"We propose the term "communal software" for this movement. By "communal software", we mean software that is constructed by and for the people whose lives are affected by its use. It is not sufficient to narrowly focus on the people who directly interact with the computers that the software runs on."

So far, I'm loving this.

@cidney Thanks! Glad to hear it! (If you don’t know, I have had some input on the movement and am setting up The DNG Project, communal software’s equivalent to GNU I guess ;)

@cidney it is an utopia: the great majority of people affected by a software does not have the technical proficiency to understand how it works, how to build it. I'm not referring to someone stupid but to people who can't devote enought time to learn software development.

@paoloredaelli @cidney You don't have to code to be part of a community. That's the point.

Communal code would be about welcoming feedback on how the software solves real-world problems and how non-technical users would need it to work, exactly to.solve the problem you are describing, and which free software is not explicitly addressing.

Free software and open source is not always but sometimes "interesting idea, patches".

@clacke @paoloredaelli Aspirational, maybe, but not unrealistic. There are FLOSS projects that already take this approach (valuing and welcoming contributions from non-coders), but AFAIK there hasn't been a movement around it yet.

@cidney @clacke actually I missed a detail: you wrote "constructed" that I guess has a wider meaning than "developed". My error.

@cidney Hey! Just found out the manifest has been moved here:


Thought it might have been worth letting you know.

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