Friday, October 10, 2014

WHAT IS THE "QUAKER CLOUD," FOR 15TH ST MM IN 2014?

Dear Friends,

Our meeting has a website.

Imagine the website is a door, like in Harry Potter.


That door opens to an antechamber, with doors linking to many places. One of those links will lead to the Quaker Cloud.


In the cloud we will put, simply, the documentation of our meeting's governance.


From anywhere connected to the internet, we can conveniently access the latest versions, and older versions, of our key governance documents. This has many advantages.

First and most importantly, it enables our institutional memory. It is (will become) a common and always-accessible repository of our historical documents, and we can routinely back-up its new content through Swarthmore.

Second, the accessibility of the records will help us live and work as a community. It lets us leverage principles of Open Governance to help us achieve spiritual unity.

Putting documentation of our governance into the Cloud opens it to our members. A meeting cannot truly find unity where most of its members lack access to information. Poorly-informed friends cannot discern well, and are left to defer to well-informed Friends. The Spirit-Led nature of our community is sustained by our common knowledge of the issues facing us, and limited by a lack thereof.

This is already easy for the minutes of our Monthly Meeting. We have been posting them online for years,

and I have been emailing a link to a folder of the most recent years' newsletters to the community for the past year.

It is somewhat different for private governance documents like the minutes of our Pastoral Care Committee, Ministry & Worship, Nominating, Property, etc. These committees' works include records that should not be made available to the general public. But, the Quaker Cloud is designed to support precisely this kind of combined privacy-and-convenience. How?


The solution, designed by FGC, has a feeling of simplicity. Public Meeting documents are accessible for any visitor to the Main Quaker Cloud page.

For the protected content, you can login to the cloud with your email address and a password. Without registration and vetting by the Administrator(s) there is no access.

When you login, FGC's computer server recognizes you, and remembers which committees you are on. It provides you access to the content you have permissions to see.

Each committee gets a Quaker Cloud "group," which is basically like a blog, which is a very simple webpage. Making a post to a blog (or "group") basically feels the same as sending an email. Then, instead of the content popping up in the recipient's email, it pops up as a webpage on the group-page within the Quaker Cloud website.

So then, when you log-in to the Quaker Cloud, you will see the list of only the groups you have access to. Some of the groups' content you have view-only access to, and some you can edit, depending on your current committee membership.

And that's it! And now it's time for... gratuitous Quaker dancing!




Baby Shower for Iranzi Elisa in 2011. Parents Etienne Harerimana and Damange Chantal, members of Gisenyi Evangelical Friends Church, are pictured.

Better Informed Community = Better Unity = Better Fellowship and Ministry.

Cheers,
-Steven

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crunchbang forum contribution! Kingsoft WPS

Installed (Kingsoft) WPS Office Suite on my Crunchbang Linux OS. The first time I installed something where I contributed to a forum showing how I did it.

Screenshot from WPS spreadsheets:


EDIT: I subsequently found the dialog box that enables the feature I needed in LibreOffice. So now I don't need Kingsoft WPS anymore for now.




Link to my post on the #! forums.