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[Fsuk-manchester] Free Your Android workshop follow-up

From: J. R. Haigh
Subject: [Fsuk-manchester] Free Your Android workshop follow-up
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 20:57:06 +0000

Hi all,
        At Software Freedom Day 2016, where I ran a workshop for helping people 
to liberate their Android devices, I said that I'd do 2 things:
• update and circulate my list of recommended F-Droid applications; and
• finish the 126GB MicroSD cards with as many of the huge libre data files for 
Kiwix and OsmAnd as could fit (a lot!).
        I mentioned a few applications that I hadn't yet added to my list, and 
said that I'd add them before circulating. I can't remember the name of the 
person who asked me to send them a link at the end, someone who's not an MFS 
regular – can anyone else remember?
        I decided to do this by creating a page on the FSFE wiki, such that I 
can continue to update it easily. I finally got round to getting that into a 
decent state a few weeks ago, so here it is:
        I've continued to update it since then, and now I'm trying to catch-up 
with emails about it. There are a few applications that are in alpha or beta or 
that I'm still evaluating that I'm looking-forward to adding to the list. I've 
filed some issues on their issue trackers to try to help them become more 
worthy of recommendation. Maybe I'll find the time this year to actually get 
back into Android development and contribute fixes to some of these issues, 
too. Particularly for the copyleft ones.
        As for the MicroSD cards, I've finished 2, including a hand-edited 
packaging design, but have found that Google has really messed-up the external 
storage support in recent versions of Android. Furthermore, older versions of 
Android, which are better able to make use of MicroSD cards and USB mass 
storage connected via USB OTG adaptors, are often running on older hardware 
that only supports upto 64GB or less. John Rooke's Fairphone 1 is an example of 
        So, I haven't yet found someone who both wants to buy one, /and/ has an 
Android device that can read the cards. I have a half-finished packaging design 
that could be taken to print if I was able to actually sell them, but there's 
not much point spending time on this until I've actually determined what 
Android versions have external storage problems and whether it can be fixed. 
Until then, it's just a shelved fund-raising attempt that's cost me about 400£.
        Anyway, I hope that you all find my Recommendations For Android useful!

Best regards,
James R. Haigh.
Wealth doesn't bring happiness, but poverty brings sadness.
Sent from NixOS with Claws Mail, using email subaddressing as an alternative to 
error-prone heuristical spam filtering.

At 2016-09-17Sat02:06:25+0000, J. R. Haigh sent:
> • Please could someone notify the list when this becomes available:
> http://download.kiwix.org/zim/wikipedia/wikipedia_en_all_2016-09.zim.torrent
> • If the above isn't yet available then please can someone download this 
> 54GiB Zim file and bring it to the SFD event:
> http://download.kiwix.org/zim/wikipedia/wikipedia_en_all_2016-05.zim.torrent
> That is the vast bulk of what I haven't yet managed to obtain. I have English 
> Gutenberg (40GiB), and would have also had English Wikipedia by now if it 
> wasn't for Tuesday's lightning EMPs frazzling innocent telecommunications 
> equipment. X-D
>       Btw., I'll only be offering some files in other languages due to 
> downsizing to 128GiB from my original idea. It turns out that 256GiB has only 
> been around since May this year and currently only has 2 competitors, 
> Integral and Samsung, in the market. Integral's offering is about 6.4× more 
> expensive than the cheapest 128GiB MicroSD card that I've found, and 
> Samsung's is about 7.3× more expensive! Considering that 128GiB is a huge 
> step up from what most people are used to having in their phones, I don't 
> think that it'll disappoint at all – they'll still have the entirety of the 
> world's biggest and best encyclopedia in English, /with pictures/; as well as 
> tens of thousands of libre ebooks; Wiktionary in English (not only English 
> words, explained in English); phrasebooks of the world's most spoken 
> languages; Wikibooks (including the Haskell Wikibook ;-) ); most of these 
> except Wikipedia /again/ in Welsh, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Lojban; and 
> maps of Britain, its neighbouring countries, and perhaps a few other European 
> countries, as well as SRTM elevation data to accompany those maps to show 
> contour lines. That would fill a library, right? How many books are in a 
> library?
