Gemini version available ♊︎

Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 – Charting the Course

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 9:15 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by Marcia K Wilbur

LibrePlanet logo

Welcome from LibrePlanet 2023!

This year, LibrePlanet was hybrid with on-site and online options from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

It was a breezy and chilly weekend outside. The Boston St. Patty’s day parade was scheduled around the corner for Sunday. What a great time to be in Boston!

Although I wanted to be there earlier, 9ish was time for me to come in from being out in the cold, for the 15-year celebration — Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet.

Charting the Course was the theme. We were on board!

Event: Office party

My intention was to attend the office party early in the evening. However, I ended up on the wrong Franklin Street and was late. As I arrived, Craig was at the front and directed me to the refreshments and a contact, Illan, who would use me if there was a need.

Several people registered at the FSF offices for the conference starting the next day. The office party was a lot of mingling, talk about USENET, signal, privacy, makerspaces and much much more. The snacks were fresh and there was a variety of beverages including wine.

As the office party and evening came to a close, we were so entertained with lively conversation, we did not even realize the party was ending. I always recommend this party as a great meet and greet opportunity for free software enthusiasts. Again, this was a welcoming environment with no known issues. It was a great time!

Logistics and Venue

Parking was convenient and there was a driver with a cart to take you right to registration and the event!

The venue was comfortable and the event was welcoming!

Upon arrival at the convention center, a friendly security officer approached me, “Are you here for the tech event?”


He gave information about parking and the area. He mentioned the cart would be ready to take me up to the event. This was very pleasant.

The cart driver was very friendly and drove right up to registration.

There at registration, Craig greeted participants with a warm and welcoming smile. For this event, I was a volunteer at registration.

I was glad to be there.

Hallway Track

In between sessions and during lunch or just roaming around, we found ourselves in the hallway drinking coffee, discussing privacy, surveillance, Internet of things, AI/ML ethics, disaster recovery, and copyleft. Some discussions were about the state of healthcare, gaming and food!

The hallway track was a comfortable area to freely discuss interesting topics, share stories and meet peers.

Coffee was hot, always fresh and hot coffee was available throughout the entire event.

All required bill of materials were available: sugar, half and half, oat milk, milk, etc.

Bowls of fruit were lined up near the coffee station. The fruit was fresh and I appreciated the snack as my own snack, a yogurt from the hotel, burst in my sweater pocket during the journey!

There were areas to sit, eat, converse and work on your laptop.

GNU Press set up on the other side of Room 4. Past LibrePlanet swag as well as current swag was available. At any given time you could find people in legacy t-shirts (happy hacking) or FSF hoodies.

Oh, volunteers were given a free t-shirt – so we match. Let’s do this! The volunteer at the shop smiled and looked in a box for the tee. The shirt was wrapped with my name printed on the label. I thought, cool. Very organized.

Registration Desk

We sat and assisted participants, speakers and attendees. The process was efficient and smooth.

“Which color lanyard?”

Green = Yes, photos are ok
Yellow = Ask me first, please
Red = No pictures

I remember this from past LibrePlanet but for some reason, assisting attendees this time, I gained a deeper appreciation of the respect for each individual’s privacy consideration.

There were some familiar faces passing through registration, and a lot of new acquaintances to be made!


During volunteer training we went over the safe space policy. The language seemed much better than other codes of CONduct.

I saw no safety issues, I witnessed none and I felt not only safe there, but welcome!

We were prepared with protocols for any potential safety issues, but I was there for the Friday party, the Saturday event and Sunday morning with 0 issues.

Big Blue Button

We used bbb for presentations where the presenter spoke from a distance. This technology allows us to gain insight and information from all over the world. I attended the Libre Software in Africa and the JShelter presentation done in this manner.

A combination of IRC and IRL questions were taken during the Q and A portion. Again, this gave ample opportunity for free communication during this hybrid event.

Some Presentations

Opening Keynote

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Erin Rose Glass. She spoke about Education and the Future of Software Freedom.

Some of the topics discussed focused on data privacy, surveillance and education technology. She informed attendees about some of the darker truths to educational technology tools and companies. The presentation will be found here (soon).

The speaker understood the 4 freedom factors and applied these during the talk. Spoiler alert, she asked the audience to think about the pivoting moment leading to your decision to take the free software path.

The information discussed included remote proctors, turnitin tool used to check for copyright violations, and learning management tracking (SCORM and more).

Having worked in the field of education and with a focus in privacy matters, I found this keynote not only informative but also inspiring!

A practical demonstration of least authority services via free software

Sean O’Brien and Mikalai Birukou

This presentation about 3NWeb use cases including encrypted and storage is definitely worth watching for any privacy-minded individuals.

Life 0.01 – Free software for the end times

Kevin Shockey

Kevin Shockey has insight and traveled from Puerto Rico to discuss the “survival stack”. After Hurricane Maria his efforts are focused on food shortages, disaster survival and climate.


Libor Polčák

JShelter presentation used Big Blue Button. Libor Polčák discussed fingerprinting prevention, limitations of rich Web APIs, and browsers. JShelter fingerprinting report and other feedback can be used by future security research.

