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

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)


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.


Great news: someone at the EU understands that public services must not foist Big Tech on their citizens.

F-Droid.org tooted the news yesterday: “EU Pilot project — De-monopolized access to EU applications”

What does this mean and why is it important?

I recently framed a take on this issue as “FOSS Apps Live In FOSS App Stores”. Free (Libre) Open Source Software apps should be distributed in such a way as to be available to everyone, not only to Apple's and Google's users.


I wish our children could grow up making their digital footprints in their own digital gardens. In the current system our children visit shopping malls run by the Big Tech companies whose business model is to find every way to maximise profit from their “users”.

This is my list of Open EdTech resources that I see as helpful toward my goals.


From: Google

Your Google Account will soon be considered as inactive

”... if you don't sign in soon”

“Is this a phishing scam?” was my first thought. But no, it's true! This officially confirms I am freed at last from Google's clutches on my data, on my digital life.


I once thought Google was my friend. The most convenient email, the most convenient search, a great phone, with a feeling of being quite open-source-y, not too locked-in. But of course their lock-in is immense, almost inescapable, just like all the other Big Tech silos. Once disillusionment set in, it was hard to leave that all behind. Took me five years.

Now, for months and months I haven't signed in to my gmail, to play store, to youtube, nothing.

And I feel great!

Want to know more?


This is my POSSE copy of announcements I posted to the Matrix Community Year In Review 2022, which was subsequently published on Nico's blog and on Matrix.org's blog.


One day in the late '80s or early '90s I heard on the radio an old recording from 1936, “mush along you huskies... at the end of the caribou trail,” from a crackly old 78 rpm record. Simple, quaint, nostalgic. I liked it and noted down the title on one of my many lists I used to keep.


I am publishing the Open Tech Will Save Us (OTWSU) talks on an Open Tech platform — namely on my own instance of PeerTube.

To view and listen to the talks, go to my OTWSU mirror channel. Find a list of recent editions at the end of this article.

To watch the next edition live, with the opportunity to ask questions, see the OTWSU home page for details.

The rest of this article explains the why, the what, the who and some technical details.


A design suggestion.

Most photo apps incorporate a thumbnail gallery view. There are two main layouts they use for this view: some tile the thumbnails so as to fill the space available, while others lay out the thumbnails on a square grid. This suggestion came while using the square grid layout.


We'll soon have smart electricity and gas meters. Let's monitor them locally through our home automation system, Home Assistant.