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I applaud your effort overall. We need more of these kinds of efforts. I do see ways to improve:

tool/service comment
reddit Reddit is bad. There’s a lot of censorship shenanigans there, privacy abuse & it’s hosted on Amazon. It should be avoided. If you post there anyway, it’s better to put your content on Lemmy and simply post the Lemmy link on Reddit. You went in the other direction. It’s better to lead Redditers to Lemmy not the other direction.
github You give one-line on the evils and probably not enough detail to be persuasive. There’s an enumeration of issues here, but note that’s on GH so I suggest copying it rather than linking to it from your page. Also, most of the projects you recommend have a line “source code: github”. Consider linking to the source code in a way that shames the project, otherwise your site promotes GH more than it discourages it. Not everyone will read the GH section. Perhaps express it this way “source code: github (shamefully)”. Also, prefix “Github” with “MS”. (edit) There is a Github link at the bottom of your page. You should certainly not be linking to it from your public website because it leads visitors in the wrong direction. It also hurts your perceived credibility because many readers won’t follow that link; they will just think “what a hypocrit”. You should set the GH issues to external and link to the framagit issues. Your readme is too short. You should use that space as an opportunity to detail all the Github issues I linked you to.
gitlab The GH page does well to condemn Gitlab service while endorsing the s/w. I would also point them to this page or cover those issues, and make sure gitlab.com is mentioned on the landing page next to github because it’s easy to miss.
visual studio Visual Studio, C#, .net, et al are all languages designed to feed Microsoft’s dominance. Even though people have hacked together free tools for them, those tools will never take the lead and projects that use those tools still end up boosting Microsoft’s influence. It’s important to condemn those languages entirely. But there’s nothing wrong with supplementing the condemnation with alternatives for those who won’t or can’t get away from MS-controlled languages.
donations FOSS projects often need donations and they’re all sending people to socially irresponsible platforms inside of privacy-abusing walled-gardens. Consider adding a section that condemns Patreon, Liberapay, and Open Collective. They are all CloudFlare sites that expose sensitive financial data to CF (the Monsanto of the web). Open Collective even allows CF to use their platform to ask for donations. It’s quite despicable that a tech giant corp is asking for donations. IIRC, Patreon forces everyone to use Paypal. Paypal should also be loudly condemned.

Most FOSS projects are vaguely aware of MS Github’s controversy, but they lack the constitution and integrity needed to abandon Github. Proponents of social responsibility are blocked from contributing bug reports to FOSS projects because they cannot or will not enter the private walled-gardens of Microsoft and Gitlab.com. So it’s important to tell developers that if they insist on using Github or Gitlab.com, they put the bug tracker in a non-controversial publicly accessible place. I find bugs that I often don’t report because of this problem. They should also be advised to at least mirror their project on a free and open alternative.

Regarding Switching Software as a partner and your plug for tycrek/degoogle: you can get good and bad advice from them. Check out my review of Switching S/w. E.g. DuckDuckGo is a terrible alternate to suggest to people. The tools Switching SW endorses need further analysis; you can’t blindly trust them. For tycrek/degoogle, there are a few lousy search engine recommendations. I suggest plugging them this way: “tycrek/degoogle (but disregard the search engine advice)”.


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While I appreciate your dismay for GitHub (which I share), I don’t think your “(shamefully)” concept would be constructive to our platform.

The precise word choice is immaterial to my thesis. The status quo needlessly promotes MS Github. One option is to use “shamefully” in cases where the project using it has core purpose to its mission that’s undermined by its use of MS github. The word would be far-fetched for projects where privacy or the environment are orthogonal to their mission, in which case “unfortunately” would suffice.

One of the main facets of ReverseEagle is to educate people on alternatives, and why they’re so much better.

Of course it educates. Neglecting to link to page of Github harms is a missed opportunity to educate.

About Gitlab.com: we have decided not to list that, as it’s hosted on Google Cloud and Cloudflare. Instead, we thought it was wiser to direct uneducated users to a wide range of alternative hosts.

You list Github precisely because it is detrimental. Yet for the very same reason, you’re choosing *not* to list Gitlab.com. Why the inconsistency? Gitlab.com is even more harmful than Github. They should both be listed and condemned together.