Libre Software in Africa

Benson Muite

Benson Muite discussed localization and the need great translation. There is a contest available here.

What I gained from this presentation was a potential need for documentation efforts further using po and .pot files or some other portable object.

There was much much more to be seen at the conference and the videos will soon be available here.

More Information

From the FSF…

Day 1: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/reporting-back-from-day-one-of-libreplanet-charting-the-course
Day 2: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/from-freedom-trail-to-free-boot-and-free-farms-charting-the-course-at-libreplanet-day-2

List of presentations: https://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/PO-Files.html

Also: Experience the fifteen years of LibrePlanet celebration firsthand as a volunteer

Survey: https://my.fsf.org/node/59/


Overall, this event is in the top 5 conferences I ever attended and, they put me to work! I truly enjoyed the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and sincerely hope the FSF will maintain charting the course in this direction!

I want to thank the staff, presenters, participants and volunteers for contributing to this event in providing an enjoyable experience!

See you next year!

“With a little perseverance you can get things done.”

Corey Hart

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 01/06/2023: KStars 3.6.5 and VEGA ET1031 RISC-V Microprocessor in Use

    Links for the day

  2. Gemini Links 01/06/2023: Scam Call and Flying High With Gemini

    Links for the day

  3. Links 01/06/2023: Spleen 2.0.0 Released and Team UPC Celebrates Its Own Corruption

    Links for the day

  4. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 31, 2023

  5. Tux Machines Closing the Door on Twitter Because Twitter is Dead (for a Lot of People)

    Tux Machines recently joined millions of others who had already quit Twitter, including passive posting (fully or partly automated)

  6. Links 31/05/2023: Inkscape’s 1.3 Plans and New ARM Cortex-A55-Based Linux Chip

    Links for the day

  7. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Personality of Software Engineers

    Links for the day

  8. Links 31/05/2023: Armbian 23.05 Release and Illegal UPC

    Links for the day

  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 30, 2023

  10. Gemini Protocol About to Turn 4 and It's Still Growing

    In the month of May we had zero downtime (no updates to the system or outages in the network), which means Lupa did not detect any errors such as timeouts and we’re on top of the list (the page was fixed a day or so after we wrote about it); Gemini continues to grow (chart by Botond) as we’re approaching the 4th anniversary of the protocol

  11. Links 31/05/2023: Librem Server v2, curl 8.1.2, and Kali Linux 2023.2 Release

    Links for the day

  12. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Bayes Filter and Programming Wordle

    Links for the day

  13. [Meme] Makes No Sense for EPO (Now Connected to the EU) and Staff Pensions to be Tied to the UK After Brexit

    It seems like EPO staff is starting to have doubts about the safety of EPO pensions after Benoît Battistelli sent money to reckless gambling (EPOTIF) — a plot that’s 100% supported by António Campinos and his enablers in the Council, not to mention the European Union

  14. Working Conditions at EPO Deteriorate and Staff Inquires About Pension Rights

    Work is becoming a lot worse (not even compliant with the law!) and promises are constantly being broken, so staff is starting to chase management for answers and assurances pertaining to finances

  15. Links 30/05/2023: Orc 0.4.34 and Another Rust Crisis

    Links for the day

  16. Links 30/05/2023: Nitrux 2.8.1 and HypoPG 1.4.0

    Links for the day

  17. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Bubble Version 3.0

    Links for the day

  18. Links 30/05/2023: LibreOffice 7.6 in Review and More Digital Restrictions (DRM) From HP

    Links for the day

  19. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Curl Still Missing the Point?

    Links for the day

  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, May 29, 2023

  21. MS (Mark Shuttleworth) as a Microsoft Salesperson

    Canonical isn’t working for GNU/Linux or for Ubuntu; it’s working for “business partners” (WSL was all along about promoting Windows)

  22. First Speaker in Event for GNU at 40 Called for Resignation/Removal of GNU's Founder

    It’s good that the FSF prepares an event to celebrate GNU’s 40th anniversary, but readers told us that the speakers list is unsavoury, especially the first one (a key participant in the relentless campaign of defamation against the person who started both GNU and the FSF; the "FSFE" isn't even permitted to use that name)

  23. When Jokes Became 'Rude' (or Disingenuously Misinterpreted by the 'Cancel Mob')

    A new and more detailed explanation of what the wordplay around "pleasure card" actually meant

  24. Site Updates and Plans Ahead

    A quick look at or a roundup of what we've been up to, what we plan to publish in the future, what topics we shall focus on very soon, and progress moving to Alpine Linux

  25. Links 29/05/2023: Snap and PipeWire Plans as Vendor Lock-in

    Links for the day

  26. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: GNU/Linux Pains and More

    Links for the day

  27. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

    Links for the day

  28. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

    Links for the day

  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 28, 2023

  30. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

    The man behind Curl, Daniel Stenberg, criticises Gemini; but it's not clear if he even bothered trying it (except very briefly) or just read some inaccurate, one-sided blurbs about it

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts