December 6, 2004

Site review: Libervis.com

Author: Tina Gasperson

From a village near Zagreb, Croatia, comes Libervis.com, a Free Software-oriented site that seeks to build a "community center" that welcomes all people interested in Free Software, whether "supporters of the pragmatical open source ideology or pure free software ideology."Daniel Orsolic, the site's owner, admits he falls squarely into the second category. He's a Free Software guy. But he is always careful to insert in parentheses the phrase "open source" as an alternative whenever he writes about the movement Richard Stallman is famous for spearheading.

I expect a Free Software site to include deeply intellectual material just because of the people I've met who are associated with the ideology. Those people are almost spiritual in their quest to enlighten the world about the merits of Free Software. Some of the stuff here meets that expectation, like "About the Potential of E-democracy," an essay by José Monserrat Neto of the Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA) in Brazil.

Then there's the section entitled "No Software Patents," which is a collection of links to information about the movement to ban these types of patents in Europe and in the United States, plus a special forum section right there at the site. One of the posts made there asks, "Do you consider yourself a radical person, a person who is not afraid to speak up no matter what anybody thinks, a person who would go out for the streets and march up for your your beliefs, your freedom and your rights?"

But most of the content at Libervis is standard issue: we have the links to the news of the day; we have forums; we have a wiki, polls, themes, a list of members, etc. When I logged on, there were nine people online, a pretty good number considering the site's been around only since June. Orsolic is soliciting forum moderators and hopes to enlist the services of up to 20 people.

Libervis is a young site, but it could be showing the first signs of exhaustion from the site owner when it comes to generating interest and activity at the site. There are several recent posts and topics, but there seems to be just as many topics that are languishing with inactivity. Is it because there's just not that much interest in Free Software as opposed to open source? Is it because a less-than-pure or idealistic vision of Free Software is not as appealing (can't please everyone so don't bother trying)? Or does Libervis just need a little more exposure?

Category:

  • Free Software
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