Proposal: Open up F-droid to millions in developing world


#1

Hi all

I propose that we make F-droid available to millions of low income people in Africa and Asia.

We can accelerate the adoption of FOSS software and have a real beneficial effect on peoples lives. The only catch is that it’s a net-neutrality busting move, dancing with the Facebook.

The program is this one:

https://info.internet.org/en/approach

I’d like to fill out this form: https://partners.facebook.com/fbs/onboarding/?from_simulator=1

To see if I can get F-droid accepted.

Does anyone object to me doing so? On what grounds?

Thanks

Sam


#2

Facebook, I LOLed in RL.

No Facebook on F-Droid, I guess they’ll object.

No tracking on F-Droid, I guess they’ll object.

No ads on F-Droid, I guess they’ll object.

No money from F-Droid adoption, I guess they’ll object.

And so on and so forth with everything Facebook does and represents.

IMHO


#3

I’m not opposed to F-Droid being available via that program. @sam_uk sounds like you’re the best one to pursue proposing it for inclusion.

I am opposed to F-Droid publicly approving that program, since it goes against a lot of what the F-Droid community believes in. That of course might make it difficult or impossible to include F-Droid since I don’t think we should be listed in their materials as a supporting org.


#4

@Licaon_Kter I’m not personally aligned with Facebook’s values or business model either.

From what you say, you don’t mind me filling out the form? But suspect that they won’t approve the application?


#5

I do mind, hence the list of things that just don’t align with F-Droid.


#6

Ah apologies I misunderstood.

Could you clarify why you believe that having F-droid available as part of this program will be a worse state of affairs than the current state of affairs?

If this was to go ahead:

Possible con’s:
People see Facebook as legitimized by F-droid, think to themselves 'maybe Facebook aren’t all that bad if F-droid have got involved with them, maybe I should create a Facebook account and share all my personal data with them"
-The chances of this happening seem vanishingly small to me.

Possible Pro’s:
Hundreds of thousands of people have access to FOSS tools, many of which help to support their privacy. Overall there is a privacy gain.
-The chances of this seem high to me.


#7

Try the reasoning the other way around too.

Also, did you try to imagine what changes need to be developed? You did read: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/internet-org/gettingstarted ? Does F-Droid, in the current state, check all those boxes or there’s a need for a developer, an UX person, and more to work more and adapt stuff?


#8

I’m not quite sure what you mean? Fdroid would be legitimized in the eyes of some people by finding it on the Free basics program? That would be a good thing surely?

I think it checks most of the boxes, the site looks OK on mobile, works OK without Javascript. Optimising for feature phones seems slightly irrelevant given the nature of the content.

If we link to https://staging.f-droid.org/ then language support is adequate too.

What I’d like to do is try it and see. If any feedback seemed onerous then the community may, or may not feel those developments were worth doing.


#9

I was talking about F-Droid, the installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform, the client application, what where you talking about? The site?


#10

Yes https://f-droid.org the website

Which does of course encourage and enable users to download the .apk to their phones.


#11

I pretty much fully agree with this! :slight_smile:

(I know, I know, like button, etc. But I wanted to stress this a bit more.)


#12

“Your name and logo may be included in Free Basics, product screenshots of the service and press releases, but we won’t use your brand in a larger marketing promotion without first asking for your approval.”

How do you feel about that? Acceptable or not?

Thanks

San


#13

I don’t think F-Droid is compatible with the Facebook Free Basics program.

From the Free Basics Participation Guidelines:

Services should not use VoIP, video, file transfer, or photos larger than 200 KB.

F-Droid exists to distribute large files and will thus be incompatible with the program.


#14

Hi all it seems that there is enough resistance to this idea to make it nonviable.

I’ll look into using repomaker to host a curated set of apps for Offline/ constrained bandwidth. I’ll host it on a different URL and try and get that included in the program instead.

If anyone is interested in helping me do that then do let me know.


#15

My perspective on this from https://foss-backstage.de/session/who-owns-open-source-brand
The is the brand “F-Droid” and there is the software “F-Droid”.
If you rename the Brand from “F-Droid” to something else, change the logo, colors, etc. You are only affected by the copyright (GPL) and not by the trademark/branding rights. That means you can use the software for this purpose without asking for permission. When people use that fork, they should not confuse it with F-Droid easily.
If you intend to use the brand and I do not know who owns it, you need to ask permission from the one holding it.

So, I see a way for you publishing it there legally.
Personally, I do not like Facebooks internet initiative. I hope, that including F-Droid will not cut away on the freedoms of those using the software. I fear, they will not be able to view the source code of the app, open issues and such alike, preventing them from becoming part of FOSS-Communities.


#16

@sam_uk making a custom repo for this program sounds like the perfect approach. Once you get it running, I recommend using the command line tools for maintaining the repo. It’ll have more of a learning curve, but once setup, be quite simple to maintain. Of course, you can always ask questions here if you get stuck.


#17

@sam_uk
ternet.org (by Facebook) is not the Internet Society, don’t know if you got those mixed up.

Using F-Droid is unfortunately not as important as not using Facebook. On the assumption that one is neutrally not using either.