FOSS dev, self-hosting fan, Matrix, degoogling, small tech, indie tech, friendly tech for families and schools. Let's own our own identity & data.

I would love to work for or with Murena on their /e/-OS phone. UnifiedPush support is one of the first things I would propose to do.

UnifiedPush is in my humble opinion one of the most important recent developments for freedom phones, granting freedom from Google’s FCM. I followed it from its OpenPush origins.

I have deployed the ‘ntfy’ server implementation on my home network. I successfully submitted it for inclusion in the popular Matrix installer matrix-docker-ansible-deploy, so matrix self-hosters can deploy it easily.

If given the chance to advance UnifiedPush support, I would propose a plan something like this:

  • deploying a UP server for /e/ users (one for the Murena central server, and one in each self-hosted deployment), initially choosing one of the existing kinds of UP server (probably NextPush because obviously it's built to fit into nextcloud);
  • creating a UP distributor as an /e/-OS system app, by adapting an existing one (NextPush, to match the server), and making it auto-discover/configure the server from the /e/-OS account info;
  • working with important client apps (/e/-OS default apps first) to add support to them;
  • perhaps tweaking the U.P. server and distributor to better suit this use case, if and when needed.

I am posting this in the e-foundation forum discussion “Add UnifiedPush to /e/OS to make it possible for developers to avoid FCM and better support F-Droid applications”

#unifiedPush #degoogling


Where does your project live? Where do people find it? Who controls how people access your project's resources on the Internet?


Github the Mega-Mall

In practice, what do ninety-something percent of small FOSS projects do? They sign up on Microsoft Github. If we are one of these, then we feel our little project has a home on the Internet, its own address: https://github.com/our-name/our-repo. Oops, but did I say an address of its own? Well, there's the catch. I meant an address of Microsoft's own.

Github is a Gatekeeper. Every link to our project now takes the reader through a virtual gateway owned and ruled by Github's owner, Microsoft. The domain name is the gate, and its owner holds the key. Want to visit the source code? Before we reach our-name/our-repo we must walk through their gate at github.com. We must pass through whatever they put in the gateway. Ads? Nagging to sign up? Then they will let us visit the source code that we feel is “ours”.


I have just suggested my local library should get this book: Ada & Zangemann – A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream.

the book cover

The famous inventor Zangemann lives in a huge villa high above the city. Adults and children alike love his inventions and are desperate to have them. But then... the inventor makes a momentous decision... The clever girl Ada sees through what is going on. Together with her friends, she forges a plan...

Ada begins to experiment with hardware and software, and in the process realises how crucial it is for her and others to control technology.


Decentralised linking from the Web (HTTP contexts) to a matrix user or room.

Status: This is a proposed, draft specification for consideration by the matrix development community. This version was initially posted before any discussion or feedback.


Decentralised linking from the Web (HTTP contexts) to a matrix user or room.

Or, “Let’s decentralise matrix.to!”

What’s this?

Matrix is supposed to be a decentralised protocol [MATRIX]. While much of it is, an important part isn’t. Matrix uses matrix.to [SPEC-TO] as a centralised mechanism for linking and invitation to matrix resources from HTTP contexts.

We can do better than centralised.

This is a proposal to fix an important part of that problem.



Resources around development of camera apps, camera API standards, and photos management, in Indie Phones, degoogled Android, Murena /e/-OS, Purism Librem, etc.


Independent smart-phones have recently become a reality for those of us unhappy with the way Apple and Google seek to control, own and use us. We can now choose a user-respecting alternative, thanks to Murena /e/-OS, Purism Librem 5, LineageOS and more.

With sustained dedication from their producers working with very limited budgets, these alternatives are coming along nicely and by now are certainly usable. Understandably, however, they are not yet as slick as those funded (and controlled) by the mega-corps Apple and Google.

There is much more to be done to bring the indie phones up to a level of sophistication that ordinary people find a pleasure to use and to trust. In this article I look at one rather technical aspect of it: what developments do we need on the infra side?


These are some of the talks I'm most interested in, at FOSDEM '23.

I won't be there in person, I'll be watching some from home and in the matrix.

By Tracks or Dev Rooms | Times are UTC+1

Special Extras

Main Tracks (Janson, K Building)

There are a lot of good main track talks.

And one of the Keynotes I'd like to call out:


I have been trying out a matrix-based blog comments system.

WriteFreely is a simple self-hosted blogging system. It uses Markdown for content. To let readers subscribe to follow new posts, it supports both RSS and ActivityPub (Fediverse). It has no comments system of its own.

Cactus Comments is a simple self-hosted comments system. It lets us add a comments section to any web page we control, such as a blog. It uses Matrix for the comments.

I describe a self-hosted deployment.