Tag Archives: FOSS

Who moved my linkspam? (22 September 2014)

  • “You Cannot Be Mommy”: A Female Cook on Ratatouille | Rebecca Lynde-Scott at The Toast (Sept 15): “Notice that, while her position is never specified, she’s low enough on the totem pole that she’s given the job of training the despised plongeur (“garbage boy” in the film, actually dishwasher), a job only given to the person occupying the station the new person is moving into, so she’s pretty damn low. […] Linguini announced his and Colette’s relationship to the press, “Inspiration has many names. Mine is named Colette.” That moment in the movie is supposed to be about how he’s betraying Remy by not being honest, but he’s betraying Colette nearly as much just by these two sentences. In eight words, he demotes her from competent cook on the way up to artist’s muse. As the former, she could keep working her way up. As the latter, she might never get another job in a really good kitchen again, if she and Linguini break up. That gets ignored, of course, shellacked over with Remy’s story, some sharp remarks, and that trademarked Disney happy-ever-after.”
  • [warning for discussion of harassment] Pushing Women and People of Color Out of Science Before We Go In | Jennifer Selvidge at Huffington Post (Sept 18): “The misogyny and racism I experienced and saw at MIT became more and more concerning […] I know that even with close to straight As, I am still unwelcome in my scientific community and unwelcome as an engineer. I will be competing with white men with lower GPAs and less research experience who will likely be chosen over me, as professors on graduate committees. After all, some of those very same graduate school committee members probably remember fondly “the days when men were engineers and women were flight attendants.” The problems in STEM are the people in STEM. I shouldn’t have to play catch up, when I am already ahead.”
  • New FOSS Outreach Program internships for female technical contributors | Quim Gil at Wikimedia (Sept 18): “The Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women offers paid internships to developers and other technical contributors working on projects together with free software organizations. […] The application period starts on September 22nd and ends one month later on October 22nd.”
  • [warning for police brutality] Police killed a black man dressed up like an anime character |  Aja Romano at The Daily Dot (Sept 16): “For the second time in two months, a black man has been shot and killed by police officers while holding a toy weapon. The Utah police fatally shot 22-year-old Darrien Hunt on Wednesday.”
  • Participate in a Survey About Gender Diversity in Video Games | Carly Smith at The Escapist (Sept 16): “Student researcher Jennifer Allaway is examining the relationship between players’ desires for diversity and game developers’ understanding of that desire, among many other topics, for a GDC 2015 talk.” There are separate surveys for developers and consumers.”
  • [warning for discussion of sexual harassment] Misogyny and the Atheist Movement | Comment by Hold your seahorses at Metafilter (Sept 15): “The article makes a passing mention of new “rules” for the “gender dynamic” and I think there’s actually something to that, as far as the reason why at least a subset of men get extravagantly, sometimes violently, upset and retaliatory when they run up against, or see someone run up against, those “rules”. Because yes. Absolutely, the rules are changing about what you “can” and “can’t” do with/to women (at cons, in public, online, in general). But the people getting upset about this tend to misunderstand what the idea of “the rules are changing” means. The “rules” – that set of norms that determined where you could and couldn’t acceptably transgress with someone – used to be much more liberal from the male perspective. […] That sense of assurance, of insulation from consequences, is what’s been increasingly yoinked away from men as it becomes less and less acceptable to do these things.”
  • Time to Raise the Profile of Women and Minorities in Science | Brian Welle and Megan Smith at Scientific American (Sept 16): “over the past few years, we discovered some pretty ugly news about our beloved Google Doodles. We had been making these embellishments to the corporate logo on our home page, often in honor of specific people on their birthdays, ever since the company was founded in 1998. For the first seven years, we celebrated exactly zero women. We had not noticed the imbalance.”
  • why many women of colour within the so-called ‘Western countries’ and those outside are very alienated with the [mainstream] feminism | lesetoilesnoires at tumblr (Sept 20): “The idea that to show a White young woman in the West why and how she needs feminism, or why and how she has benefited from feminism, you have to appeal to the ‘tragic plight’ of Women of Colour ‘elsewhere’, turn these Women of Colour into caricatures of victimhood while contrasting it with White, middle-class women as ‘empowered subjects’, is simply condescending in the best case and outright racist in the worst case.”
  • Albert Einstein, Anti-Racist Activist | s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’ (Sept 22): “It is perhaps not surprising that Einstein’s contributions to anti-racism were erased at the time. It was easy to focus on the media-friendly physicist who amazed people with his mind, and to quietly skate around details of his personal life. His work can’t have made contemporary media comfortable, either, as he was unafraid when it came to specifically confronting white complicity and talking about what whites needed to do.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

