Raison d'Etre[edit | edit source]
This page trys to explain the hows, whats, whys, etcetera behind the existence of this website. The short answer is that this site is for and about a community of software users and developers with a geographic focus on Newburyport, Massachusetts and a technology focus on software copyrighted under Free and Open Source licenses, mainly the General Public License (GPL). The GPL creates a legal right for people to share and build upon each others work. Technology permeates every aspect of modern living, and thus this site is not meant to be confined to a particular domain such as business, home, leisure, education, or research. Connecting these elements together then, we get a website that builds awareness and adoption of free technology in modern life through the collective effort and interaction of its participants.
Building With Others[edit | edit source]
The website is in virtual space, so you can participate from anywhere. Hopefully we grow awareness and participation locally, making the community bigger and stronger. This website is not meant to exist at the expense of some other groups like GNHLUG or BLU. Actually, if this website proves successful, then it's methods and features should be copied by other groups so they can be stronger in a similar fashion. In fact, the software behind this page is 'mediawiki' which is also used to run the Virtual Encyclopedia project. (wikipedia.org) I also do not want to take away from that effort, but rather add to it. In this regard, the software is brilliant, because it makes it really easy to create 'interwiki' links. So if there is a great article on mediawiki about Debian, there is no need to reproduce that on Freephile Wiki. Instead it can be easily linked to from here.
Neither is this community intended to be exclusionary in any way. If you do not live in Newburyport MA, but you want to read or contribute to this website, then go right ahead.
If you are a free technology developer, advocate or user in Newburyport, MA, or surrounding towns, this is your place to interact, both online and IRL (you know 'meatspace', or In Real Life).
Online[edit | edit source]
Online there are several resources currently available or planned:
- A Freephile Wiki where we collectively grow the knowledge resources of the community
In Real Life[edit | edit source]
- local events (like installfests, outreach, tutoring)
- meetings What meetings? Create one. The Newburyport Public Library and Salisbury Public Library are fantastic facilities.
Project One[edit | edit source]
The first focus of this effort is to create a 'living' (always updated), searchable, cross-linked, organized knowledge base (using a wiki) of the people, and the companies using Free Software in this area. Of course that also means writing about the software and the solutions that people use. It would be nice to see both the 'simple' things like 'using a scanner', 'setting up a network printer', to the more complex like 'software development on a Linux workstation', 'creating an Extranet with Free Software' to 'Point of Sale systems and Accounting'.
Tired of tracking down the knowledge that you wrote down somewhere, read some time ago, or Googling for answers? There is a wealth of knowledge in the archives of mailing lists, most of which is accessible through Google. The intent with the website is to provide a better way to capture the information for sharing, re-use and reference. If you solve a problem through discussion and interaction with a list, or by researching it on Google, then take it one step further and write it up here for future reference, and the community will build on your contribution.
Project Two[edit | edit source]
I really think the people who make up the Free Software community are its biggest assets, but they go unrecognized and are under-appreciated. To reinforce the 'people' aspect, I want to install a customized photo Gallery, but that effort has not yet begun. I hope that the Gallery will be a favorite part of the website, while it also humanizes the sometimes 'cold' and 'intimidating' world of technology. If nothing else, it's nice to put a face together with the name when you interact. Please when you create your account here, upload a photo of yourself to your user page, so that people can get to know you.
The website[edit | edit source]
--freephile 09:44, 22 Aug 2004 (EDT)