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De-Google-Ify Internet (degooglisons-internet.org)
134 points by pmoriarty 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 73 comments

This is a French free software foundation that have collected together various open source alternatives under a unified branding.

Being neither a startup nor american, they are of course condemned to eternal scorn by many HN readers.

I do have to admit being guilty of something similar. Being German, I would never use German software (even German translations) or hardware. I have seen to many things :D

I used German translations for a long time, but eventually switched to LC_MESSAGES=C because it makes it easier to report UI bugs. It just removes the guesswork of "what is this menu item named in English?".

Also, with LC_MESSAGES=C set, I can blacklist /usr/share/locale/*/LC_MESSAGES/ in my package manager and save half a gigabyte or so.

Well, it depends. Since I switched to Linux I was quite surprised to see how many of the packages have German or European maintainers.

Yes, Europe has a lot of software engineering.

The issue is Europe has very few flag ship companies in Tech.

Not sure as to why, part of it may be the fragmented nature of Europe (lot of small/medium sized countries with different languages). Part of it may be because it failed to reach a critical mass at a critical time (dotcom boom), and now, an European startup are bought by US flagships. Lastly, part of it may be because Europeans are more risk-averse than Americans, I'm French and I'm working for an US company, and the American positivism ingrained in my US colleagues is fascinating, and, to say the truth, sometimes annoying as it feels fake, it's a facade basically.

They could at least run this page through a spell checker. If they can't get that right, then..

as written before, we are french and the translation in english of our homepage has been done by french people too... Let us know what we can change / correct and we'll do it.

Independence not independance

Each proposed "free alternative" looks like it comes from the site owner, FramaSoft (example: Google Forms -> FramaForms, Google Maps -> Framacarte).

While I appreciate the efforts to de-centralize the internet, this is more an ad for the company than anything.

Framasoft is not a Company, it's an Association.

And this website is not an ad, it's a portal to one of their objectives, presenting in a complete way what they propose and support using the tools they've created/adapted.

Association = non-profit organization

The free alternative (without quote, they really are free) are mostly other free software with a FramaSoft branding, in order to make it look like a coherent offering rivaling Google suite.

If you go in the documentation of each software, you will see what project it comes from.

For example, Framabag is Wallabag, Framanotes is Turtl, Framapad is Etherpad, etc...

It's not a rebranding; they're online services based on those projects and hosted by FramaSoft. It's more like WPEngine or Kinsta, which host WordPress for you (except these are free and managed by a non-profit association).

I can't wait for them to release the latest update for FramaWeb (which is just firefox but you call it FramaWeb) to the FramaOS (which is just linux but you call it FramaOS) for my FraMachine (which is just a computer but it's specifically built by this one dude and you call it the FraMachine).

It sounds stupid, but it's actually very useful to unify everything on a single brand instead of having a hard to navigate archipelago of software. You might say it's hypocritical to turn themselves into a vendor, but if that vendor aligns with my values and can be trusted, then I'd be happy to buy a FraMachine with everything you listed because I know there's only quality FOSS software/hardware without spending ages researching and building everything myself.

It sounds stupid, but I'm actually defending the unification of everything on a single brand instead of having a hard to navigate archipelago of software.

In all fairness, not each alternative: there's often other non-Frama alternatives as well and there are entries without any FramaSoft altermnative at all.

Framasoft is also behind the decentralized video platform Peertube (the creator wasn't part of framasoft originally, but he was employed by them)

What is the best single term description for software like this?

Self Hosting (It was already a term for an unrelated thing)

Control Panel (its more than a control panel)

Full Stack Automation (that is what I thought of calling it)

personal cloud (What does personal mean)

personal infrastructure (that does sound intimidating)

community computer (a small server that only serves a particular community or small business)

I'm open to ideas as I develop a product that could be described by some of these names.

I'd say decentralized fits the bill quite nicely.

EDIT: Decentralized as in "Decentralized Service" or something along that line.

That seems to be framasoft's message. Decentralized sometimes means peer to peer which doesn't describe the software I currently have in my web app manager.

There are a lot if ones it should not be (self hosted infrasTructure) but ones it could be: private cloud stack, private cloud infrastructure, self hosted SaaS, hosted SaaS.

I'm eager to see other answers, too.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) would qualify I think.

I'm curious how Framasoft will keep the lights on and the servers running without ads/data-collection.

The same way wikipedia or the linux foundation keeps running I suppose.

The Linux Foundation is more like a Chamber of Commerce: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/board-members/

Sorry! I was wrong. Linux is much older than the Linux foundation, though that has no effect on my larger point of course.

They are funded via donations: https://soutenir.framasoft.org/en/

It's a non-profit, so probably the same way as the wikimedia foundation, the apache foundation, the mozilla foundation, etc.

Plug: I created EteSync a secure, end-to-end encrypted, and privacy respecting sync for your contacts, calendars and tasks. https://www.etesync.com

Relevant for people interested in removing Google from their lives.

Only way to keep an "open" internet is to make our decision makers make open standards law. It's not perfect but it force the companies to open up their closed gardens.

What would that law make them do?

Laws already helped to break large monopolies in the past.

