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The Beginning

This marks the day where The Vlen has officially opened.

The ultimate goal is to educate others and provide high quality content using Libre Software only, on top of advocating for software freedom.

Some Background

The First part

If you are stuck on a particular topic or if you just want to learn something that’s always been on your mind, you go onto the internet and search up whatever it is. Lo and behold, you receive pages upon pages of results. But finding that “right” page is always the hard part.

Typically the first few results might be fine or you get hit with results that are SEO optimized garbage, (if you happen to browse the internet without an ad blocker) a 50 pixel viewport to browse such content or it’s behind a paywall and not to mention the 50 cross site requests that provides zero functionality whatsoever.

First off, I’m not saying that monetizing content is bad and that absolutely everything should be free. Some people want to make a living out of what they enjoy doing or it’s their only income, which is perfectly understandable.

But not many people seem to care about publishing content for the joy of it. I guess I just missed out on the days where people did whatever without caring about monetizing it or having bloated web pages that’s 10 MB in size, which doesn’t provide any extra functionality thus hindering their sites usability.

That’s just how the way things are nowadays. But of course, it’s not the way for me. I enjoy creating content and hope to share knowledge to others. Hopefully it might encourage other people on the internet to do the same thing or at least cut down bloat on their own websites.

The Second Part

For many years I’ve been trying to maximize my use of Libre Software. People always mentioned that it’s like I’m living off the grid and find it hard to contact me. Lies! I have a phone number and e-mail so that must count for something.

But anyways, I’ve made compromises and felt “dirty” afterwards. People don’t read Terms of Services or Privacy Policies any more (or have they ever?), I’ve read them and I simply don’t agree with them, so the solution is to never use the service.

If you’re not on mainstream platform xyz then you’re weird or given different types of labels, certainly not “normal”. I want to take a firm stance against using proprietary software and services that have no regard for users privacy or freedoms. Simple as.

Well, you’re obviously not normal if you want to try and push for change. Just accept the way things are and be happy. Come to think of it, I will own nothing and I will be happy. Ignorance is bliss.

Being the one guy and rejecting things because they don’t respect your privacy or rights doesn’t really work out well. The outcome is people see you as stubborn or don’t want to deal with your shite and move on without you.

It takes one person to start something but you still need others to make an impact. I plan on bringing greater awareness of Libre Software within Ireland first. The software community here seems to be almost non-existent, despite having hundreds of software companies in Ireland. There is also the opportunity to collaborate and form a community with other people here. It was always one of my annoyances that events were everywhere, except Ireland.

Final Words

Hopefully this helps you understand my motivations for this site. It will be a different type of journey and I hope to educate many others in the process.

– Morris Zuss