Pirate Kittens [IT] ; find and host libre tools that pirates need

Ilja Public Seen by 466

There are several crews and squads in the pirate party using software tools to fit their needs. Taking initiative is always a good thing and we should encourage this! We should also understand that these people often want to go forward with their project, without having to think to much about the tools they use beyond their practical value. This often leads to the use of non-libre tools and/or tools hosted by companies who's values are at odds with values we have as pirates.

I believe the IT-squad should see it as their responsibility to identify the needs of those crews and squads and find and propose libre alternatives to these tools. This way people can focus on their own projects without having to bother with findig tools that are both practical AND libre.

Let's start a project with the IT-squad to identify what functionality several crews and squads need, list them, find alternatives, get feedback, refine..., and eventually implement/host/link to... these tools so that they are easy to find and use for everyone inside the pirate party.

Inspired by the chatons.org project where people host libre software for others to use, I propose to call this project 'Pirate Kittens'

wiki: https://wiki.pirateparty.be/Pirate_Kittens
pad: https://pad.pirateparty.be/p/pirate_kittens
mail: kittens@pirateparty.be


Ilja Sun 25 Feb 2018

The roadmap that I propose:
1. Make Wiki-page to keep track of what we do in a structured way
2. Make a list of crews, squads... and ways to contact them
3. Contact them asking for the tools and functionalities they need/use. Practical examples where they use the tools could also help us further down the line.
4. Structure the feedback to get a good insight of what's missing.
5. Find alternatives and propose them.
6. Take feedback, if NOK: goto 4.
7. Find a good way to host whats needed. Make sure there is an easy way for people who need to use the tools to find these tools.
8. Get feedback, if NOK: goto 4.


HgO Wed 28 Feb 2018

I'm all in !!

For the list of crews, most of them are already on the wiki home page (probably some are inactive), and there is some information in this topic too : https://www.loomio.org/d/SAW3EFV2/current-status-of-the-crews

Should we create a form and send it to the crews ? Or just a mail would be enough ?


Ilja Wed 28 Feb 2018

WOOHOOW (o^ )/ I'm not alone!
I think a mail will be more than sufficient for now.

I'll make a wiki-page and start a template for a mail that we can then send out. I'll try to do this before next week


Ilja Wed 28 Feb 2018

I've made the wiki. I also made a pad for collaborative effords. (think building the contacts-list, drafting the mail...). I'll add the links to the description


Ilja Wed 28 Feb 2018

First draft of the mail, under section Mail: https://pad.pirateparty.be/p/pirate_kittens

I also started on the collection of groups to contact (also on the pad, section Who to contact)

Phew, that was quick :p


Ilja Thu 1 Mar 2018

I've updated the mail to not only say software, but also IT-services.
I also updated the contact lists. I've skimmed the wiki and webpage to find mailaddresses, members and other contact information.

So the questions now are:
1. Is this mail Ok?
* Do we personalise stuff for certain people/groups?
2. To whom do we send it?
* We don't want to spam everyone, but maybe just the main-addresses may not really be enough.
3. I also feel that we'd need a bit more 'back-up' than just the two who are here already. I think I'll poke some people on Mastodon :p (This isn't really a question, but meh)


HgO Fri 2 Mar 2018

For me, the mail is fine. I've just formatted a bit the questions (as a list, it's easier to read). I don't understand what you mean with "- What functions do you need it for preform?" ?

I think that'd be better to translate it in French and Dutch. Or explain that we accept replies in Dutch / French.

I think we should just put the name of the group, as many people are in several groups.

I'd send it to the main addresses, and after two weeks, if we have no reply, we try personal mail addresses or other ways...

Well, I'd like at least to have the opinion of @tierce and @zefredz :)


Ilja Sat 3 Mar 2018

Yes bullet points are a lot better, I've changed to use * instead of - 'cause I use this a bit lower in the mail. I've also noticed we can comment in the pads themself :o (maybe we knew that, but I didn't), so I tried that out as well :p .
I've changed "- What functions do you need it for preform?" to "What functionalities do you need your software to preform?". I've also did some other touch ups on the questions.

I'm not sure about translating, but why not, so Ok.
I've added a line that says they can answer in another language (you understand Esperanto right? ;) )

I'm not sure what you mean with "I think we should just put the name of the group, as many people are in several groups."

I agree on the idee of sending to the main addresses first, and others if needed.

And yes, I'd like those peoples opinions as well.


