Open Source Weekly #1 - Free Software vs Open source

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Free Software vs Open source

While we are all facing an uncertain future due to climate change and pollution, it has not been humanity’s brightest idea to create artificial scarcity and prevent everyone from freely sharing the solutions due to copyright issues. This is why more and more people open their work and contribute to open source software, science and data.

Unfortunately, some people take everything they can from the community but give nothing back in return.

One man, Richard Stallman, not only noticed that,
but by a magnificent judo returned the concept of Copyright against itself and created Copyleft. When you use or create a derivative of a copylefted piece of work, you are bound by law to redistribute your work under the same terms and thus open it to the world.

It’s called contaminating licenses because they spread like a virus. It’s genius!

In summary, when you use a project which have an Open Source license (like Apache, MIT, CC-BY...) you can keep your work closed and proprietary, but when it’s a Copyleft license (AGPL, GPL, CC-BY-SA…) you have to redistribute it under the same terms and open it.

This is a fascinating story that I encourage you to read in this article by Richard Stallman himself and in the book Rebel Code, by Glyn Moody (2001).


Mattermost (AGPL v3.0 or commercial)
What Slack do with your chat data? You don’t know, and neither do I. Take back control of your group chats with Mattermost, an open source and efficient slack alternative that you can self-host.

uBlock Origin (Firefox) & uBlock Origin (Chrome) (GPL v3.0)
Browsing the web without ads is a life changer! uBlock Origin is (in my opinion) the best ad blocker, easy to use and efficient (easy on CPU and memory as they say).

Bitwarden (AGPL v3.0)
A password manager is totally vital nowadays to manage our hundred (or more) website credentials. Bitwarden is certainly the most famous open source one.

Vigil (MPL 2.0)
Do you manage websites and want to be alerted when something goes wrong? Vigil is a beautiful and easy to setup status page, written in Rust.

Write your own Game Boy emulator
If you like playing video games you’ve certainly already played some old consoles using an emulator. This article explains how to code your own. Very fun abd challenging!

GitHub Discussions
GitHub is trialling a new discussions feature: it’s like a forum, but within GitHub. Are they coming for Stack Overflow?

EU Commission to staff: Switch to Signal messaging app (GPL v3.0)
Signal is not only open source, beautiful and easy to use, it’s also the state of the art in cryptography. It’s nice that it’s starting to get traction among officials.


If you have missed this story and have an android phone, stop what you are doing and read this short article:

TL;DR: Android has a critical vulnerability in its Bluetooth module. You SHOULD NOT turn on Bluetooth on your phone in a public place before the next update (wait until April to be sure).

Linux Smartphones

For a few months there has been some hype about 2 new Linux smartphones. This is not the first attempt but the most promising so far.

The PinePhone is the most community oriented, low cost and hacker friendly device of the two.
There are already some teams working on providing software for it such as UBports and Plasma.

Librem 5
On the other hand, the Librem 5, a high-end device, is developed by only one company: Purism.
Their goal is not only to create a smartphone which is 100% open, from the silicon to the apps, but also to create a convergent device, a smartphone you can plug on any monitor and use it as a computer. I find it awesome and I would really love to see them succeed.

Currently those devices are not really working well due to technical problems, but it’s a matter of months and I believe they can have a huge impact on the long term!
The duopoly controlling its concurrents (Apple and Google, iOS and Android) have become so hostile toward their users that we are clearly on the eve of a disruption.

Have a great day ✌️

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