At one point, the internet giants will probably be broken into several entities as they start to have detrimental effect on society, we are seeing the early stages with Zuckerberg's testimony in front of Congress for example.

It will probably happen by breaking down the various services provided by these giants (AWS/Amazon, gmail/search/youtube, etc).

The favicon is way too similar to BitWarden's, wish they'd pick something better.


This is not what I want the Internet to be.

The image seems to be an allusion to the theme behind the Asterix comic strip, of a small and happily independent Gaul village surrounded by a giant Roman empire unable to conquer it.

It's _hard_ to capture a very abstract ideal like free-as-in-freedom web services in one image.

To me, a successful image should be about celebrating freedom and independence. The Asterix comic strip succeeds at that, this image not so much.

Just like the inhabitants of the mythical Gaul village, I'm ok interacting with the Romans and their empire as long as they don't keep me from doing my thing, in the way I want.

The framasoft offerings are really interesting by the way. Do check them out if you haven't yet!

Oh come on. Let us have some fun, here is one of my favourites, "bliss kaboom!" which shows tux with a rocket launcher: https://hdwallpapers.cat/bliss-kaboom-tux-rocket-launcher-an...

(although I admit I've changed my view of Microsoft (from lawful evil to somewhere close to lawful neutral) and Google (from chaotic good to somewhere between chaotic neutral and chaotic evil).

omg that's exactly the internet i want :)

Notably not seated at the table: users.

all people sitted at the table are users !

That graphic is unfortunate

it is a reference to Asterix, a very famous strip comic (https://fredericbaylot.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/13asterix...) ; it symbolizes resistance (and ultimately victory) against something that seems much bigger and stronger (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterix)

How so?

At least Google and Apple are big contributors to open source software (e.g. Chromium, CUPS). Instead of roasting big companies (because... privacy?) we should work together. This picture does more harm, because it view companies purely as enemies.

Open source is NOT free software. You are not free because you are using Chromium instead of Chrome. Free software is a philosophy, Open source just mean every one can read the source.

You can contribute to Open Source and be evil...

Well technically, when you can just read the source, it's not called "Open Source", but rather "Shared Source".

I think the term source-available is more commonly used. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-available_software

Chromium is free software, just like the vast majority of open source.

The philosophies are certainly different, but the code produced by one generally fits the other definition as well. MIT, BSD, Apache, WTFPL, etc - all of these licenses fit both the open source and free software definitions.

> At least Google and Apple are big contributors to open source software (e.g. Chromium, CUPS).

…that's a strange choice. Basically every company in that comic contributes in some way to open source.

Contributing to open source is not contributing to free software, the big 5 are indeed all doing quite the opposite: creating walled gardens, trying to monopolize the distribution of software and goods, and pushing for a web monoculture.

Also, they are making the web a more centralist and frankly, boring, place.

"creating walled gardens, trying to monopolize the distribution of software and goods, and pushing for a web monoculture"

...and spying on users.

That's why I said "open source" and not "free software". Those companies do contribute a bit to "free software", but really only in token amounts.

Sensible comment getting downvoted by alarmist HN. What a surprise.


It is a common spelling mistake for people from a French background.

Fair enough. It's a common mistake for people from an English background, too, but these days we have tools to eliminate typos like that.

He meant independence is spelled indépendance in French. Close enough to overlook the differences. I agree the writing is awkward and they would benefit from some proofing

Why ?


The period goes in the quotation at the end of a sentence, like "so."

Not in British typography (it does in American).

That's interesting. I do it the British way when I write English (because it's the way we do it in my native language in my native country too).

What's the rationale for enclosing the punctuation within the quotation marks? It's not part of the quote after all. What happens if the sentence is a question that ends with a quote? If the quote itself isn't a question, enclosing the question mark would interfere with its meaning.

Is the idea that quotes always should use proper punctuation too, and that if the ending mark is the same as the one finishing the sentence the quote ends, then it's superfluous to write it twice?

I realize this might not be an easy question and that the answer may well be "just because".

You know, I really don't know: it always looks strange and wrong to me. I can live with American fondness for the "Oxford comma" (enumerating "one, two, and three"), but that has some justification in terms of clarity (if the final item has an "and" in itself, like "ready salted, paprika, cheese and onion" crisps/chips). So "just because" seems most likely :-)

I used to always put the full-stop (period) inside the quotes because I was brought up using that rule, but in modern writing it's considered more a matter of stylistic choice, because yes, sometimes it just looks, well, "wrong."

> I realize this might not be an easy question and that the answer may well be "just because".

No, the answer is "just because."

IIRC it's a result of technical issues on early typewriters

Also known as "complicating your life significantly for little benefit".

There are plenty of people who disagree that switching from Google to free and open source alternatives provides little benefit. You can start with folks who lose their Google accounts for spurious reasons, with no means of recourse.




I had a french feeling when I read the word "association". I confirmed it originates from France when I checked their "about" tab. I like their idea but I hate it when the front page is in english as if this is a world wide effort but the rest of the web site is in French. Je vous souhaite la meilleure continuation mais je vais passer.

We are a little NPO with only 9 employees and 25 members. So we don't have enough volunteers to translate each webpage. But if you want to help us to translate everything, please do !

The fact the header pictures is a comic is also a clue :)

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