I’m Michał Tomasz Masłowski. I’m a freedom advocate with skills leading to an interest and activity towards software freedom.
(Many links here point to sites using SSL certificates from CAcert.org, they might show a warning in some browsers.)
I use or recommend using these operating systems containing purely free software:
- A free GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian, with very complete MIPS support. Its installer for Loongson machines being broken years ago was my reason for starting to use IRC and contributing to several different free software projects.
- A usable free Ubuntu-based distro. It has good default settings and is stable while having new enough software for most of my needs. I use it on one of my computers.
- An Arch-based distro aiming for simple design and low amount of changes from upstream projects, also adding support for MIPS. The machine hosting this file runs Parabola. (This server hosts also some release media for Parabola.)
My slow Internet access and unfriendliness of video hosting services towards free software users motivated me years ago to contribute to the TinyOgg project, resulting in refactoring some of its code into GetMediumURL and implementing some features in WatchVideo. I recommend using youtube-dl to access videos on some such sites, since their most popular interfaces need nonfree software.
Bookmarks are an important browser feature for me. They are one of the reasons why I consider only forks of Mozilla Firefox acceptable for use as a main browser. However, I’m not satisfied with their performance, user interface nor synchronization, so I wrote several bookmark managers. Forget was my first working attempt: a Python application accessing an SQLite 3 bookmarks database (with a much simpler schema than Mozilla’s Places). It got too complex, had no good user interface and no synchronization support, so I rewrote the needed features as shell and Python scripts operating on a recfile. It works mostly well with my current database of more than 10 000 bookmarks stored in a Mercurial repository.
As a fan of SQL and relational databases, I often use SQLite in my programs (or PostgreSQL if it’s big or serious enough). Contributing to GNU Recutils I’ve experienced that human-editable text databases can be more useful, like for my bookmarks database (while I initially wanted better performance than in SQLite-based browser code). During a GSOC project, I’ve also learned how to implement a btree index and gained API design experience that probably makes my newer programs easier to debug and test.
My collection of notes and unpublished texts has grown, so I started Lethe, a personal wiki Web application storing data in a DVCS repository, so I could more easily search them and synchronize between my computers. It’s designed for storing simple notes with metadata and merging histories adding unrelated notes. (It was also intended as a yet another browser bookmark manager.) It’s incomplete.
As an IB DP student, I helped my school typeset certificates of attendance for their international programmes. This project evolved into Coala, a Django Web application using a simplification of my vastly too complex LaTeX macros. It’s designed to avoid most retyping and introducing most typos and errors that I couldn’t have predicted without making them myself.
I don’t want to buy or support hardware requiring nonfree software, for that reason I helped the h-node project. I’ve implemented several changes in their client software. (This is also why I have a Lemote YeeLoong laptop and contributed to the Parabola MIPS port, while I usually use other computers. Now a Lenovo Thinkpad X60 running coreboot is one of my main computers.)
I use GNU Emacs for most of my text editing activities (including email), although I have never found a problem there motivating me to contribute.
Digital typography is one of my rarely practiced interests. I like the idea of Metafont and I have used it for some projects, although I haven’t designed any fonts worthy of publication.
This site is hosted on a Linode VPS. The server accepts most of its services via IPv6, I consider it an important technology for the idea of a free Internet with equal collaboration of peers.
I have a blog with some possibly useful articles (mostly related to software).
I support the use of cryptography to protect privacy of individuals (but not to increase control over them by methods like Digital Restrictions Management). Therefore for all emails I use GnuPG with the public key available here.
The ‘ł’ in my name is a Polish letter pronounced as /w/ (like in
English ‘word’). In TeX it is written as
@l, in Unicode it is U+0142, in XML and
ł may be used.