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Simon Phipps
Grizzled and eclectic geek, campaigning for digital rights.
Grizzled and eclectic geek, campaigning for digital rights.

Simon's posts

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The root cause of why I left ForgeRock was because I disagreed with the other directors about making open source a priority. So I am sad but not surprised to see the company heading ever more in the direction of Oracle's approach. Sad.

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Open Source is a strategy for making Free Software ubiquitous, not an alternative.

It’s been almost 20 years, but people are still arguing over “open source” and “free software”. Here’s why it’s the wrong argument. The term “Open Source” in the context of software was coined in 1998 by a group of experienced software freedom advocates…

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How can a project spend donated money in a way that does not discourage community growth? Here's how +The Document Foundation approaches it with +LibreOffice
There are two sides to the "growing the community" coin, as TDF illustrate.

How can you grow an open source community? Two blog posts from The Document Foundation (TDF) illustrate a proven double-ended strategy to sustain an existing community. Since it was established in 2010, the LibreOffice project has steadily grown under the…

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Want to leech off your friends? There's an app for that.


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Want to get with the LibreOffice Community? While you're waiting for the conference in Rome, try the online meeting spaces.

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There's a keylogger in HP's laptop audio driver. It's been there since December 2015. It dumps keystokes to a log file.

" If you regularly make incremental backups of your hard-drive - whether in the cloud or on an external hard-drive – a history of all keystrokes of the last few years could probably be found in your backups."

"All users of HP computers should check whether the program C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe is installed. We recommend that you delete or rename the executable files so that no keystrokes are recorded anymore. However, the special function keys on the keyboards might no longer work as expected. If a C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log file exists on the hard-drive, it should also be deleted immediately, as it can contain a lot of sensitive information such as login-information and passwords."

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Is the GNU GPL “dying” or is that just the prejudice of those whose open source exploitation would be hampered by its use?

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I am on the Board of a non-profit called +The Document Foundation. We (thankfully) receive a healthy stream of donations from happy users of +LibreOffice, the open source free software project it sustains.

Rather than hiring staff to work on the software, we identify areas where unpaid volunteers are not likely to show up and then create a competitive tender so that individuals or companies can earn a living (and gain skills) making LibreOffice better while still retaining the collaborative spirit of the project. Doing this builds commercial capability and thus grows the overall community.

As a result of this and other carefully-designed policies, the LibreOffice project now has a developer force in the hundreds, a reworked and effective developer environment with automated testing to complement the test team, and one of the most reliable release schedules in the industry. And it's staffed with volunteers. This means new features get implemented, bugs get fixed and most importantly security issues are rapidly resolved when identified.

This is what OpenOffice⸳org became when it left the commercial world nearly 7 years ago. The early controversies have passed and the project has a rhythm that's mature and effective. I think it's actually better now.

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Help to improve LibreOffice, gain valuable experience and win an awesome sticker for your laptop or PC! The Month of LibreOffice, May 2017 begins:

St George was a Greek serving in the Roman army who had to leave the country when England left the Empire in favour of the Dark Ages.

Modern England could not have a more appropriate Patron Saint really. Happy St George's Day, everyone.

(Some poetic license may be involved in the above...)
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