[free-software-melb] Free Software Melbourne October Wrap-up

PuZZleDucK puzzleduck at gmail.com
Wed Oct 23 19:51:43 AEDT 2019

Thanks everyone for coming along to this months Free Software Melbourne
discussion around the resignation of Stallman from the FSF and MIT, what a
great turnout for what could so easily be an uncomfortable discussion. It's
a difficult topic to come to terms with as someone who has been an
inspiration and household name in our community has had to resign under
such circumstances. As much as we might wish that our movements founder was
could champion the cause forever, the reality is that no one could, and we
must move on. The consensus seemed to be that we keep up our support for
the cause of Free Software and the Free Software Foundation while we wait
on tender hooks to see who the FSF will appoint as their new president. The
major point of concern now seems to be with the GNU project stewardship and
how this might reflect on the community and the inclusiveness of our cause.

One thing that came up during the discussion was inclusion policies, and
unfortunately I think that we don't have one for FSM. I'd appreciate any
suggestions or feedback on the idea from the group. Are there good (or bad)
examples you've seen around? Then maybe at our next meetup we could take a
look at the suggestions and evaluate what kind of inclusion policy we want
for our group.

I also observed that there are still lots of inspirational people left in
our community like Bradley Kuhn and Matthew Garrett who came up during our
discussions. There are also great people (technically outside the FSF) like
Deb Nicholson who often speaks about software freedom, Bryan Lunduke who
has reached many people with his enthusiasm for freedom and Allison Randal
at the Free Software Conservancy. So I'd also recommend taking a look at
the FSF board as it now stands and taking some time to get to know a board
member you didn't know about before :D

Then the other big topics of discussion were Open Hardware and Meetup.com.
With meetup.com thankfully backing down, for the time being, from putting a
price per head on meetup attendance. We were reflecting on our
communication tools and processes, and how we might want to better document
the process in the future. We also identified Libre Planet as an untapped
resource for new membership and it is a platform we rarely keep up to date.
So that's something the committee will be trying to make an improvement on
before we start fresh next year.

On a few internal matters, we also picked a date for our December dinner,
so save the date: December 13th... but we'll post an announcement for that
soon. We also decided to go back to monthly meetups next year and to trial
some remote and/or recorded talks using FOSS tools through the year. So
stay tuned!

~~ Ben

Slides from the meetup:

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