Saturday, September 8, 2012


So I posted on Slashdot the other day opining for a free and open source software repository for Android.  And to my surprise, a nice person replied telling me there already is one, called F-droid.  So I am super happy about that.

For non-Linux users, the idea of a software repository was introduced with the ideas of app stores for phones.  For us Linux Desktop users, we have for a long time had thousands of free, open source applications available at our fingertips, without even opening a web browser.  You just open up your "package manager" and type in some search terms, and click on checkboxes to install software on your computer.

Even better, all the software is free and open source, so you can know if it is up to no good on your computer.  Even better, the software is generally vetted by the OS maintainers to some extent for an extra layer of assurance.

So I'm used to it.

On Windows or Mac, I usually have to install scads of third party closed source applications to make the computer usable for all my purposes (and indeed I do many different types of things on my computers, which makes me a little unusual, but still).  So not only is it a lot of work, but I have tons of totally untrusted software packages installed on my information machine, and I don't really know what they are up to.

Not only that, but the system administration tools are poorer, especially on Windows, so I can't even tell as easily after the fact if the application is malware.

This is relevant to this blog because this is fundamentally about humans having control over their information.  It is really critical to the long term success and happiness of our people.

So I'm very pleased about F-droid--it has lots of apps built for Android in it, the source for all of them is available, and it's easy to use.  I definitely recommend it.

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