While I was creating the article listing alternatives to Visual Studio, I felt that the best approach to listing alternatives was to list other developer environments. It wouldn’t be appropriate to say “learn a different language”.

The stated purpose of the project is “Privacy-conscious, ethical and safer alternatives to software for developers.” Because “ethical” is mentioned, promoting unethical languages (i.e. languages that hinder free society and feed unethical tech giants) is counter-productive. To be very precise, learning the offending languages is not in itself where the harm is done. If Bob’s C# program only runs on his machine and is never distributed, and he never uses MS products to develop it, no harm is done. The harm is done when a tool in an MS-controlled language is publicly distributed because it empowers Microsoft and adds to the dominance and demand of an exclusive and oppressive language. Of course it’s appropriate to condemn polluting the commons with software that works against Reverse Eagle’s stated mission.

Who learns a language with intent to keep the works they create internal? It’s very unlikely outside the non-free software context, so learning C# will generally propagate the spread of it.

The thing is, there’s a lot of research that’s gone into UX work that makes your suggestion hard. For example, it might have the opposite effect: less people would click the link, as that’s an extra step.

Two cases:

  1. They click the link– they discover Lemmy and they make a move to it. That’s also less time that they are on Reddit, feeding Reddit and making Reddit’s ads profitable.
  2. They don’t click the link– a moment of their time was spent making their Reddit UX worse. The more frustrations experienced by Reddit users, the more the Reverse Eagle mission cause benefits.

It’s a win either way.

If I were an uninformed user on Reddit, I would much rather have the text on the page.

Are you actually trying to add value to Reddit, and make the Reddit UX positive enough to keep ppl there?

So bear this in mind: we’re a young community, we still might need to rely on platforms like Reddit to ‘spread the word’. We’ll see.

That being said, we do continue to link people to our Lemmy, from Reddit. I think I speak for everyone on the ReverseEagle team when I say: Lemmy is unanimously preferred over Reddit.

Then there’s no reason to link into Reddit from outside of Reddit. All links outside of Reddit of this kind should reference a Lemmy post.

Of course, and we don’t blindly trust them. They even say you should seek advice from other platforms on their page.

In principle it’s good that they do that, but PTIO and PRISM Break are terrible recommendations that far too often undermine their own cause. Neither of those projects have integrity and it’s harmful to mention them.

What platforms would you recommend for this? I heavily doubt immature FOSS projects have enough donations to be able to self-host a discussions platform like Discourse.

There is a huge list of alternatives, but I see no reason not to stick with git.sr.ht and framagit.org. Git is inherently decentralized, but there is a project that takes the idea further which is perhaps worth mention.

I think you’re proving a point I made the other day. As we continue to be more influential, and make waves in the FOSS world, we need to be very careful of which products we actually recommend.

I did not suggest recommending Patreon, Liberapay, and Open Collective. I suggest condemning them. Of course condemning these services is not risky, unless you consider advocating for your own mission risky.

If you want to find an alternative to endorse, there is a raw list here (some good, some bad) to review.

There is also freedomsponsors.org and villages.io. Both are hosted by Amazon but perhaps a lesser of evils.

Especially where money is concerned. Then, it gets hairy. Doesn’t Liberapay use PayPal too?

IIRC, Liberapay accommodates Paypal if a project discloses their PP acct. You should look further in case I’m confusing the three. But I think there is no choice with Patreon – it’s Paypal or nothing.

Are you offering to provide an improved version?

I did. I’ve got more dirt on MS than that, but it’s a start. Since the project is on framagit, I might be willing to contribute more directly.

If you have any more suggestions, and if you are in possesion of a Matrix account, please join our Matrix room.

Matrix seems to have a high-level dependency on CloudFlare, so I’ve not even been motivated to investigate using it yet.


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About Qwant, what is so bad about it?

I go into some of it here:



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the military trusts Element’s security for top-secret communications.

which military? ___




thanks. here is more info:

Element sells an ultra-secure messaging system — used by the French and German military already — which is built on a decentralised communications standard called Matrix. (via sifted.eu)


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A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.

Some Rules

  • Posting a link to a website containing tracking is undesirable, if contents of the website are behind a paywall maybe copy them into the post
  • Don’t promote closed source software
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