Ilja Sat 3 Mar 2018

I've put the mainaddresses in a list. There are some that I'm not sure of. I didn't see a mailaddress for Gent and Leuven, but they have a FB-page, so we could just copy-paste into the chat (or make a message to fit better in a chat context).
And then there are three that I'm not sure if they need to be contacted as well ('cause I think not really active), if yes, we'll need to contact members


Ilja Sat 3 Mar 2018

@tierce linked this on Mastodon: https://wiki.pirateparty.be/ITSquad/Pirates_Selection/brainstorming
May be helpfull later.


HgO Wed 7 Mar 2018

I changed "preform" by "perform" (assuming typo)

For me, the text is fine.

I'm ok to contact them through FB if they don't have a mail address.

For the translation, I won't have time to do that (I'm quite busy these days)... Ok for the line saying they can answer in their favorite language, including esperanto.

I'm not sure what you mean with "I think we should just put the name of the group, as many people are in several groups."

I think we should add the name of the group we contact. Like "Ahoy ITSquad, ...". But I'm ok if we don't do that (it's more work after all)


Ilja Tue 13 Mar 2018

Ah :confused: are those different words? Hmm :thinking: yes, ok, typo :ok_hand:

I like the personal touch of adding the crew/squad name. :slight_smile:
Somewhere at the bottom we also use Please feel free to forward these questions to all members of your group. We should add the groupname there as well then.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Wed 7 Mar 2018

Translation in French is done ;)


Ilja Tue 13 Mar 2018

I did the Dutch translation as well. If someone who understands Dutch could review it, I'd be much obliged. (I especially suck in -dt stuff and there are probably things that would be better with some rephrasing.)

I was thinking that it may be a good idea to wait untill' the lab (31/03) before we send out the mails. This gives us some time to share ideas Face2Face and maybe already get input from other people as well (including certain people who's opinion I'd specificly like to hear). +the mail may be less unexpected that way, which, I think, is a good thing.
OTOH the lab is still 2 to 3 weeks away....


HgO Sat 17 Mar 2018

The mail is ok to me :) Okay for waiting till the next lab as well :)


Ilja Sun 1 Apr 2018

Mails are sent, I've also added our brand new mailaddress for this project in the discription and on the wiki.
I've sent to the mailaddresses we had + the FB groups of Ghent and Leuven

Now we await the fallout!!


[deactivated account] Wed 19 Sep 2018

Hi pirates! Any chance to get Yunohost? We, at Liège, would be really interested in deeply test riding the beast...


Ilja Thu 20 Sep 2018

YES! We're already planning on using yunohost more for stuff like this :) it already has a bunch of tools + crews can have their own dedicated servers if they want (which is nice for decentralization and empowerment). I'm also figuring out how the packaging works in the hope that we can add more tools later when the need arises (but we're not there yet on that point ' ).

What exactly would you like to have? You can either self-host (e.g. at home using a low power single board computer for example[1]) or get a dedicated server for your crew.
We can also provide you with a dedicated subdomain for it like liege.pirateparty.be or something.
We can help you set up, show around how it works and help out in case of problems

[1] https://neutrinet.be/

cc @hgo @tierce


[deactivated account] Thu 20 Sep 2018

Some of the tools are interesting to share the work and organize it in a crew. I know it works on a pi butt to be honest, we just need tools to work efficiently on our side as we all have much work appart from the pirates... decentralization and empowerment, OK, but the most important is to share, produce and organize. KISS concept if possible.


Ilja Wed 26 Sep 2018

In that case I'd propose the second option. That would mean that we set up a yunohost server at liege.pirateparty.be (or another subdomain if you'd like). We install and set it up, you can have admin access. That'll keep the technical stuff away and still give you full control. In case of trouble you can then ofc always contact us, and if we notice that that may not be the best solution, we can still look for another solution then.
Does that sounds Ok?


[deactivated account] Wed 26 Sep 2018

Love it! I'm kind of advanced internet user but I don't think I can be as efficient and reliable as you are. That's the point. In case of major problem on yunohost, I am useless.

Anyway, I am really excited about yunohost and I will be happy to have these tools. It will be very useful to share our efforts efficiently.

Thanks guys.


Ilja Sat 29 Sep 2018

liege.pirateparty.be :)
I've also send a request on Matrix


[deactivated account] Sat 29 Sep 2018

Nice! And very quick. I'm impressed! Not too tricky to install?


Ilja Sun 7 Oct 2018

Naah, installing ynh is pretty straitworward tbh[1]. Either you use the installer/image for whatever hardware you use or, if that's not an option (like was the case here), you can just install Debian and transform it into ynh with literately one command[2] :p
For the DNS records ynh gives 'recomended settings' in the admin panel, so tha's pretty straight-forward as well.

It was the first time I've set up a server for PPBE tho, so that was fun ^

[1] https://yunohost.org/#/install
[2] https://yunohost.org/#/install_manually


Ilja Sat 13 Oct 2018

I closed this project on the wiki since I think the main purpose of the project has been reached[1]. Of course this doesn't mean you can't ask for services anymore, the ITSquad takes up that role now. If you like, you can still use this thread to contact us with questions or remarks about apps, services...

I also want to give a big thanks to anyone who has helped and contributed, be it by setting up stuff, helping out on a technical level, trying out stuff or just by making proposals and/or giving feedback!

[1] https://wiki.pirateparty.be/Pirate_Kittens#Conclusion


Christophe Cop Fri 19 Oct 2018

Is there a good mailing list tool we could use? (for internal emails for all pirates in the province of Antwerp)
another tool we are considering is some version of Jira-like tool (to organise ourselves).
Any recommendations for that as well?


Ilja Sat 20 Oct 2018

For the mailing list tool I'm gonna ask what @hgo thinks. I don't have experience in that, I think he has more experience in things like that.

For the JIRA-like thing. JIRA can do a lot, so it depends on what exactly you'll need/want to do. I think a good tool could be Kanboard[1]. It's much simpler than JIRA, but I the core is there. You have users, can create projects, create tasks, tag tasks, assign tasks to a user, follow the progress on a kanban board... You can also define your columns and easily drag and drop between columns. There's also the possibility of using LDAP (and if you like to have a nice integrated environment for all your apps, kanboard is packaged for yunohost[2] as well ;) ).
If I'm not mistaken Liège is using/trying out this as well so maybe @vanecx can elaborate more if you have specific use-cases you'd like to discuss.
A quick internet search also shows me that there is also some enterprise thing[3], but it seems to be in an "open-source version/closed source paid enterprise edition" business model. I usually try to keep away from free software developed under this business model because the incentive really is to make the open-source version significantly worse than the paid closed-source version.

[1] https://kanboard.org/
[2] https://yunohost.org/#/apps
[3] https://www.openproject.org/


HgO Fri 26 Oct 2018

No I don't know any good mailing list tool that we could install. I mean, there exists some, but I never really tried to install them and they are not easy to install / configure.

Framasoft proposes a service called framalistes [1], which works pretty well (we use it in Crew BW). Otherwise, there is Riseup [2] and probably others…

[1] http://framalistes.org/
[2] https://riseup.net/en/lists


Ilja Thu 3 Jan 2019

@christophecop I see two posts where you use google docs.
One at https://www.loomio.org/d/QE0vNd4W/vlaanderen-verkiezingen-2019
Another at https://www.loomio.org/d/jdCNx2Ii/piraten-campagne-boot-route-jullie-engagement

The second one is a spreadsheet, so we don't really have a good alternative to that (and I think the question asked is to open for https://parley.be/poll/ ). The first one however doesn't strike as something where a google doc has an advantage over etherpads. What exactly is it that keeps you on google-docs for that one? (Or in other words, what do you feel is missing in our pads?)
For the spreadsheet I'd also like to find an alternative sooner or later. Do you have any requirements that you really feel you need? I don't really use them, so I can't really judge on what would be good and what not.


David Thu 3 Jan 2019

I'm just adding some information, as I went to look up what eelo uses to edit office documents like spreadsheets online, and then a colleague of mine provided some more info.

ONLYOFFICE (https://www.onlyoffice.com/) and Collabora Online (https://www.collaboraoffice.com/) are two online office solutions, both offer a web interface based on LibreOffice. Both are open source and you can run your own instance. ONLYOFFICE can integrate with ownCloud (https://owncloud.org/), NextCloud (https://nextcloud.com/), and a number of other platforms, and they offer paid hosting services themselves. Collabora Online offers just software and support, but ownCloud is supported and they seem to be the default app to edit office documents on NextCloud.

Another project I follow is /e/, previously called eelo, site: https://e.foundation/. They want to provide an open and privacy oriented mobile phone OS. But as openness and privacy in mobile phones nowadays is less about the local OS and more about all the cloud services which are used (as most Android phones are tightly linked to Google services, and iOS to Apple), they want to also provide an open server (cloud) ecosystem. They host those services themselves, but as everything is open, you have the option to host your own server too. They try to use existing OSS projects as much as possible, so I saw they are integrating NextCloud in their ecosystem.


Hobbes Fri 4 Jan 2019

there is an equivallent to etherpads for spreadsheets: ethercalc (https://github.com/audreyt/ethercalc). If you want to try it, framasoft has an open instance at https://framacalc.org. While I'm at it, framasoft is a huge ressource for hosted free software discovery. You'll find a list here: https://degooglisons-internet.org/en/list/ and another list sorted by replaced proprietary service here: https://degooglisons-internet.org/en/alternatives