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Activity in fsfe-portugal list

[ Report prepared by members of fsfe-portugal@gnu.org list. Author : Frederico S. Muņoz, modified by Jaime E. Villate ]

The members of the list fsfe-portugal have taken the first steps towards the goal of forming a support association for a future Chapter of the FSF in Portugal.

From the early moments when the FSF created its public mailing lists, some Portuguese list members have been present in the discussion (Klaus Schilling, Frederico Muņoz); to give an example, Portuguese was the first language in which the FSF Press Releases were translated (F. Muņoz) - and are still being translated and sent to the local media - apart from the 3 'official' languages; after an initial time were inertia won, it became apparent that a specialized list to deal with the number of Portuguese-speaking members was necessary, since there was much interest, among many subscribers, to form a Portuguese national Chapter of the FSF; around April the fsfe-portugal@gnu.org mailing list was set up by Loic Dachary who has encouraged us to follow the good example of the French Chapter of the FSF and APRIL.

The list began with around 12 people, and its first objective was to allow its members to get to know each other better; soon enough the discussion about the legal things needed to fulfill the goal begun, with several members already experienced in forming associations (Ruben Mendes, F. Muņoz, Hugo Nogueira) stepping up and advising on some initial decisions that would have to be made. Jaime Villate has served as a liaison with the FSFand the FSFE; with several years of participation in free software in general and his recent contributions to the GNU Project and personal acquaintance with some people in the FSF - not to mention the deep involvement in several national GNU/Linux websites and free software related activities - Jaime coordinates the efforts of the Portuguese group and has been influential in bringing more people to the project and in helping the FSF in several ways.

One of the first tasks was to help with the creation of a new site for the FSF (J. Villate, Loic Dachary), in time for the public announcement of the creation of the FSF; soon after, the members of the fsfe-portugal list undertook the translation of the FSF website into Portuguese, and that was in a sense a proving ground for our ability to work together (João Miguel Neves coordinated the effort, with R. Mendes, H. Nogueira, F. Muņoz). It can gladly be said that such ability is present in a high degree, since most of the site was quickly translated into Portuguese, with the members sharing opinions and information about the translation of several terms, use of the XHTML scheme and Savannah, etc. Not only that but some members are also taking up tasks in the FSF website.

New members are joining in a steady rate, partly due to the effort made to get the FSF noticed by a larger audiency by releasing several messages and news to national websites; if the FSF was largely unknown in Portugal some months ago, that situation has changed - and is changing more as time passes. There are roughly 30 people subscribed to the list now, and an IRC channel (#fsfe-pt) on the OpenProjects Network was created (Matti Särkisitta) to allow more real-time contact between the members.

One important step will be made in the 9th of June, when the first meeting will take place in Oporto; this meeting is being prepared and anticipated from some time now and will provide a privileged occasion to discuss things in more detail and to meet personally. On the agenda is the discussion of the legal status and name of the organization, distribution of tasks, a general reflection about the FSF and our collaboration with it and a small key-signing party.

In conclusion, the initial steps to facilitate the participation of FSF in Portugal have been taken, and the creation of a support association is underway; after this first meeting more work is to be distributed and we expect to see more members joining as we spread the word. After someone from our group is accredited by the FSF core team, it is safe to assume that there will exists a real possibility of having a FSF Chapter Portugal in the short/medium term; among GNU members, Debian developers, people involved in setting up some of the foremost national free software websites, people involved in several ways with the free software ideals for years and newcomers with a great will to get the work done, we have a good human potential to build this reality.

The future looks bright :)
 
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Updated: $Date: 2003-02-28 16:16:22 +0100 (Fri, 28 Feb 2003) $ $Author: loic $