Free Software Melbourne October Wrap-up


Just reposting a meeting summary from the mailing list I forgot to post at the time.

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 With 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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