Self-hosted apps for GOSH

Hi everyone! The next open-source apps meeting is coming up soon - it will be March 3rd at 21:00 UTC. We will be taking a look at Limesurvey, to see if it can be a potential tool for the upcoming election reflection :slight_smile:

This meeting is on the GOSH community calendar and we will meet via this Jitsi link!

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Sorry I couldn’t make this meeting, but consolidating what I heard afterwards, here are some fully open source survey tools we’ve identified:

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Just wanted to chime in and say that miraheze.org hosts free mediawiki for open projects (they host the Counter Culture Labs wiki) and I believe both Digital Ocean and Linode will give free hosting for U.S. non-profits

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That’s really cool @juul! Thanks for sharing this information. Do you manage the Counter Culture Labs wiki? How’s the hosting experience with miraheze.org like? Great to know this resource.

@briannaljohns isn’t GOSH using Digital Ocean right now for hosting? Is GOSH already on their non-profit plan?

On that note, I just stumbled upon this page saying Flickr might provide discounted accounts for non-profits. Maybe something to consider… Sadly Flickr itself isn’t open source, but they have historically been supportive of free culture and was one of the first online services to implement Creative Commons licensing options.

Hey @hpy! Do you have any more info on the non-profit plan for Digital Ocean? GOSH isn’t on it at the moment and I can’t find any information on it from a quick web search.

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@bri I don’t know! I was just responding to the above comment by @juul

Hi all! The open source applications for GOSH meetings are supposed to happen on the first Thursday of every month, but there was a scheduling issue with the April meeting, and it will actually be on Thursday March 31st at 21:00 UTC. The meeting is on the GOSH community calendar and we will be meeting via this Jitsi link!

If you have anything in particular you’d like to discuss at the meeting, feel free to mention it in this forum thread. I know @hpy and I are interested in open source tools for “digital gardening” (check out this post for a great explanation of digital gardening by @hpy) so that can be a topic for discussing at the meeting.

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I haven’t used their services so I can’t personally vouch, but I just learned about May First Coop at mozfest a couple of weeks ago. They provide hosting for multiple open-source services (e.g., webmail, webhosting, nextcloud, etc.) for social movements and their prices seem reasonable. Might be an interesting option if we want to “outsource” admin of these types of services to another organization that is aligned with many of our community’s values.

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Hi everyone,

I am providing a quick summary of today’s open-source applications for GOSH meeting!

I was joined by @hpy, and we discussed the change in Gitlab’s free-of-charge tier and how that impacts GOSH - since GOSH is registered as part of the Gitlab open source program, we should be OK for now. We also briefly chatted about finding tools to do “digital gardening” for GOSH, but agreed it may be better to revisit this when there is more interest in digital gardening from the community.

We also realized that most of the needs we identified earlier for GOSH have been met!

  • Surveys → SurveyStack and EUSurvey
  • Polls → built-in discourse function
  • Scheduling (i.e. finding a time for a meeting) → crabfit
  • Newsletter → Mautic
  • Video conferencing → Jitsi

The only need we are still waiting on is the Google Docs replacement, which will likely be Nextcloud. @hpy is currently talking to folks from open source ecology to see if we can join their instance for free! If not, we have this nextcloud option that @dusjagr recommended, and another inexpensive one that @hpy found.

These meetings are regularly scheduled for the first Thursday of each month (the next one is scheduled for May 5) - but it looks like most of the work we’ve needed to get done is close to being finished. Because of that, do you all still see a need to have these meetings? Should we still leave them open on a monthly basis, or do you think we are at an okay point to wrap them up?

Curious to hear what you think!
-Bri

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Miraheze have been very professional. They have a proper support system with tickets and responses have been prompt. They do require that the wiki is actively used (I think their policy is there must be at least one edit per 30 days) but it is not well enforced, they give plenty of warning in advance and you can always talk to them.

I don’t think GOSH should be using any non-open software for its operations. I’m kinda surprised that isn’t already an established GOSH policy.

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The only need we are still waiting on is the Google Docs replacement, which will likely be Nextcloud.

Honestly WYSIWYG text editing is, and always has been, a mistake, unless you’re talking about professional typesetting. Google docs is a horrible resource hog on everything but chrome and formatting is a pain. Our community’s solution has always been to only use plain text for editing and encourage basic mediawiki formatting so we can use live editing during e.g. meetings for notes and then paste the documents into our wiki for long term collaboration.

I highly recommend: https://pad.riseup.net/

I have also used GitHub - hackmdio/codimd: CodiMD - Realtime collaborative markdown notes on all platforms. before and liked it but didn’t spend much time on it. The bad thing about that one is that it forced markdown formatting which may not be compatible with whatever wiki/forum people use.

Hei Marc @juul
Don’t you think that nextcloud, being an open source software, exactly solves those issues?
easy to use for those wysiwyg fanatics onboarding from whereever they come from?
collabroative pads in .md? and local copies as “real” files if needed for backup and long term storage.
our discussion was, how to convince those gdocs maniacs into another platform.
so they won’t stick to it for “practical” reasons or just cos they are used to it.

