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Re: suggestions for leading a free software organization

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: suggestions for leading a free software organization
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 21:21:46 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* quiliro <> [2021-02-24 20:57]:
> Dear Libre Planet:
> I have just been elected president of the Free Software Asociation of
> Ecuador.

That is great to hear!

> I would like to receive suggestions for making a successful advocacy for
> freedom during the following 2 years which I will be in office and for
> making a sustainable path for the following boards.  My work is not
> payed.  But the organization can receive money through donation or
> sales.  Money is not the only resource it could have.  I just mention
> it, in case it is required for the suggestions.
> Any tip is valuable to me. Thank you very much for your time and wisdom.
> Quiliro Ordónez
> President - ASLE
> Board member - FSF LA

>From time to time I will donate money. If I am not mistaken this
organization takes care of Linux-libre kernel?

In my opinion foremost important is to use the free software
philosophy articles in Spanish language.

Opening of a real physical computer club that promotes GNU Free
Software is very helpful. That could be good idea. Teaching youth how
to program. We had one similar club, we just did not have free
software at that time, but we did make software ourselves and shared
it between us. Proprietary software did bring some kind of envious
competition so some of members did try to keep their programs "secret"
from others and used it as demos to show how they are good in
programming, but they did not tell secrets to others, others often did
not ask for it.

Opening a GNU Free Software club would be thus good idea. I have same
idea for Uganda here, and I have got enough computers that I could
start. I just need to find the location and some furniture and I can
start doing it.

Computer club like that would be working on fully free software. It
would help people install fully free GNU OS distributions and would
promote free software only. This would exclude other distributions
with reasons why. People do need to know it.

Club could then provide some services for small fees such as OS
installations, conversion from Windoze and other proprietary OS
infected computers to GNU Free Operating Systems, it could sell DVDs
and provide seminars on software such as Gimp or other video editing
or other similar and for public useful software. It could teach youth
and adults programming.

We have successfully taught small children of 10 years including
adults of 40 and over 40 years in programming lessons. We have been
teaching them usually about the keyboard first and how to properly use
keyboard and mouse. This was the major difficulty. Then they started
learning programming commands, functions and they started making their
own programs. Somewhere there along the line the mind starts thinking
itself and starts being creative, that is where people start
programming. They just need to learn enough of functions or commands
until they realize they can become creative.

I remember we had children of 10-12 years who already programmed in
machine language on Commodore 64, the highest selling single computer
modell of all the time. Programming sprites, games was great fun and
use! We had similar computers like TRS-80 clones that were used to
teach people programming languages like BASIC and LOGO.

In Albania there are successful huge classrooms that teach children
how to program robots, if I remember it is with Arduino technology.

That kind of courses with free software would bring attention to youth
(but not excluding elder or anybody), it would cause newspaper, radio
and other media attention, one could then make seminars and interviews
and basically do what RMS have been doing for years.

One could also speak at universities and promote free software by
making a free software speech of not longer than 30 - 45 minutes. On
the end of it, one can sell DVDs with GNU Free Software OS.

In general, promoting free software requires systematic planning,
filling calendar appointments with seminar speeches, informing
universities and schools, arranging with them, helping students switch
from proprietary to free software, arranging with key decision makers
to switch their offices from proprietary to free software and
explaining benefits. Promoting GNU Health and similar medical
software, educational software does so much good for people and their
further literacy progress and development.

Proprietary software blocks literacy progress as it does not help
people learn about software and create upon it, or at all realize that
they could as well be in charge of what their computer is doing for


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