spread out. Again, it's a case of raising your voice:
meeting other Free Software-oriented people is great, for the spirit at
least, and I think meeting up in person is crucial, so the more people
who can make it (i.e., the more convienient for people a meeting is) the

We probably ought to have a map of people interested in the UK, like
Debian's developer map.. :o)



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