Free and open source express: donations to associations, anti-Google Maps alliance, manifesto for sober digital

Donations to associations: consider contributing

“A remarkably necessary annual dispatch!”, I noted here last year: for the 11th time, Benoît Sibaud invites on Linuxfr to make donations to associations, in this favorable period (end of year, possible deduction of donations) , with all the links that go well and useful explanations and arguments (updated since version 2021). For suggestions of associations to help, the former president of April mentions:

“Let us cite for example a few associations for the promotion and defense of Free Software, rights in the digital space or freedom of expression, whose donations are deductible in France: Amnesty France, Debian France, Framasoft, International Federation for the Rights (FIDH), Libre à Toi / Radio Cause Commune, Human Rights League (LDH), Open Food Facts, OpenStreetMap France, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Wikimedia France, etc.

And as you bring the principles of Free Software to life, as you contribute to free projects and defend ideas, you also support associations that do not benefit from the deductibility of donations in France (for example, associations deemed too disturbing or too critical by the government… or European or non-European associations, or even associations that have never done so, such as LinuxFr). Examples include AFUL, April, Debian CH (deductible in Switzerland), European Digital Rights (EDRi), En Vente Libre, Exodus Privacy, FACIL, FFII, FSF (with a long list of ways to give), FSF Europe (deductibility in several countries), Paheko (late Garradin), GNOME and GIMP, Haiku, Internet Archive (deductible in the United States), KDE eV (deductible in Germany), Léa-Linux, LILA, LQDN, Mageia, Nos Onions, noyb, OKFN , PHP Foundation,, Tails (deductible in Germany), Toile Libre, Tor (deductible in the US and Europe), Ubuntu-Fr, XSF, etc. (note that they may sometimes have the deductibility of donations in other countries, see decision C-318/07 mentioned below).’

Alliance for a free cartographic tool: and OpenStreetMap?

The creation of the Overture Maps Foundation, a manifestly anti-Google Maps alliance, is a big event in December. The founders of this organization announced by the Linux foundation are Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Microsoft, TomTom, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), who want to make map data more accessible to the general public so that they can be used by all, according to their press release.

Cartography and free data… So what about OpenStreetMap (OSM? Florian Lainez, OSM contributor and CEO of Jungle Bus, devotes an interesting article to it, analyzing the strategy of its players, and observing:

“The absence from the alliance of the OpenStreetMap Foundation — which was presented with a fait accompli — acts its relegation as a mere supplier of an upstream database. From now on, the whole world will indeed use OSM data but it will be via its consumer showcase, Overture, an ecosystem controlled directly by the members of the consortium.

The OpenStreetMap community has found itself de facto marginalized, moreover through the Linux foundation, which has served in the stooge operation with the librists.

OpenStreetMap did not know – or wanted – to create the essential alliances in its recent phase of explosion of activity. The collaborative project has also not carried out essential reforms concerning its governance, the legal license of its data or the effective exploitation of the data.

Florian Lainez concluded his presentation with this warning: “For European mapping and cloud players who are under the overwhelming domination of Google, this announcement sounds like a new era where access to raw map data will finally become a convenience.

Nevertheless, remaining simple consumers of Overture looks to many expected as a strategic mistake. The majority of European digital players who have so far missed the OpenStreetMap train would also be well advised to rethink their strategy related to geographical data.

Because Overture could well act as a pharmakon, both remedy or poison depending on the dose ingested. Too much delegation of the management of this data, which is vital in the innovations of the coming years, could in fact worsen the situation of dependence of the entire European ecosystem on mainly American players.

Manifesto for a sober and decarbonized digital with free and open source software

The Open Source Hub of the Systematic cluster (Ile-de-France) and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Open Source cluster (Naos) “are joining forces to promote free and open source software as an impact lever for a more responsible and sustainable digital “. The two entities publish a “manifesto for a sober and decarbonized digital with free and open source software”, co-signed by Philippe Montargès, president of the Open Source Hub of Systematic, François Pellegrini and David Joulin, co-presidents of Naos. This manifesto declares in particular:

“The greatest ecological impact of digital is the manufacture of devices (servers, terminals and equipment), which alone represents almost 75% of the environmental footprint of digital. Being digitally responsible therefore consists first and foremost in increasing the lifespan of equipment.

Or, too often, closed software vendors force upgrades to much more resource- and energy-intensive versions of their software, requiring mass renewal of equipment; Windows Vista was a tragic example for desktop computers. Conversely, the installation on older hardware of operating systems and open source software, which are just as technically efficient and offer longer support times than the abusive short-term obsolescence policies imposed by vendors of closed software, makes it possible to considerably increase the lifespan of computer systems. Our sector must take the lead in the fight against the planned obsolescence of software, the main marketing weapon of software and hardware manufacturers.”

“The openness of the code and the possibility of adapting it allow the developer and the user to have tools truly adapted to their needs and to avoid flat-rate overconsumption. Open source is thus quite naturally part of a logic of eco-design and consumption in use, which encourages sobriety. The auditability of the code also makes it easier to measure its carbon footprint.

The accessibility and composability of open source technologies have driven the costs of access to these technologies, promoting their adoption by organizations and companies operating their ecological transition. The principles of pooling and collaboration inscribed in the DNA of open source communities constitute a model of circular technological economy based on the recycling of software components and hardware. The existence of large communities and dedicated foundations guarantees the sustainability of technologies and the long-term pursuit of their development. This is how the software infrastructure of the web, since its origin, has been based at more than 80% on open source systems.

“Optimizing the use of IT resources is also a critical issue in the case of cloud infrastructures. The use of open source tools within each layer (PaaS, IaaS, even SaaS) allows efficient management of infrastructures, and the pooling of the development of these tools is likely to offer customers a quality service at the lowest cost. .

All these approaches are part of a global logic of “GreenOps”, convergence of “DevOps” cultures (in which development is thought out according to its operation) and “FinOps” (in which the consumption of the operation is controlled budgetary ). It is a question of taking into account, at all stages, a logic of optimization of the ecological impact of its infrastructure resources.

As we can see, the capacity for innovation inherent in the open source model, coupled with an ecosystem of very active and local industrial players, can thus contribute to a more sober digital.

Read also

Europe wants to promote digital commons – 23 June 2022

Free software, a catalyst for responsible projects – April 20, 2022

Framasoft, “Digital Amap”, twenty years – November 8, 2021

Small fundraiser for a big project: OpenStreetMap France – February 26, 2019

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