We are proud to announce the birth of the Free Silicon Foundation (f-si.org)!

We organize a conference in Paris, March 14-16 2019, to promote:

1. Free and Open Source (FOS) CAD tools for designing #VLSI circuits
2. the sharing of hardware designs
3. common standards
4. the freedom of users in the context of #silicon technology

Program and submissions:

#Hardware #FSiC


@fsi Awesome! What a great initiative :)

PS. Can we please start calling people “people” and not “users”. “User” is an othering. Silicon Valley and surveillance capitalists are extractive corporations and have users. In ethical technology, we are people and we design and develop for our ourselves and for other people. ind.ie/ethical-design

As an IT person, I disagree. We acknowledge that users are people, but we need the classification for technical/documentation reasons.


@rick_777 @fsi Hey man, I’m no IT person, just a guy who’s been coding since he was 7. Here’s a test: replace user with person and see how often it works and how much more humane it seems. Again, I’m not an IT person but we use person in all our code comments and documentation and marketing at @indie and it works great for us. But, take all this with a huge pinch of salt because I’m definitely not an IT person. Whatever the fuck that is.


@fsi @indie

You're right that corporate environments use the word more often, but it's our of necessity rather than for dehumanizing reasons.
Imagine a point of sale software: There's the client (the guy who pays to make the software), which is not the same as the customer, whom the sales people give attention to. And the salespeople are the users, because it's them who use the software - 1/3

@aral @fsi @indie
And when we're talking about libraries and APIs, the user is the programmer who uses the libraries to build stuff, but the end user is the person who uses the software made by the programmers.
So you can see, there's a difference between client, customer, API/library user and end-user - 2/3

@aral @fsi @indie Most of the time, there's only one kind of user, so user and end-user is the same thing. But there need to be terms to differentiate, to avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings. - 3/3

@rick_777 @aral @fsi What I find helpful: use project-specific terms that highlight what they want to achieve. That helps me keep their goals firmly at the front of my mind.

For example for my Odysseus web browser and Memex browser engine, I use the term "web surfer" or "reader".

And for my Brix toy programming language I say "students".

@rick_777 @aral @fsi
Yeah, "people" is people in general. Why would I talk about people in general if my software is only aimed at, idk, firefighters. Most people are not firefighters. 🤷

@aral @fsi I somehow fell in love with the 'ethical design' picture (2017.ind.ie/ethical-design/). There is just one word disturbing me: magical. I hate things that just work magically. It means I can't understand them. Nor can I fix them if they're broken.
Usually this is the case for all those things that come in a black epoxy housing and have more than three leads.

(@aral I'm misinterpreting the meaning of 'magical' in this context on purpose 😉. Don't be mad at me.)

@balu @fsi Haha, I’m not mad at you :) You’re right, that word has been misused and abused to no end.

Here’s what I prefer today: we need beautiful defaults. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have seams. That’s the beauty of free software. The seams are available for those who care to look beyond the defaults. But we must layer the seams.

@aral @fsi Did you actually have hardware in mind too? To me the 'ethical design' pyramid sounds like you were thinking at software but ethical principles just apply to hardware too... Just wondering.

(With hardware I don't mean a finished product such as a cellphone but the naked CPU inside.)

@balu @fsi Applies equally to hardware. Ethical tech much consider the whole stack. And we must start designing the whole car, not just the wheels or the engine.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.