|Wed 28 February 2018
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. This project is meant 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, this project is called Pirate Kittens.
Any contribution is welcome. For discussion there is the loomio thread. This is the fastest way to contact the people working on this project and sharing your questions and ideas.
For drafts we use the pad. Once the draft is considered finished, we put in on the wiki.
Make Wiki-page to keep track of what we do in a structured way Make a list of crews, squads... and ways to contact them 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. Structure the feedback to get a good insight of what's missing. Find alternatives and propose them. Take feedback, if NOK: goto 4. Find a good way to host what's needed. Make sure there is an easy way for people who need to use the tools to find these tools. Get feedback, if NOK: goto 4.
Who to contact
See section Who to contact on the pad
Mails are send to the mailaddresses in the list. I also pasted the mailcontent in the FB chats as listed on the pad.
See section Mail on the pad
Mails are sent in three languages (EN-FR-NL)
Collaborated efforts can be done on the pad https://pad.pirateparty.be/p/pirate_kittens
There hasn't been much feedback, probably partly because the ppbe isn't very active atm. There was a remark that wathever we did, we should try to use single sign-on as much as possible so that you don't need many account for as many apps. When starting a crew something that was used was doodle. There was also the question for a kanboard for one crew and someone suggested to use something like Nextcloud.
As IT-squad we decided to use yunohost as a platform. This is a server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to everyone. It has an admin screen where you can manage users, domains, updates, backups, applications... and a user-interface through which people can have access to the applications. It uses LDAP so only one password is required for all apps. It has, among other apps, Nextcloud, kanboard, etherpads and opensondage (a Doodle alternative). If an application isn't available for yunohost we can either see if we can set-up the app manually, or even package it our self since packaging for yunohost is rather trivial. The latter is also a great way for PPBE to give back to the community.
We can set up a yunohost server on a CX11 for at Hetzner for €3.01/month. It has 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, 20GB disc space and 20 TB traffic. Because we like to give crews as much autonomy as possible, and because yunohost is so accessible we want to be able to give crews their own yunohost setup. The setup could be one of the following:
- We set up a yunohost server on a Hetzner CX11 and set up the DNS records for a subdomain under one of our own domains (eg anawesomecrew.pirateparty.be). This is all ordered and payed for on the PPBE account. Crews can then easily pay on a pay-what-you-want scheme to the general PPBE account with costs fully covered at €3.01/month to be payed to the general PPBE account.
- For crews who would rather have their installation at home instead of somewhere in the cloud, we can work together with Neutrinet. Neutrinet is Non profit ISP, Associatieve internetprovider. There we can order simple hardware that can run yunohost. The hardware is either a LIME or LIME2 Single Board Computer (SBC). These SBC's use less power then the router you have for internet access at home, so power consumption shouldn't be problem. Neutrinet also provides a VPN through which your server can e accessed. This means that you don't have to configure anything at home yourself, once yunohost is fully configured it's just plug-and-play. There will also be a hotspot app installed on it so that you can connect your home devices and surf the net through the VPN. This setup is called a cube. The hardware has an initial cost, the VPN is by a pay-what-you-want service with costs fully covered at €6/month to be paid to the Neutrinet association. Of course you can also get a subdomain from the PPBE for free.
In either case you can always contact the ITSquad in case of questions, problems... or just to thank us for the awesome work we're doing ;)
Currently Liège is trying out a yunohost server on a CX11. There is already a server running for general use, but that one isn't being used yet as some decisions still need to be made (for example, what domain to use, what will we put on it, will we migrate current apps...). If people want to have their own yunohost-server, or have other needs (like a subdomain pointing to their own servers, questions in general, questions about yunohost, apps that maybe aren't available in the yunohost installation list, suggestions for alternatives to certain apps...) they can contact the ITSquad over various channels (e.g. email, via Loomio, in person, on fedi, on Riot...).
The kittens project was mainly to get feedback and a solution to get better apps for the pirateparty. Using yunohost servers we have a new framework through which we can work. The further follow-up can be done by the crews who have their own yunohost server and the ITSquad. That means this project can be closed. 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! どうもありがとうございます