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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free-software groupware strategies lab

From: Bob Jonkman
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free-software groupware strategies lab
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:22:08 -0400
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There was a comprehensive package, Enterprise Libre from Cirrus Computing, a turnkey solution for organizations to give them everything they need. Sadly, it was shelved in 2016 because (like so many Free Software projects) the sole maintainer wasn't able to continue development. It is now available from X2Go at

Although it's not being maintained as a single package, as far as I know, it is still viable -- all the components are standard Free Software packages, which could be maintained individually.


On 2019-04-13 2:41 p.m., Jim Garrett wrote:

First, "groupware" certainly is a buzzword and using it may help and/or
hurt understanding.  I'm looking for several key features, at least
1. Event management (create invitations, allow people to forward them
    to others, people can accept or decline, we can see who has
    confirmed, we can send reminders).
2. Have an associated event page on the web.
3. Online storage for a group to access files.
4. Collaborate text editing, and maybe spreadsheet editing as well.
5. Voice communications software
6. Webcasting (showing a computer desktop to multiple people online,
    simultaneously with audio and perhaps video)

I know of at least one workable tool for each of those categories, and
we don't have to have a unified suite of tools.

At the very minimum, even if someone pointed me to existing tools
already deployed and workable, I would like to practice with them, and
that requires partners.  But chances are there are more details to
work through.

For instance, I just requisitioned a hosted Nextcloud instance, and
Collabora (LibreOffice) with Nextcloud and voice communication look
promising.  But it turns out one must have a separate Collabora server,
so I need to look into that if indeed that is the direction to go.  Or
if one uses Etherpad, Nextcloud can integrate with it but doesn't
actually supply it; one needs an Etherpad instance.

RiseUp doesn't hit all of the requirements; FramaSoft comes close but
some of their pages are not yet translated to English (maybe helping
would be a direction to go?).  I haven't yet checked out the other
services you mentioned.  But everywhere I've looked I see options but
not quite a solution in hand.

Also Nextcloud's video chat doesn't scale up to numbers of participants
(>5 in their documentation).  What about voice?  Could we test 10
people on a call?

For voice chat there are so many options, but for people accustomed to
just installing what their friends have, I need to recommend one or two
options, make sure they're good options, and make sure they're able to
set them up properly.

Details, details, details!

I think the Free world will never be able to match the convenience of
centralized services that offer a service at the hidden expense of
surveillance.  Centralization inherently facilitates group-oriented
tasks.  So when presenting these tools to groups, I would anticipate,
at best, some individuals will give grudging acceptance.  In this
context, every glitch or complication will add friction and potential
resistance.  I would of course present these tools as more than just a
feature-for-feature match to proprietary packages, but still, making
the process as smooth as possible will help.  That requires testing
things out beforehand and knowing what I'm doing!

I'm not afraid of the command line, but I'm not an experienced admin.
Getting advice and direction from people who know what they're doing
will help a great deal.  That's one thing I hope to gain from this
effort.  I know this list is available to offer help, but posting
frequently and having detailed discussions on this list is really not
ideal.  Better to collect this information, post it somewhere, and
notify the community about it.

The solution could be close at hand or could require some work.  If
it's close at hand, wonderful, let's document it and get it out.  If it
takes more legwork, then that's what we need to do.

I hope that helps!


On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 16:52:24 +0000
"D. Joe" <> wrote:

On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 12:13:27PM -0400, bill-auger wrote:
im not very familiar with the term (buzzword?) "groupware"; but
that description sounds like what mattermost aims to be:

My thoughts had turned to the suite of things hosted by, eg,,,, or, or more
generally those listed in

and provided by

or packaged by the likes of yunohost, freedombox/freedombone,

Jim, maybe you can clarify how what you have in mind either
resembles, or differs from, any of those?

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Bob Jonkman <>          Phone: +1-519-635-9413
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