Community Infrastructure in Free Software

Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 from 2:30 – 3:15pm


To succeed, projects need to do so many things well, and usually they need to do them alone. This is daunting for all projects impossible for new ones. Community infrastructure will let us band together to get more projects to their goals. Here's how.


To start a project and make it soar, developers need to do so many things well that aren’t in typically in their core skillset: translation, documentation, user experience, security auditing, community relations, web design, etc. Right now, the community expects projects to hit all those marks and when they don’t, we note their deficiencies and shake our heads.

But the truth is that no new project can succeed at all of those things. Even most established projects aren’t doing all those things well.

We as a community have the power to change that, and this session will detail some current efforts to build community infrastructure around translation, security auditing and UX so that projects don’t have to go it alone.

Speaking experience

The best video of me talking is probably the one from my FreedomBox talk at Elevate:

I speak pretty regularly at events of all kinds and sizes as a sole speaker, a panelist and a moderator. In the last couple years, I presented the FreedomBox at ContactCon and Elevate, hosted two unconferences (the Circumvention Tech Summits), moderated a panel at RightsCon, hosted lightning talks at IS4CWN, participated in panels at Unlike Us, and done other talks I'm forgetting at the moment.

I gave a 10-minute version of this talk at Software Freedom Day in NY in 2012.


  • James vasile xmas 2013

    James Vasile

    Open Tech Strategies / Open Internet Tools Project / Software Freedom Law Center


    James Vasile directs the Open Internet Tools Project, which supports
    development of anti-censorship and anti-surveillance tools. He is a
    partner at Open Tech Strategies, which advises organizations and
    businesses as they navigate the open-source world. He is also a Senior
    Fellow at the Software Freedom Law Center, where he acts as a
    strategic advisor on a range of free software efforts.

    James has helped boot up a number of free software organizations,
    including the FreedomBox Foundation, Open Source Matters, and the
    Software Freedom Conservancy. His FreedomBox work has been recognized by
    an Innovation Award at Contact Summit 2011, as well as an Ashoka
    ChangeMaker’s award for Citizen’s Media.

    You can learn more about James at He tweets
    as @jamesvasile and blogs at