The 35th Chaos Communications Congress (35c3) ended about two weeks ago, and F-Droid was well represented there. Indeed, tons of free software projects and communities were there. Starting with the F-Droid Meetup on the first day, there were frequent events and impromptu meetups between F-Droid core team, contributors, and app developers and users throughout the whole event. The F-Droid Meetup was in a small room, packed full of people, including developers of many key apps in the F-Droid ecosystem. I enjoyed meeting everyone in person after years of communicating online. I’ll try to list the represented apps, but I’m sure I’ll forget some: 35c3 Schedule, Bitcoin Wallet, Conversations, Etar, F-Droid, K-9, NewPipe, Öffi, OpenKeychain, Orbot, Tor Browser, Tusky. There were lots of good discussions in that session, lead mostly by @bubu and @jspricke. We encouraged more developers to run their own repos, @NicoAlt wrote up a thorough explanation.
I think my talk went well, the room was 100% full with about 330 people in it. The audience seemed into it, and I got follow up questions after the thing was over. I ended up not going into detail, which I think was a mistake. The talk would have been better with a detailed section of how to work through all the nearby/offline issues in an app. Next time!
Then the whole event is the giant mix of a bunch of things that seem very unlikely in combination:
Then of course, there is lots of opportunity to meet people in person and have in-depth conversations. I had a good talk with Jeremy_Rand, a Replicant developer, about how to make a 100% free version of F-Droid for Replicant. That is summarized on their issue tracker about making F-Droid.org have only 100% free software.
Pretty much every F-Droid contributor who was there meet up at various points. One key topic was how to start businesses around F-Droid. From my point of view, it seems that the consensus is building around following the Debian model: F-Droid as its own entirely, represented by a non-profit entity only as needed. Then for doing consulting business, people can do F-Droid work under any organization they see fit. @dschuermann took the initiative to finally get the consulting page up: https://f-droid.org/consulting. Any contributor who is a member of GitLab fdroid group is welcome to submit a merge request to add themselves there.
There were many interesting and relevant talks, here are a few that I enjoyed:
Erik Albers of the FSFE gave F-Droid: Pimp your Android(-fork) with the best Free Software apps
Trammel Hudson’s talk basically confirms the Bloomberg story about supply chain implants with technical detail and a working proof of concept
How Facebook tracks you on Android from Privacy International