>       Please note, if you're interested in buying one of these (and all goes 
> to plan), be sure to bring at least 60£ with you. I plan to sell them at that 
> price, 30£ of which to go to the FSFE. I may discount some or all of the 30£ 
> FSFE donation for those who have helped software freedom in other ways, but 
> I'd encourage you to keep the donation if you can. I don't expect to sell all 
> of the MicroSD cards at SFD, so I'll not be dropping the price simply because 
> I have some left at the end of the day. ;-) By selling these cards, I'm 
> hoping to raise about 500£ for the FSFE before FOSDEM. :-)
> Best regards,
> James R. Haigh.
> P.s.: Alas! I've fixed my X60 Tablet tonight! Hooray!!! \o/ (And this is my 
> first email sent from Claws Mail in nearly 3 months!)
> P.p.s.: Less urgent details coming soon.
(Well, “soon” by my poor timeliness standards!)
> -- 
> Sent from Claws Mail on NixOS.

At 2016-08-19Fri02:54:52+0100, J. R. Haigh sent:
> Hi all,
> .     I'm thinking of offering a Free Your Android workshop where people 
> install F-Droid on their Android smartphones along with some useful libre 
> applications such as OsmAnd and Kiwix, try to reduce dependence on nonlibre 
> applications on their devices, and try to reduce dependence on a constant 
> Internet connection. I'll promote offline OpenStreetMap, offline wikis such 
> as Wiktionary and Wikipedia, and try to find a way of transferring these huge 
> files from Android device to Android device now that Google seems to have 
> made external storage readonly.
> .     To accelerate this promotion, I also plan to sell 256GB MicroSD cards 
> preloaded with loads of these great content files and give out some FSFE FYA 
> leaflets that I took from the FSFE stand at FOSDEM this year.
> .     This is my current recommended Android application list which I could 
> make into a poster or fliers:
> ----------------
> ---- J. R. Haigh's recommendations for Android ----
> • F-Droid (https://f-droid.org/ ) – libre software repository (GPLv3+) (To 
> install, you need to enable ‘unknown sources’ because it is separate from 
> Google.);
> • OsmAnd – offline OpenStreetMap (GPLv3);
> • Kiwix – offline Wiktionary, Wikipedia, etc. (GPLv3);
> • NewPipe – YouTube downloader for later offline playing (GPLv3+);
> • Open Camera – advanced still and video camera (GPLv3+);
> • Mitzuli – offline translator (GPLv2+);
> • MuPDF – view portable documents (PDFs) often attached to emails or 
> downloaded (AGPLv3+);
> • VLC – media player (GPLv3);
> • LeafPic – media gallery (GPLv3);
> • Hashr – verify files (GPLv3+);
> • Amaze – file manager (GPLv3);
> • Ghost Commander – advanced file manager (GPLv3);
> • Turbo Editor – text editor (GPLv3+);
> • FAST App Search Tool – quick application launcher from double-clicking or 
> up-swiping the home button (GPLv3);
> • Hanger – recent application launcher widget for notification bar (GPLv3);
> • Lock Screen – in combination with unchecking the ‘Power button instantly 
> locks’ security setting, this is a partial workaround for Android not 
> distinguishing between locking the screen and locking for security (GPLv3+);
> • SatStat – sensor status with ability to manually or automatically update 
> AGPS data for quicker positioning fix (GPLv3+);
> • Suntimes – show, and set alarms for, sunset, twilight times, sunrise, and 
> noon (GPLv3+);
> • RPN – step-by-step calculator with no need for parentheses (e.g. compare 1, 
> Enter, 2, Enter, 3, ×, + with 1, Enter, 2, +, 3, ×) (GPLv3+);
> • Barcode Scanner (search ‘zxing’) – scan barcodes and share via QR codes 
> (Apache2);
> • K-9 Mail – email client (Apache2);
> • LibreOffice Viewer – view office documents (MPL2);
> • IceCat Mobile – Web browser (MPL2);
> • Activity Launcher – create homescreen shortcuts directly to specific 
> activities within applications, such as the ‘Tethering & portable hotspot’ 
> activity within Settings (ISC).
