Forge federation: monthly report 2/9

May 27, 2021

This month was mostly about User Research which will be completed within the next two weeks and diversity which is an ongoing activity within fedeproxy. The May 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held May 27th 4:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone.

User Research

User research interviews have been recorded and transcribed. Today six persons will spend the afternoon together and analyze the transcriptions using a method called affinity mapping to identify emerging themes.

Which leaves us with the last part:

It will be published in June and will tell us which themes fedeproxy should focus on.


The diversity category of the forum was created earlier this month to keep track of the work done to improve diversity. There has been some exploration and actionable items were identified:

  • Create and support safe spaces for URM
  • Create and Enforce customized Codes of Conduct
  • Highlight the profiles of successful URM
  • Facilitate mentoring and networking opportunities
  • Engage URM in governance

The most important realization is also the simplest: when reaching out to people, focus on Under Represented Minorities (or Majority). This was done when looking for participants for the affinity mapping session and led to more diversity. It also required more efforts and took more time: but that’s what it takes to improve diversity.

Governance and horizontality

From its inception, the fedeproxy project manifesto states that it is horizontal, which is unusual for a software project. A discussion also explored how the governance relates to federated software. It was an opportunity to clarify that horizontality should not be confused with a lack of structure: it is the absence of a hierarchy.

Although it was not discussed, it is worth mentioning that the fedeproxy Code of Conduct is effective even though there is no hierarchy. This is particularly important in the context of diversity because it is the ultimate barrier to protect community members from toxic behavior.

Technical exploration

While waiting for the User Research report conclusions, a few experiments were conducted:

More explorations can be found in the development category of the forum.

Communication and branding

The April 2021 monthly event happened, with Pierre-Louis and myself. We work together on a daily basis but we only communicate in writing and in public so that people interested to join can conveniently understand what was done and why. Since there was no-one else in the meeting, we took this opportunity to verbally exchange on what was done over the past month and a few ideas emerged.

A new mastodon account for fedeproxy was created with the policy that it is only used to boost toots from people involved in fedeproxy. It won’t toot anything because there cannot be a spokesperson for the fedeproxy project.

The May 2021 monthly event will happen tomorrow, May 27th.

Transparency and funding

May 13th the money from the DAPSI grant was received and the budget spreadsheet was updated accordingly: it will pay for the salary of Pierre-Louis Bonicoli and Loïc Dachary (50% of their time) for the next four month. A few hundred euros were spent on User Research and there were no other expenses so far.

There should have been a specific item in the grant application about diversity, but it was overlooked. It will be discussed with the organization governing the grant so that it becomes part of the deliverables. As of this month 5% of the total work time paid for by the grant is dedicated to improving diversity (i.e. half an hour per day).