Mon 30 Mar 2020 3:10AM

Software for Remote Working/ Learning/ Socializing

DS Danyl Strype Public Seen by 104

With a huge proportion of the world's population facing weeks of lockdown, as part of the attempts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a lot of those people are having to figure out on the fly how to work from home, teach/ attend online classes, or socialize with family and friends without leaving the house. This is an opportunity to test the capacity of existing free code software to provide for these needs, as well as the capacity of community-hosting groups that provide non-geeks access to these tools when they require a server. It's also an opportunity to identify gaps that might require new apps or hosting services, new ecosystems for deploying and connecting them, and new revenue models for sustaining it all.

Examples of the software freedom movement responding to community needs during the pandemic:
* NZ Open Source Society: https://nzoss.nz/covid-19-response-help-those-working-home
* Disroot.org: https://disroot.org/en/blog/covid19-kit
* Open Educational Resources universitas: https://tech.oeru.org/working-home
* Purism: https://puri.sm/posts/our-essential-list-of-free-software-for-remote-work/
* Scaleway: https://blog.scaleway.com/2020/building-jitsi-solution-powered-by-scaleway/
* COVID-19 OSS help: https://discourse.covid-oss-help.org/
* Matrix: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/04/06/running-your-own-secure-communication-service-with-matrix-and-jitsi
* CoTech: https://community.coops.tech/t/tech-co-ops-and-covid-19-solidarity/1972
* Hypha Cooperative: https://covid19.hypha.coop/
* Free Software Foundation: https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Remote_Communication

More examples at:


Danyl Strype Fri 10 Apr 2020 10:13AM

Does anyone know of any other free code projects offering services to those stuck at home due to the current pandemic? Any comments on the UX of services folks have tried for the first time because of it? Other related thoughts?


Steve Huckle Sat 11 Apr 2020 8:34AM

And the reverse is true, too. I've had a research project fall through, and my temporary teaching contract at the uni' where I just got my PhD will not get renewed, so I find myself over-educated and under-employed. Does anyone need my help? I'd gladly give my time freely to any community-oriented projects that require development skills.


Graham Sat 11 Apr 2020 8:53AM

Hi Steve. I don't know where your core interests lie, but I know that the open credit network - https://opencredit.network - is looking for dev help with their cooperative platform (a mutual credit system). Also worth posting on the CoTech discourse site - https://community.coops.tech


Daniel Harris Sat 11 Apr 2020 8:54AM

@Steve Huckle please come and join my nonprofit open source project, Kendraio. It's ground breaking! We're building a personal "data browser" that plugs into service/APIs. Some jump in points:


Lynn Foster Sat 11 Apr 2020 12:11PM

It also makes a difference what your technical skills are, including from school. And whether you really enjoy (and can be somewhat self sufficient in) learning new technologies on the fly, or would rather build on your existing skills and be productive more quickly. Different personalities there, both useful. Looks like you have been into blockchain, at least in your research. How close do you want to stay to blockchain technology?


Steve Huckle Sat 11 Apr 2020 12:31PM

@Lynn Foster "including from school". Whatever do you mean? In my 30 years as a developer, I've never once been asked to show what I did at school. Or by "school", are you including universities, there?

Anyway, I'm a very experienced developer that is able to adapt to new technologies quickly - in fact, I enjoy new challenges. I'd argue that's the nature of the beast.

I can do blockchains, yes, but I'm not fixated on them; in some respects, I'm more interested in their architectural and political implications for society. Indeed, I'm currently writing a paper about Coronavirus and what blockchains can tell us about how we might organise afterwards. It's a fun write - if anyone is interested in contributing to that, do get in touch.


Lynn Foster Sat 11 Apr 2020 1:16PM

@Steve Huckle sorry, didn't mean to insult you - but I don't know you, looked at your loomio profile, it said PhD and teaching job, so I didn't know you had dev experience.... and it seemed like the skill set piece might have been missing from the discussion.... but I get it now, and I'll shut up. ;)

P.S. I learned to program in a 6 month trade school night class before there even was computer science, so I'm not hung up on schooling for devs.

P.P.S. Your paper sounds interesting - no time to contribute, but will be interested in reading it when it is ready. I think "how we might organize afterwards" is a critical question.


Steve Huckle Sat 11 Apr 2020 2:39PM

@Lynn Foster - I took no insult whatsoever! I will admit to being puzzled as to how we got from, "I'm available to help", to career advice, but I'm well aware your reply came from a good place x


Steve Huckle Sat 11 Apr 2020 9:14AM

@Daniel Harris - thanks - I've been having a look around in kendraio all week - I may well pitch in...


Steve Huckle Sat 11 Apr 2020 9:17AM

@Graham - I've been on the CoTech website for a while. I've made myself available for a couple of jobs, too (offering my services for next-to-nothing), but nothing's come of it so far. Thanks for the heads up about https://opencredit.network, though - I'll take a look!

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