My linkspam brings all the boys to the yard (30 April 2014)

  • In memoriam: Wikimedia remembers two women who contributed hugely to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects: Adrianne Wadewitz (died April 8, see also New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and the memorial edit-a-thon in Los Angeles in May) and Cynthia Ashley-Nelson (died April 11)
  • Audrey Tang spoke to TEDxTaipei on Programming Languages and RailsGirls Taiwan (程式語言與軌道女孩) on April 27. Slides (primarily in Chinese) and an English language translation of the transcript are up.
  • The Anti-Nerd: Fear of a Black Time Traveler | Rafael Martinez at Black Girl Nerds (April 16): “It is something I have noticed. A lack of us being in the Time Traveling profession. I then Googled ‘Black time travelers’ and closest I got was, I kid you not–black traveling shoes.”
  • Dealing with name changes in publication records for scientists | Savannah at lgbt+physicists+blog (April 21): “The basic idea here is that if one is assigned, for example, a female-typical name such as Robyn O’Troodle at birth, then publishes several papers under this name before transitioning to Jonathon O’Troodle, this would result in a jump from a female-typical name to a male-typical name that might appear awkward (or simply distracting) on one’s publication record.”
  • Lady She-Woman: Female Superheroes, Codenames and Identity | Andrew Wheeler at Comics Alliance (April 23): “Identity is central to superhero fiction. It’s a genre that gives us heroes; big, broad, iconic modern gods that lift us up out of the uncertainties of our own lives to a place where who you are and what you stand for is known… For a lot of female heroes, owning a superhero identity presents an almost insurmountable challenge. A significant number of DC’s female heroes are based on other heroes, from Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Girl through Stargirl, Mary Marvel and Ravager.”
  • Sex, Sexy & Sexism | Storify (April 24): a PAX East 2014 panel on fixing gender inequality in gaming. Featuring Susan Arendt, Brianna Wu, Tifa Robles, and Duane de Four, moderated by Ken Gagne
  • No, I Don’t Work for Free | Julie Pagano (April 26): “Asking someone to come do professional work for your for-profit company for free is incredibly problematic. I would argue in many cases it is downright exploitative. I doubt they’d have asked me to come code for them for a few hours for free. They’d recognize how unacceptable that is. Why is it that other work is seen as valuable enough to ask for, but not valuable enough to pay for?”
  • Dragon Age Goes Gender-Neutral! | Brad Baron at Gay Gamer (April 23): “Dragon Age: Inquisition… due out this fall, features a figure on its cover that could be any gender. The best part — the character’s gender is totally irrelevant!”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

The linkspam is a harsh mistress (19 March 2014)

Super spam today folks!

Kicking off with our traditional can of miscellaneous linkspam:

The Mythology edition of Model View Culture is out, and its entire table of contents is of interest! This spammer couldn’t trim it down!

Look out for an interview with Model View Culture founders Amelia Greenhall and Shanley Kane on Geek Feminism tomorrow!

And finally, Julie Ann Horvath left Github, describing harassment and other inappropriate workplace behaviour. Some coverage and responses include:

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Quick hit: FOSS Outreach Program for Women internships

This guest post is from the Outreach Program for Women (OPW), and is edited from their outreach materials.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is software that gives the user the freedom to use, copy, study, change, and improve it. FOSS contributors believe that this is the best way to develop software because it benefits society, creates a fun collaborative community around a project, and allows anyone to make innovative changes that reach many people.

