[kwlug-announce] Meeting Monday: Open Food Network, Waterloo Region Votes (Oct 2022)

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Oct 1 11:45:11 EDT 2022

Dearest Octoberites,

Have you heard of the Information Superhighway? It is a marvellous
invention which allows you to access the world's information at
remarkable speeds. Zoom zoom! Now you know what a trivet is! Zoom
zoom! Now you know the lyrics to "Believe It or Not", the theme song
from the 1980s sitcom *The Greatest American Hero*!

Have you ever wondered how information makes its way to the
Information Superhighway? Regular people like you and me and
corporations and artificial intelligence algorithms gather up all
those useful facts and put them on "websites". It might seem as if
these "websites" spring out of whole cloth, but in fact it takes work
to put these "websites" together. This month's KWLUG presentation
features two such efforts to put together "websites", using open
source software to address the common good. 

First up we have special guest speaker Karla Falk, from the Open Food
Network project. The Open Food Network builds open source  e-commerce
platforms so that farmers can sell their goods more effectively,
organizing themselves into virtual farmers markets. Karla will tell us
more about what OFN does, how it works, and how you can get involved.

Next we will have a presentation by... me. I will discuss
https://waterlooregionvotes.org , an information hub for the municipal
election happening on October 24 put together by CivicTechWR. Why
would an election need an information hub? Don't the relevant
municipalities provide all this information anyways? What
Rube-Goldbergesque collection of FLOSSy (and less FLOSSy) platforms
did we glue together to make the site happen on almost no money? Find
out these things (and maybe other things, such as the most dangerous
website on the Internet) at this month's meeting. 

As always, we are on the prowl for additional presentations.
Recently some people have volunteered to demonstrate passion projects
or technologies they have learned recently, which is amazing. You can
join that crew! Please get in touch. 

In related news: it looks as if we may be online until April or May,
due to building availability. That is mixed news, of course, but so is
this pandemic that we have decided doesn't exist anymore. The good
news is that you don't have to be physically present in KW to present
for us! Feel free to invite your open-source enthusiast friends from
Brazil or California to attend our meetings and/or give talks.
(When/if we do get back to in-person meetings we hope to be hybrid,
but have not worked out the details yet.)

That's it for this month. Our meeting will continue to be held at our
online home, which itself is a "website":


This meeting starts at 7pm. 

- Paul
Election: https://waterlooregionvotes.org
Events: https://feeds.off-topic.kwlug.org 
Housing: https://unionsd.coop
Blog: http://pnijjar.freeshell.org

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