I introduce: Free Software Donation Day

A lot of Fairphone users care about Free Software, as discussions in this forum show. A lot of us know already that without the hard work of free software developers, Android and most of our free apps would be impossible.
Google heavenly invests in Android and somehow in Linux and Free Software development in general, however they still are somehow selective in projects they support and solutions they implement. While Android remains open source, it becomes ever more clear that without the help of developers, using an “Google Apps free” Fairphone - as some of us do, would be much less fun and feasible.

I therefore want to start an initiative to provide to show more support and appreciation to these developers. Every last Thursday of the month for as long as i use a Fairphone, i will select an open source project which improves my Fairphone experience and donate at least 5€ to it’s developers. And I encourage you fellow fairphoners to do the same. ( Choose an amount to your liking and according to your financial situation.)

For inspiration and ideas, i will post the project i choose in this post!

Let’s start bringing some fairness to app developers.



I will do the same as soon as I have my FP.



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My choosen Project of August 2014: Davdroid

I am a lazy person, so calendar and contact syncing is important for me. If i get to know someone new and want save contact information, i just add him/her to my phones contacts. Because i often reset my phone (for reasons ;-)) or fear to loose it, syncing is very important for me. The same goes for calendar and appointments – so it is crucial for me to record an appointment on one device and get remembered on all my others.

I used to to that with Google’s services for some time, but after i changed my mail provider for Posteo, i need a sync solution. Posteo, as most services, supports CardDAV and CalDAV for syncing. So does my MacBook and my Linux Desktop (using Evolution). Android lacks CalDAV and CardDAV syncing. I think it is pretty clear this is a strategical decision by Google, it makes Google’s Services simply stand out. On the other hand,Androids open nature allows developers do write “Sync Adapters” that provide syncing capability for the build in calendar and contacts. DAVdroid is such an application. It enables me to securly sync my calendar and contacts with my european email provider Posteo.

DAVdroid is open source software, developed by austrian company “bitfire”, eg. Ricki Hirner and Bernhard Stockmann. It is available on several app stores as a paid app: http://davdroid.bitfire.at/download for 2,99€ (including Google and Amazon). Thanks to its open source license, it is also available on Fdroid. If you, like me, installed from Fdroid, i encourage you to consider a donation that a least matches the price on the stores. I just now donated.



Thank you for starting this topic! :thumbsup:

I have come upon that app already but unfortunately it is no use for me because my university uses the iCal-format for their calenders. I could not find any open software which adds iCal synchronization to Android…

And: there is not one app which supports all of the (vast amount of) calendar formats.

You have talked about Bountysource before (https://forum.fairphone.com/t/poll-future-fairphone-os-development/157/58?u=Stefan): Why not support a developer which implements the various calendar formats natively in Android (or at least makes one app to rule them all?)

Hi @Stefan,

thank you! Concerning you specific problem, why not start a seperate thread like “iCal sync with Android Calendar” or something.
Bountysource is a good idea and I appreciate you comment, but i would like to keep this thread on topic. Would you mind moving that Bountysource discussion somewhere else?


Sorry I did not want to get too off topic :wink:

I just thought that this post was about supporting app developers, but I understand that you want to keep the focus on your initiative!

This is a really great idea! Supporting small (or even big) developers that bring out software for free is a really good cause. I like it! :wink:

Excellent idea :thumbsup:

Thanks for your nice replies! Are you joining me (this time or next month)? And what are the projects you donate to?


I just would like to bring this thread up again.

This month I donated some money to the developers of Threema by buying their app on the Threema-Website. (I don’t use Google Play).

What’s your donation this month?



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i was away from the forum for some days. Here is my delayed report for Free Software Donation Day, September 2014:

This month i donated to F-Droid. F-Droid is a repository of open source android software and a client for easy install, update and removal.

F-Droid builds open source android apps from source and provides installable, binary apks. You may download them individually from their website or install the F-Droid “Store”.

Donations are possible via PayPal, Flatter and bitcoin. Sadly no Bank Transfer. Donate here if you like.

What are your favorite Open Source Apps of the Month September?