In an effort to improve the gender diversity in FOSS, a number of organizations are offering Outreach Program for Women internships through a program organized by the GNOME Foundation. These internships are open to women (cis and trans) and genderqueer. The internships have the same structure, the same stipend and similar program dates. The application deadline for the Outreach Program for Women is March 19 and the program dates are May 19 to August 18. Unlike in Google Summer of Code, participants do not need to be students and non-coding projects are available. In addition to coding, projects include such tasks as graphic design, user experience design, documentation, bug triage and community engagement. Internships are typically remote and available worldwide. The stipend is $5500 (USD).

More information on the May to August 2014 round of OPW is available, including a list of participating organizations such as GNOME, Linux kernel, Wikimedia and OpenStack, and application instructions. Remember, applications close March 19, and you need to have made a contribution to a participating project before the application deadline.

Baby, we were born to linkspam (12 February 2013)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Linkspam and the Angry Inch (14 December 2012)

  • Hidden Communities of Reddit: “Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace, where the relationships between users are explicit, have been mined to death. But social communities like Reddit, StackExchange, Hacker News and SomethingAwful have barely been mined at all. I’m working on a project to try to predict social cascades – when new memes are going to spread, and where they are going to go.” Bonus: you can interact with the visualization yourself!
  • See 3 female fighter pilots who got cut from Return of the Jedi: “So we’re left to ask the most obvious question—Why? Why were these women cut? Why are there so few women in Star Wars? Maybe it’s a moot point, but we’d love to hear those stories. And more important still, we want to see some serious female representation in the new movies.”
  • Women in science: confronting failure, developing resilience: “Training in resilience… may be as beneficial to seeing an increase in the numbers of senior women engineers and scientists, in academia and outside, as more subject-specific interventions during their education.”
  • women in tech infographic – Scientista Foundation: An optimistic outlook on the future of women in tech.
  • If Code Is Law, Then Coders Are Lawyers – Jotwell: Cyberlaw: Highly complimentary review of Coding Freedom, a F/OSS ethnography by E. Gabriella Coleman.
  • quick and dirty metric for privilege: “obviously this chart doesnt account for a lot, but it tells me that white feminists seized power only for themselves, 1970-2010, and it tells me that as a white person i should stfu unless im critiquing more powerful white people, because any critique im making of anyone else is part of their observable oppression by a system that favours me.”

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Magical linkspam sparkles (26th May, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious, freelish.us or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Linux.conf.au, Part 2

Part 2 of linux.conf.au, in which I at least mention most of the talks I went to, occasionally link out; contains a brain dump of my thoughts on the conference, its organization, the social engineering of arduino hacking, and the unicorns of dooom!

Slides are going up on all the talks on the linux.conf.au wiki, if you want to look at what the talks were like. Every talk I went to was good and worth it. Also, by looking at the slides, you’ll get an idea of what you might like to propose for a talk next year and whether you’d fit into this conference. (Yes.)
Continue reading

Linux.conf.nz and DrupalSouth

Thanks to lots of people who encouraged me to submit talks and apply for money, and thanks to the sponsorship from linux.conf.nz and Google, I went to two conferences in New Zealand last week. For a week and a half I hung out with linuxchix, people from #geekfeminism, and Drupal folks. It was GREAT. I met a zillion people, gave three talks, and learned a lot.

Kelly picked me up from the airport on Saturday. The next day she and Daniel drove me and some friends all over the south end of the island. Sunday, I sneaked away from the welcome sessions and “how to give a talk” tutorials to visit the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, where I saw a lot of wet birds, fern trees, and a tuatara. There was also a historical display with an excerpt from the Diary of Laura Fitchett, an early British settler. It went like this: “Wet today. Still wet. Very wet. Could not dry the clothes. Too wet for laundry. Rained again.” Kind of like most of my visit to Wellington!

wellington blogger

On Monday, we had the Haecksen/Linuxchix mini-conference. Lana Brindley did a great writeup of it. I especially enjoyed Sara Falamaki’s “Happy Hackers, Happy Code” talk even though it made me cry a little bit to think that things might be so nice. Sara outlined some specific advice for good tools and processes for version control, knowledge management, task tracking, build system, testing systems, and development itself, and going for goals like code that improves by shrinking in size, while she threw candy with a wicked overhand at us for participation. Suggestions for great tools from the audience: Valgrind, whiteboards and markers, printf, virtualization, backups, bugzilla summary reports, google docs, RT, your mouth, nice commit messages, Firebug and Web Developer, good sys admins, and pastebin.