> All of these applications are libre software (you are free to use, study, 
> modify, and share them) and the offline content files for OpenStreetMap and 
> Wikimedia's wikis are also libre.
> address@hidden
> ----------------
> The files that I want to put on the MicroSD cards are at least:
> /README(.html) (with a link to https://f-droid.org/ )
> /Kiwix Zim data/ (~145GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/ (~97GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/wikipedia_en_all_2016-05.zim (54GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/wiktionary_en_all_2016-08.zim (1.3GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/wikibooks_en_all_2016-08.zim (1.2GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/wikivoyage_en_all_2016-08.zim (580MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/en/gutenberg_en_all_10_2014.zim (40GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/fr/ (~22GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/fr/wikipedia_fr_all_2016-06.zim (20GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/fr/wiktionary_fr_all_2016-05.zim (795MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/fr/wikibooks_fr_all_2016-08.zim (478MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/fr/wikivoyage_fr_all_2016-08.zim (129MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/es/ (~13GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/es/wikipedia_es_all_2016-05.zim (12GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/es/wiktionary_es_all_2016-08.zim (190MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/es/wikibooks_es_all_2016-08.zim (235MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/es/wikivoyage_es_all_2016-08.zim (148MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/nl/ (~13GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/nl/wikipedia_nl_all_2016-08.zim (12GiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/nl/wiktionary_nl_all_2016-05.zim (141MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/nl/wikibooks_nl_all_2016-08.zim (160MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/nl/wikivoyage_nl_all_2016-08.zim (170MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/cy/ (~630MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/cy/wikipedia_cy_all_2016-08.zim (619MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/cy/wiktionary_cy_all_2016-08.zim (10MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/cy/wikibooks_cy_all_2016-08.zim (1.4MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/jbo/ (~13MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/jbo/wikipedia_jbo_all_2016-08.zim (13MiB)
> /Kiwix Zim data/jbo/wiktionary_jbo_all_2016-05.zim (214KiB)
> /osmand/ (~80GiB)
> /osmand/World_basemap.obf (261MiB)
> /osmand/… [all of Europe] (~20GiB)
> /osmand/… [all other continents] (~10GiB)
> /osmand/srtm/… [all contour data] (~50GiB)
> /F-Droid/ [Any way to provide APKs files in a way that F-Droid can verify 
> them against the repository package list? For security reasons, this part is 
> not intended to be entirely offline – F-Droid and its package list should be 
> downloaded directly over HTTPS.]
> /Mitzuli/ [Any way to provide content files to Mitzuli?]
> .     These are the main problems that I have related to this:
> • I don't know the best supplier to obtain 256GiB MicroSD cards at good value 
> without being unethical;
> • my laptop is currently broken so my ability to prepare for this workshop is 
> hindered;
> • trying to download these files with my phone will require GigaGet to not 
> keep corrupting the downloads, or to find some other means to download 
> directly to external storage.
