Supporter Interview with Jondale Stratton

by Daniel Takamori on December 12, 2022

Portrait of Jondale Stratton

Photo CC-BY-NC-SA Jondale Stratton

Next in our interview series, we have Jondale Stratton, a long time supporter of Software Freedom Conservancy. Jondale is the IT Manager for the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and the Technical Director for his local hackerspace, Knox Makers. In his spare time he enjoys laser cutting, tractors, playing with his bunnies, and replacing people with shell scripts.

Software Freedom Conservancy: Why do you care about software freedom? How long have you been involved?
Jondale Stratton.: From a consumer standpoint, I like how free licences enforce a more honest relationship with vendors. There becomes a balance between the value of the software and how terrible the producer can be before the project will be forked or brought in-house. Personally, I like that the answer to whether I can make something work might be hard but it's never no.

SFC: How do you use free software in your life?
JS: Linux runs every server I administer and every device I use personally. I actively seek to use only FLOSS licenses and consider it a concession when I cannot.

SFC: How do you see our role amongst the various FLOSS organizations?
JS: Most FLOSS organizations seem to be focused on legislation. SFC seems to be the only one actively defending the GPL. Both are important. I really like the SFC's support of member projects. I learned of SFC through my desire to support Inkscape. I believe most people do not know the fiscal responsibilities and navigations required to run a larger project and I appreciate your role in helping with that.

SFC: What's got you most excited from the past year of our work?
JS: I'm happy that you are willing to litigate in defence of GPL. It's a big task and probably deserves more attention. Without defence the GPL loses value and meaning. The stance on Github is logical but tough. They have positioned themselves as ubiquitous with open source projects through early good faith and now seem to be taking advantage of that. It's the danger of being a consumer of closed/proprietary solutions.

SFC: Do you think we are doing a good job reaching a wider audience and do you see us at places you expect? (COVID has made this difficult)
JS: I believe there is room for improvement here. I would expect to start seeing involvement in more conferences and events in the future.

SFC: Have you been involved with any of our member projects in the past?
JS: Only as an end user for a few of the projects. I am mostly involved in the online community for Inkscape.

SFC: What other organizations are you supporting this year?
JS: I support SFC and the EFF.

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