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Support EmacsConf through the Working Together for Free Software Fund

by Miriam Bastian Contributions Published on Jan 18, 2024 02:28 PM

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) supports the work of several important free software projects through fiscal sponsorship with a program we call the Working Together for Free Software Fund.

Donations to any of the Working Together for Free Software Fund projects directly benefit the work that can be done. With the FSF's fiscal sponsorship, projects can receive donations, apply for funding, and enter into legal contracts, all enabling them to spend more time on their work.

One of these projects is EmacsConf. Below, co-organizer Sacha Chua wrote a report on EmacsConf 2023, which was held online on December 2 and 3. EmacsConf is a volunteer-run community conference with sessions on all things GNU Emacs, Emacs Lisp, and popular Emacs features like Org-mode.

"Actually, the part of the conference I admire most is the fact that that whole thing is obviously a labor of love by Emacs geeks for Emacs geeks, using and showcasing as much free software as possible." -- @eludom, attendee of EmacsConf 2023

Like Emacs itself, the conference is committed to user freedom. It is organized and run using an entirely free software stack. It is also accessible to all, safeguarding the possibility to fully participate in the conference using only free software. The project joined the FSF's fiscal sponsorship program in November, and you can donate to the event using their contribution page.

"This conference is crazy i am not sure i ever saw so much interesting Emacs ideas in one day." -- attendee of EmacsConf 2023


Hello Emacs enthusiasts!

We were thrilled to see that up to 250 people were watching EmacsConf 2023 via the livestream, and more than 80 people joined the live Q&A web conferences. It was fantastic to see people from all over the world. There were even satellite events in Switzerland and Slovenia. We had 41 talks across two tracks (general and development), with a total of 16 hours of presentations, 12 hours of Q&A via web conference, and lots of lively discussion across IRC and Etherpad.

We posted prerecorded videos and transcripts on talk pages shortly after they started streaming, and live talks and Q&A sessions within two weeks. You can find the talks, Q&A sessions, questions, and comments at https://emacsconf.org/2023/talks. The videos are also available on Toobnix.

For this year's conference, we used the following tools:

  • Org Mode, Emacs: organization and collaboration
  • MPV: video player
  • BigBlueButton: web conference
  • OBS Studio: streaming
  • Icecast: streaming WEBM
  • Internet Relay Chat via Libera.chat, The Lounge, and ERC: conversation
  • Mumble: audio conferencing for coordination
  • Etherpad: questions and notes
  • Ikiwiki: website
  • PsiTransfer: uploads
  • FFmpeg: video and audio processing
  • Audacity: audio editing
  • OpenAI Whisper: captioning
  • Aeneas: forced alignment to get timestamps
  • subed-mode: captioning
  • Git: version control
  • Mailman: mailing lists; service provided by the Free Software Foundation
  • Nginx: web server; server provided by the Free Software Foundation
  • Ansible: system configuration

You can find more information about our infrastructure at https://emacsconf.org/infra. For a detailed report about the conference in general, see https://emacsconf.org/2023/report/.

All this is possible thanks to dedicated volunteers and thanks to your support. As of 2023-12-12, we have received USD 436.60 in donations through the Working Together program of the FSF. This not only covers all of our hosting costs but also helps us experiment with ideas to make next year's conference even better. A heartfelt ThankGNU to all those who contributed time, energy, and/or donations!

The FSF is currently closing out its major fundraiser of the year. 10% of donations for EmacsConf go to the FSF to help sustain the services they provide for us, such as the media server that hosts EmacsConf videos and the mailing lists that help us coordinate (and of course, Emacs itself!). You can also check out lots of other great projects in their Working Together program. If you aren't already an FSF associate member, please do consider becoming one to support this and all the other great free software work they do.

For more EmacsConf updates, please subscribe to the emacsconf-discuss mailing list. You can also find plenty of meetups throughout the year at EmacsWiki:Usergroups.

See you at the next EmacsConf!

Sacha Chua
EmacsConf Co-organizer


Your contribution matters. You can donate to Working Together projects or the Free Software Foundation itself. In addition to the donation methods on the websites, you can also donate by wire transfer in USD, euro, and pound sterling -- please write to donate@fsf.org for the account details. Thank you for your support!

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