> .     Notable bugs in the software that I recommend:
> • F-Droid doesn't have built-in changelogs;
> • F-Droid doesn't seem to have the ability to verify files from local sources 
> to reduce Internet usage;
> • F-Droid doesn't have a way to sort by licence (AGPLv3+, AGPLv3, GPLv3+, and 
> GPLv3 before the rest) or to grey-out applications with licences that don't 
> protect against patents;
> • OsmAnd doesn't have an easy way to share maps across a LAN with another 
> device that has OsmAnd;
> • OsmAnd crashes frequently, often without any crash report message;
> • Kiwix relies on scanning for files rather than a direct location;
> • Kiwix doesn't open files on my Fairphone 2, yet works fine on my Dad's 
> Fairphone 2;
> • Kiwix doesn't have an easy way to share maps across a LAN with another 
> device that has Kiwix;
> • NewPipe doesn't save the YouTube ID in the filename or elsewhere;
> • Mitzuli lacks many useful language pairs (I could do with bidirectional 
> en–fr, en–nl, and en–jbo.);
> • Mitzuli language pairs are unidirectional and have no back-translation for 
> checking translation accuracy;
> • Mitzuli can't save or load offline files on local storage;
> • Mitzuli doesn't have an easy way to share maps across a LAN with another 
> device that has Mitzuli;
> • LeafPic is incompatible with Android older than 4.4;
> • Amaze doesn't have SFTP support;
> • Ghost Commander SFTP plugin seems to be unusable (it used to work but the 
> latest version doesn't);
> • SatStat doesn't have compass calibration (so doesn't entirely replace GPS 
> Status);
> • K-9 Mail corrupts whitespace and hardwraps lines in sent mail;
> • K-9 Mail can't set a different notification sound per folder;
> • LibreOffice Viewer is licensed under the MPL2 which doesn't protect against 
> patents and is very poor copyleft;
> • IceCat Mobile has a hard-coded download directory fixed to internal storage 
> (which means it is impossible to download a file larger than internal storage 
> no matter how large the external storage is!);
> • IceCat Mobile can not verify DNSSEC/DANE;
> • IceCat Mobile is licensed under the MPL2 which doesn't protect against 
> patents and is very poor copyleft;
> • Activity Launcher is licensed under ISC which doesn't protect against 
> patents and is not GPL-compatible copyleft.
> I'd like to also recommend the following but they are currently unusable:
> • Transportr – using TLEM and searching for station code ‘SHR’ or ‘Shrewsbury 
> Railway Station’ yields dozens of results, not including the correct one, 
> even when only ‘Regional Train’ is selected (GPLv3+);
> • GigaGet – can download to a specified directory but all large files that I 
> tried downloading for Kiwix were corrupt with wrong hashes (GPLv3+);
> • Ensichat – messages get lost and are not automatically resent when signal 
> is regained, greatly reducing the range at which this can be reliably used 
> (GPLv3+);
> • Debian Kit – not everyone has root access and it has been demonstrated that 
> root isn't necessary for the basic install, so root access should be optional 
> (GPLv3);
> • GNURoot (https://wiki.debian.org/ChrootOnAndroid#Other ) – graft Debian to 
> your Android without requiring root access, but not packaged on F-Droid and I 
> haven't tested it (GPLv3);
> • QuickLyric – search can not be refined (quotes are ignored; no way to 
> distinguish title, author, album, segments of the lyrics, release date range, 
> etc.) yet results are truncated, thus some entries consisting of common words 
> can never be found, and no way to bulk-download multiple hits, e.g. all 
> lyrics in an album (GPLv3);
> • Show Me Hills – the data files seem to be built-into the APK which means 
> that they cannot be updated separately, and it relies on the compass which is 
> unreliable on most devices or near many objects including cases with magnetic 
> fasteners (GPLv3);
> • Primative ftpd – cannot limit to a specific directory, thus is an insecure 
> means to share files to others (Apache2).
> .     If you can help solve some of the above software problems, especially 
> with F-Droid, OsmAnd, Kiwix, K-9 Mail, GigaGet, or chroot'ing Debian, then 
> that would be greatly appreciated.
> Best regards,
> James R. Haigh.
> On 8 August 2016 18:35:43 BST, Michael Dorrington <address@hidden> wrote:
> >This an update on Software Freedom Day 2016 in Manchester.  The event
> >will be held in Terrace.
> >
> >We're still looking for more people to do items for the day.  So far we
> >have:
> >
> >* John Rooke doing a talk on legal threats to software freedom such as
> >TTIP.
> >
> >* Bob Mottram on mesh networking (and the Beaglebone Black).
> >
> >Please consider offering an item for the day.
> >
> >Thanks,
> >Mike.
> >
> >-- 
> >FSF member #9429
> >http://www.fsf.org/register_form?referrer=9429
> >http://www.fsf.org/about
> >"The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide
> >mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of
> >all
> >free software users."
> >
> >
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Fsuk-manchester mailing list
> >address@hidden
> >https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/fsuk-manchester  
> -- 
> Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail, using email subaddressing for spam 
> analysis and spampoison.

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