The free software movement aims to have all software be free “as in freedom.” But communication tools are especially important, because they are fundamental to the movement’s infrastructure, and its self image. We are supposed to be the experts in distributed, online collaboration.
Communication and collaboration tools are also where we have had some of our greatest disappointments and challenges in recent years – consider the popularity and subsequent network effects of tools like Skype, Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Can free tools – IRC, XMPP, GNU Ring, WebRTC, and others – overcome or even just compete with the network effect of the proprietary platforms? If so, how? What’s the current state of affairs and what should we be focusing on?


Comments are closed.