Lana and Sara at lunch: Lana and Sara

I gave my talk “Code of Our Own” which was really Advanced Feminist Solidarity Theory for Coders. We have named the problem, documented it a lot, and we have lots of “Women in Thingie” groups with overlapping memberships. We have some efforts at classes and mentoring. That’s great. What now? What do we need? What helps and what might be helpful to try? My thoughts here are mostly: let’s code together. In meetups, friendships, miniconferences, unconferences or open space, and so on.

My favorite bit is where I said how teaching programming to 11 year old girls is awesome but it’s not helping us, the ones doing the coding now and dripping out of the leaky pipeline, and when I report problems I face and then a bunch of guys go “Oh, well, I know the answer, let’s go teach some 11 year old girls” there’s no way I can argue with their awesome altruism because they’re doing a good thing, but they might as well have said “Sucks to be you, bitter old hag, we’ll just start over then with some tabula rasa infants.” Good luck with that; sounds like a recipe for repeating the same conversation for the next 30 years. It was nice to say a few outrageous crude things while then slipping back into constructive, positive, niceness and yet during both the mean-ass and the pollyanna moments, seeing so many women’s faces around the room nodding, smiling, and cracking up. So, the slides give you a feel for what I talked about, but if you want the full talk with all the jokes and asides and digressions, there is a Code of Our Own video on the Internet Archive which you can download. There will be videos of all the talks very soon from LCA.

Joh Clarke’s talk on security was hilarious and scary. Her point was that the sky has already fallen and you can’t assume anything is secure and we need to face that, somehow, without having the Howard Hughes learns about Germ Theory reaction. She managed to be scary, reassuring, and devastatingly wry all at once, with pictures of her cat breaking into various boxes.

Afterwards a bunch of us went to the Catalyst office where Joh works and worked on moving the geekspeakr.com site to a new server. Emma Jane, who is a freelancer and author of Front End Drupal, awesomely outlined all the things we would need to do on a whiteboard. It was great. She broke it down into a lot of steps so that lots of people could contribute and this also clarified everything to be done.

to do list for geekspeakr move

Emma Jane is also the person who knit the famous Drupal Socks.

Emma Jane's Drupal Socks

It struck me that there were an awful lot of steps to do this seemingly simple thing (as usual) and each step required a set of esoteric and non-obvious background knowledge. We needed sys admins. We had them! We needed people to fuck around on the command line installing and configuring things and moving things around into version control and making it work. (That was me and Angie, and it’s my particular skill.) We needed front end people to scoot blocks around and write themes! And people to document what we did! And we needed people to buy beer and do QA and do all the other things which I didn’t notice happening because I was installing and configuring. Yay!

Here are a bunch of us poking away at the server!

IMG_0234

We got pretty far, but didn’t finish upgrading or theming. I’m probably going to go do the upgrade. Janis (who is usually a gcc hacker and who explained allpairs and Delta to me; they help her debug) did some QA on the site the next day. I was happy to be sharing a keyboard with Angie Byron who is a kick ass Drupal core developer.

Elky, Cat, Joh, and the Linuxchix Gentlemen’s Auxiliary were there doing stuff too! I ended up feeling like I would happily work with any of them, any time. They’re sensible! Smart! Nice! They get things done.

Here we are feeling tired and happy!

IMG_0239

It was like Christmas – I hung out with kick ass open source people all day long, heard great talks, gave a talk and asked for more coding and development with other women, and then got to do that very thing with people I greatly admire!

I felt inspired to FOR SURE make it to the CodeChix meetup next time it happens in the SF Bay Area.

So, I have a lot more to say and will have to post several more times about linux.conf.au and about DrupalSouth. Stay tuned!

And a final thought about the joy of coding with others:

To be of use
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.