Hi all! I see on the GOSH calendar that there is another open source applications meeting scheduled for Friday May 5 at 10pm UTC.

Based on this previous post, it seems like we no longer need monthly meetings on open-source applications for GOSH. I can remove these meetings from the GOSH calendar later this week, but if you would like to keep them, let me know before Thursday, May 4th.

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Ooops I didn’t see the May 5 meeting at all, sorry.

Before I forget just FYI for everyone, there’s a group called CommunityBridge which apparently helps people host BigBlueButton meetings on what looks like a case-by-case basis:

https://communitybridge.com/hosting/

Hi all!

I wanted to share another open-source tool of use to GOSH, it’s called Singlelink and it’s an open-source alternative to linktr.ee for building “microsites.”

I’ve just made one for GOSH to be used on our social media channels, you can check it out here. I figured it would be best to share this information here so that we can keep track of it in the future :slight_smile:

That’s all for now!
-Bri

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Oooooh, nice find! :hearts: Super glad there’s an open source replacement for linktr.ee. Thanks @briannaljohns!

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cross posting on suggestion of @hpy

This is a little off-course but seeing commons booking, wanted to share this also (my neighbor is the maintainer, and we use it in our cohousing community) –

Gather

Gather

The App for Community

It’s basically a way to manage meals, things, spaces, and shared stuff within a community. Built in Ruby on a modern framework, and (knowing Tom) probably well organized and documented code.

We use it for all our meals and our whole work system (which is quite complex), as do the two neighboring communities. @nanocastro maybe useful for you guys if you have a community. Fully open source, host yourself or use the hosted version.

Probably the most underappreciated code I know of

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Quick thought that - in addition to the other things we’ve discussed in this thread - we should ideally also pay for the GOSH Flickr account and use it as a place for all our photos and videos, unless we can find a fully open source replacement that includes the same functionality.

Translation came up in the Panama Gathering onboarding call today. One 100% open source tool is LibreTranslate (GitHub repository). Just putting it here for the record.

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Another note in response to some conversations we had at GOSH 2022 in Panama, i.e. Big Tech-free email providers.

This is a difficult and complicated topic, AFAIK there are no “perfect” options that :ballot_box_with_check: tick all of these boxes: fully open source stack; good privacy; low/zero cost; and not based in a 14 Eyes country which has spying & surveillance agreements with the US.

But FWIW, these are some I am aware of which are relatively much better than Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.:

  • Posteo - Supportive of and uses lots of open source software in its infrastructure; runs on 100% renewable energy; based on Germany (with the pros and cons that come with it); starts at EUR 1 per month and can pay anonymously with physical cash. I use this.
  • Migadu - Good privacy reputation; dedication to avoiding vendor lock-in; based in Switzerland; requires you to bring your own custom domain (i.e. they don’t provide *@migadu.com email addresses) which can be a good thing; starts at USD 19 per year. I appreciate that they have a very honest pros and cons page.
  • Disroot - A non-profit collective (cooperative?) based in the Netherlands; exclusively uses 100% open source software and contributes code to the community (the only email service I know of that does this); custom domain possible; starts at EUR 0; their organisation is fairly new and IMO not super stable yet. I have an account here.
  • SDF Public Access UNIX System - 99% open source; 30+ years old non-profit tech collective based in the US, generous storage for USD 36 per year with email + Nextcloud + lots of nerdy tools. However, the sign up and set up process is also 30+ years old and involves lots of archaic commands in a terminal through an SSH connection. If you don’t know what that means, then it’s a very high learning curve! Completely run by volunteers, and there are occasional outages.
  • Mailbox.org - Also runs on certified renewable energy; some paid plans comes with a Nextcloud account; custom domain possible; based in Germany; starts at EUR 1 per month. This might be useful when if the GOSH community eventually decides to get its own Nextcloud instance.
  • Tutanota - Mostly open source; emphasises privacy features; starts at EUR 0; but some features are not compatible with general email clients, you have to either use their webmail or their open source email app. I think they’re based in Germany. Allows custom domains.
  • Protonmail - This is a famous one which has privacy as their key selling point. However, their software stack is more closed source, and they use non-standard email protocols, meaning you have to use their apps to access email. Based in Switzerland (?). They also have a “bridge” app that can link their email to generic clients like Thunderbird or Outlook or Apple Mail, but I heard it’s unreliable. Allows custom domains.

The above are not specific recommendations, and each has their own set of possible problems. What is best for you depends on your values and priorities (e.g. runs on renewable energy? fully open source? physical location of servers? how much privacy do you really need? anonymous cash payments?). But IMO all are much much more socially and environmentally responsible than Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. There’s simply no comparison. Recently I’ve been vaguely hearing good things about Fastmail, but I haven’t studied this option yet.

There are other recommendations in this guide and this guide.

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