Hey Friends! Nancy Dukes Here. I am new here. Hope to enjoy a lot this community.

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Flym, RSS reader, available on F-Droid, untied to any provider, accepting any xml feeds lists that you can export from a computer RSS reader.
For me it was up and running almost instantly and with all my usual feeds thanks to this :slight_smile:
And the interface is efficient and very reasonable.

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I think there is a misunderstanding here. Threema is not Free Software!

A Free Software alternative would be TextSecure by Open WhisperSystems. You can donate to them either through their interesting Bithub project or through the Freedom of the Press Foundation.


Question: what’s the (ethical) difference between buying a paid-for app and getting an app for free and making a donation? A developer asking money for using its app isn’t inherently evil or something.

He isn’t at all, and I would even go further: I for one regret the good old times of what was called “shareware” (who remembers this term).
I even went so far as to have a thread created that is dedicated to those softwares that one can buy -but outside the Google thing (like indeed Threema is).

I consider there are areas where actually paid teams can do better than the alternate model where healty enough societies (generally in the University or Research field) manage to offer worktime for creating Open Source.
Indeed Open Source, for the transparence, and what once was shareware or small independent companies are my two areas of love.

But, in this thread, here, the title and discussion is about Free software, which explains the reaction from Haffenlauer I think.

And now I’m rushing to add Threema in the ‘independently paid’ thread above before you :wink:


The topic of this thread is “Free Software Donation Day”, strictly speaking it is only concerning Free and Open Source Software, with Free defined as in freedom.
Some free software apps are sold in the play store and still the source is accessible for free, for example DavDroid.
In this case, by buying the app you support a free software developer. It is essentially the same as a donation, but keep in mind Google is charging the developer 30% of the price.

In other cases, the is a difference between buying an paid and supporting a free software developer with a donation.

Please keep this thread about free software, as I wanted to support developers releasing their quality software as free and open source. If have the impression that the model the DavDroid developers are choosibg , eg. Charging a price for the comfort of installing an App from the Play Store and still providing full sources and apk for free is beneficial for both users and developers. It enables them, the developer means to live by their profession, and developing a quality of an app is hard work, and gives us, the users all benefits of open source software.

I prefer to install my apps from Fdroid and therefore I relay daily on the work of these idealistic developers. Providing them with a bit of money is an easy way to show my appreciation. It also possibly enables them to improve their apps.

I therefore choose on free app a month and donate some money. I encourage you to do the same ;).


Free Software has nothing to do with getting paid for developing it.
It is about the freedom that comes with it.

Proprietary software restricts the user’s (or customer’s) freedom to have control over what the software does.
Free Software allows the user, or the customer, to have full control.

This may seem unimportant to most because they lack the knowledge and skills to actually do much with the freedom that comes with free-software, but Free Software is about an ideal, not really a coding practice (as Open Source simply is) or a business model.

Free Software can be free of charge or paid just like proprietary software, a user can be asked to pay for services like professional support or ad-hoc customization and consulting.
But regardless of what business model the developer(s) choose(s) to employ, free software will always allow, unlike proprietary software (free of charge or not), anybody to have control.

I understand that the terminology doesn’t help and this is a known problem, the word “free” means both freedom and gratis and software can be both or none or either, therefore the only thing that matters, for Software Freedom and, I suppose, for the purpose of this thread, is that software must be released under a Free License.

So no, developers of non-free software are not evil because they put a price tag on their products, in the same way as developers of free-software are not sellouts when they ask for money to let others use their products or to work on other’s free-software.

Whether developing non-free software is evil in itself, I leave to you to decide. Personally I feel proprietary is the dark side.


@ben: Did you donate something in October? Or this month? I’m curious to hear about the apps, you think worth of donating money to them. :smiley:

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@Stefan i missed October. But it is still time until tomorrow to decide for November.

I am thinking of Kontalk , an open source (soon to be xmpp-based) messenger, or AntennaPod, a nice podcast manager. There are a lot of other apps i use everyday, so i have ideas until late into next year :-). Are you joining me in November?