free computing, free culture, free hardware
the freelabs federation "thrive" guidelines[lit]
version 0.1, 29 july 2019 (originally written by the free media alliance)
in a time of great upheaval for both software and community, these guidelines were written:
we recognise the threat of even a well-intended "code of conduct" being used to divide communities: [url]http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Librethreat_Database#Code_of_Conduct[url]
rather than a club wielded to stifle important debate or prevent the full resolve of vital differences between individuals or groups, we encourage communities to support *both* the diversity of opinion and the diversity of contributors.
wherever these guidelines are misused to threaten community and development, they should be regarded with scrutiny-- whenever these guidelines help create a foundation for purposeful development and progress, they should be considered thoughtfully.
1. integrity and checks and balances are more valuable than false compromise.
2. ignoring your own standards, as well as taking rules too seriously, can compromise the integrity of your community. many communities are already diminished along these lines.
3. the corporate monopolies that promise to help resolve these problems, have a history of fundamental selfishness and interference. giving these corporations too great a say in matters has helped them to destroy communities and stifle their efforts.
4. in practical terms, "working together" means finding enough common ground for collaboration. it does not mean abandoning the principles or values of your own community.
5. in dealing with both critics and allies, it is always more useful to look past the superficial-- towards motivations, true nature and real effects. society encourages the shallow evaluation of goods and services, as well as of people. vital communities must do better in this regard than general society, if they wish to thrive. this is not intended to eliminate speculation, only to temper superficiality.
6. without some greater commitment to the needs and education of users, free software will soon lose too much ground to corporations that falsely pander to them. this is not a call to make everything "user friendly." as a user, you are free to develop on your own terms. there are still areas in which progress could be made regarding development.
7. it is better to have communities divided over politics than to have software development and repos hijacked and repurposed by a single political faction.
8. when communities with valuable contributions become divided over political differences, umbrella communities and organisations are a positive way to invite long-term resolution. haste and superficial resolution are less positive, though "first step" efforts will hopefully count for something.
9. each community should be allowed to explore its own options to further the long-term benefits of its efforts towards software freedom-- subject to informal approval and[lit]/[lit]or intellectually honest (fair) critique from from other communities.
10. communities should avoid, as much as possible and practical, efforts to lock other users into their software or distributions. the more important and popular (and fundamental) the software is, the more modular and optional and flexible the software should ideally be. even the distro itself should become more modular and universal-- via thoughtful design conventions, rather than rigid and demanding standards. but when in doubt, refer to points 5 and 9.
it is the hope of the alliance that these ideals, when taken as inspiration rather than bylaws-- will help communities move past the long-lasting damage to communities over the past half decade.
in the event of failure of vital communities-- we hope these ideals will not only help rebuild, but push software freedom towards yet-undiscovered levels of success and progress.
the free media alliance
"free software, free culture, free hardware"