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Changing of the guard (2)

At the Free Software Foundation Europe general assembly, I was accepted as a member of the association. Like KDE e.V., the FSFE is a German association with fairly strict rules on becoming a member (I should mention that becoming a member of KDE e.V. isn’t all that hard, and that you can support FSFE by becoming a fellow of FSFE). This means that I have an additional FSFE hat to wear, on top of NLUUG and KDE.

I am also discarding some hats. On the cusp of summer, I have informed the University of Nijmegen that I am leaving the place where I’ve studied and worked for the past 19 years (that’s longer than KDE exists, and longer than some valued contributors to KDE have existed, for that matter). This means that I will no longer be working on CodeYard (a project to have Dutch high-school students produce Free Software with modern tools) or Sprint-UP (closing the gap between high schools and universities). CodeYard occupies a special place in my heart, as it has produced some really neat software and gotten students to build beautiful things — something I think is really important when writing Free Software. I’ll continue to watch CodeYard from the sidelines, though.

The FSFE hat represents some additional responsibilities, too, and answers the “how do you eat?” question. In the coming months the Freedom Task Force will transition from the capable hands of Shane Coughlan to mine; Shane has spent the past two years building up a unique group of technologists and legal representatives to discuss law-and-technology matters on neutral ground and provide services to Free Software projects that need a little help getting their legal activities in order. The FTF created the Fiduciary License Agreement, for instance, for dealing with copyrights in distributed development projects; KDE uses a modified version (PDF, 40k). It continues to grow, and I hope I’ll be able to follow some of the path that Shane has charted.

I may need a captain’s hat, after all.

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