Bastien Guerry

Computers and freedom

  • From GNU Emacs to, LibrePlanet 2022

    See the LibrePlanet 2022 page. Who am I? Bastien Guerry, 44yo, Free Software developer and hacktivist (bzg). I am a GNU Emacs user since 1998 and a contributor since ~2006. My day job is "head of the Free Software unit" within the French Inter-Ministerial Directorate for Digital Affairs. Our mission is to convince public administrations and agencies to use more Free Software, to publish their source code under a free software license and to attract people in the administration who can help reach these two goals.

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  • How to help GNU Emacs maintainers?

    You can download the video, discuss the ideas on Hacker News and check Q&A on the EmacsConf 2021 webpage. Hi everyone! I'm Bastien Guerry and I'm the maintainer for Org-mode since 2011. After a decade of dealing with the Org community, my view of what a maintainer is changed. I'd like to share some ideas with you as I think they could be useful to help Emacs maintainers in general, not just maintainers of GNU Emacs, but of any Emacs package out there.

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  • On using to-do lists efficiently

    I believe happiness results from keeping a sane balance between achievements and what Jim Carrey calls "freedom of concern"1. I like to work and I love to daydream. As much as daydreaming is about wandering, work and personal achievements are about focusing, which in turn requires motivation, clarity of purpose and control, all of them sustained by some kind of discipline. Your to-do list can become your enemy. Sometimes it gives you a false sense of control, it slowly erodes your goals' clarity, which then weakens your motivation.

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  • Org 9.4 is out. Can you help?

    (You can Discuss this post on Hacker News or on Org 9.4 is out. Enjoy! Most of the time, when you hear that a free software project is struggling, it is too late. E.g. both pdf-tools and helm don't have a maintainer since a few days: did you see this coming? Org is doing quite well, but I feel we are at a turning point: either we attract more contributors and we can afford to fix more bugs and deliver new releases, or we might get overwhelmed by user requests and lose both our energy and our motivation to continue.

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  • Notes from my presentation during the 2020/04 FLOSS OSOR webinar

    Thanks! The comparative work by the european Open Source Observatory is really important - not just the data but the way it brings us together. The french public sector context regarding FLOSS The 2016 law for a digital republic encourages the administration to use free software. This is not a formal priority like in Italy. The current doctrine is to use free software where it suits best (a "pragmatical" approach, as expressed by the head of DINUM.

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  • Org-mode features You May Not Know

    When I meet fellow orgers, I occasionally use some of the features below and quite often, my interlocutor does not know some of them. Do you know them all? If you think of a secret Org weapon that is not listed here, please send me an email, I will consider adding it to the list. The features listed below are all available with Org 9.3 and later. Check your version with M-x org-version RET and please read Org's manual and browse Worg if you want to explore more.

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  • Open Source and the French Public Sector beyond 2020

    These are my personal opinions and do not constitute the official position of the french ministry of digital affairs on this topic. You can also download the PDF. Open Source and the French Public Sector in 2019 In 2019, as the free software officer at the french ministry of digital affairs (hereafter referenced as "DINUM" for "Direction du numérique"), I mainly focused on three tasks: releasing, maintaining a list of recommended free software for the public sector and building the BlueHats community.

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  • Donating to Free Software and Free Culture

    Perhaps many free software maintainers and contributors find it hard to ask for donations. Free software supporters can help by being more vocal about their donations, thus encouraging others to follow their example. So I encourage you to be more vocal about your donations. This is not about boasting on how nice you are, this is about convincing others to provide more support! Free software donations/memberships as of 2019-06-01 I'm a member of the Free Software Foundation: $120/year.

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  • The Software Maintainer's Pledge

    "All entities move and nothing remains still." – Heraclites, quoted by Plato I won't break your user experience. I won't remove features. I won't remove features by pretending to "upgrade" them. I won't break anything that lives in your muscle memory. I won't force you to update your configuration. I won't break your user experience, even in a nice way. I will let the UI tell you what changed at the right time.

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  • Conventional wisdom for developers and entrepreneurs, explained in paintings

    "The usefulness of a notion pleads not for its clarity, but rather for the need to clarify it." – Nelson Goodman To those who asked and those who are still wondering: yes, this is all ironical. Be bold If it works, don't fix it Your product roadmap is a living document Ask for forgiveness, not permission Test/User-driven development They did not know it was impossible so they did it Do things that don't scale Do one thing and do it well Release early, release often