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Re: Emacs Webapp/Plugin

From: joakim
Subject: Re: Emacs Webapp/Plugin
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2012 09:41:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130006 (Ma Gnus v0.6) Emacs/24.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

>     But the main difference between my goal and FreedomBox seems to be that
>     I want to provide configuration descriptions for all nodes of a network
>     of computers and other systems that collaborate at all times. Thats why I
>     used the term "Cluster".
>     So, AFAICS FreedomBox does not provide a configuration description for
>     an OS image that runs on phone hardware, that will rely on a
>     corresponding image that runs on a server, basically an old school
>     client-server configuration.
> What is a "configuration description"?  I never saw that term before.

A description of how to set up a system in a particular configuration.
These are preferably handled by specialized software.

For GNU/Linux there is for example Puppet, among others. It works like this:
- There is a configuration server called the "puppet master"
- client machines, which can be other servers, laptops, or whatever,
register with the Puppet master.
- A daemon called the "Puppet Agent" is run on the client system.
- The Puppet Agent consults with the Puppet Master to fetch various
configuration settings.

In this case I want to provide the following configuration settings:
- which server software to install on the server. For instance the imapd
- Which mail client to install on a laptop, for instance Evolution.
- both server and client get the appropriate configuration to
communicate using imap.

The point of this i to make it easy for people to get an entire free
stack running without spending weeks configuring. It is not easy for an
unexperienced user to make all the installs and configurations.

Furthermore the Android stack appears "free" or "open" to some
people. If nothing else the project I describe will result in an article
that can be used for didactical purposes.

> Alas, there is no a free system that can run on a phone.  But even if
> there were one, why would you need to get this from your server?

I'm not sure why you say that there are no free systems available for
phones. In my particular case I use the GTA04 which has mostly open
hardware. On this open hardware I run the QTmoko GNU/Debian
distribution. If I havent made any misstake, the parts I use are free.
(There are many other projects similar to QTMoko)

If you mean that the GSM network itself isn't free, or that the GSM
subprocessor requires a binary blob to operate legally on a public
network, that is indeed a problem. These problems are being addressed by
several projects, but must be considered long-term. Overall there are
many many details, I can't cover each here.

Anyway, so the phone I use is basically a small GNU/Linux system with a
3G modem. So you can in principle use a configuration system like
"Puppet" to conveniently configure it. (As a technical side-note Puppet
might not be the most suitable system, because it requires a Ruby stack
running on the client. I'm investigating "Pallet" instead, which just
requires bash and ssh on the client, which runs fine on my phone)

> --
> Dr Richard Stallman
> President, Free Software Foundation
> 51 Franklin St
> Boston MA 02110
> www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
> Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
>   Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call

Joakim Verona

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