About

Ohai, I'm Bram, a free software hacker. Here is a list of stuff I'm doing or have been doing:

(last update 2013-12-15)

Currently

Neutrinet

I'm part of Neutrinet, a project to build an associative, non-profit, volunteer-based ISP in Belgium (more or less starting by Brussels) where I help in the general organisation, promotion and administrative part.

I've co-initiated the project and relaunched it in July of this year to change its type of organisation into a do-ocracy. We are a small, friendly team and are making good progress but the road is very long. Don't hesitate to join us, we meet every second Thursday at the 123 rue Royale around 19h30.

Neutrinet is member of Gitoyen.

Political Memory

I'm the main developer of the Political Memory. It is a tool whose purpose is to allow a NGOs (or anyone in fact) to publish the voting recommendation they have sent to elected representatives, the tool then gathers the list of elected representatives, their votes and generates a listing of how well those elected representatives have been following those voting recommendations. Example: la Quadrature du Net told the Members of the European Parliament that they should vote against ACTA because it is destroying our freedom of the Internet (and for many other reasons) and here you can get the result (no, I'm not happy by the current display).

The whole point of this tool is that if you think, for example, that la Quadrature du Net represents you interests on Internet related subjects, you can go of the Political Memory of la Quadrature du Net and see how well your elected representatives are effectively representing you. This is a very valuable information that you don't have for the moment, and that allows you to see your representatives through concrete informations that are important for you and that YOU have chosen, not through their marketing campaign or what the press is saying about them.

Of course, the objective is a wider adoption of this tool by politically involved NGOs or individuals. This is my current focus since, as of today, la Quadrature du Net is the only one to use it.

It's a tool, initially made by Gibus for la Quadrature du Net, of which I've been the main dev of the second (and current) version with a lot of awesome contributors. I'm currently focusing my effort in making this tool generic and usable by humans with the idea of seeing a wider adoption of it.

Toutatis and Compotista

As part of the Political Memory new generic version, I've written 2 tools with staz to ease this work and extract things from the Political Memory that shouldn't be in it.

Toutatis is a tool whose role is to make the matching between voting results produced by the European Parliament, which only contain the last name of the Member of the European Parliament, and a real member of the European Parliament. I'm not going into detail about this problem here, but it's way harder than it seems.

Compotista is a tool to convert the Member of the European Parliament data coming from parltrack into the representative format which we have written with stf.

NURPA

NURPA is a citizen group that defend our Fundamental Freedom of the Internet. We are active in the Belgium level and the European level.

I'm a co-founder and I'm involved in the technical and networking (with humans) level.

Baron

Baron is a project to build a lossless AST (abstract syntactic tree) for Python, the building block to easy write refactoring, code generation and code inspection tools for Python. A more detailed explanation can be found here.

The project is moving well and I'm already able to parse a not so small subset of python, but, considering the size of the task, I still have a lot to do.

UrLab

UrLab is (mostly) a student Hackerspace located in the ULB (Free University of Brussels). We organise a lot of conferences and workshops and try to focus on knowledge sharing, openness and a friendly and open atmosphere.

I'm not as present at it as I used to be, since full time employment is destroying my free time, but I've made (and continue to do) several talks and workshop at it, including (but not only):

  • a salt introduction workshop, slides
  • a presentation of haskell and erlang slides
  • an introduction to Django where I live coded a very simple blog
  • I've also made an introduction workshop to Django
  • a return of experience on using Zabbix at work

I also really enjoy finding people to do talks at UrLab. Most of the people do interesting things but won't spontaneously do a talk about it. This is also a great occasion to build bridges between communities.

I'm part of the co-initiators but this project is really a collective realisation and I'm proud of it.

❤ Belgium Hacker Agenda ❤

The ❤ Belgium Hacker Agenda ❤ started as a one weekend project on "how could I help the members of a community that I love to know and interact more" (namely, the hackerspaces community of Belgium). My answer has been to scrap the events of every hackerspace/similar organisation of Belgium (yes, scrap, except one, no one is offering a .ics ..) and centralise it in one website so that everyone can be informed of what everyone else is doing.

Since this one weekend, the project hasn't moved a lot, but I hope to be able to add filtering possibilities in it then add a lot more other sources of events in it.

Afpyro-BE

Afpryro are python lover apero (aperitif) where we meet each others and sometimes do talks. Ludo has launched the Belgium version of them and I've had the pleasure to organise one edition (with staz) and do a talk ("Les outils de debug en python et django") at another one.

FOSDEM's Python Devroom

I've accepted to give a hand to help organising the python devroom during the next FOSDEM, but to be honest I haven't done that much yet.

FOSDEM is the biggest European freesoftware developers meeting. It happens during the first weekend of February at the ULB at Brussels.

DierenTheater

DierenTheater is a tool that parses the Belgian federal Parliament (namely "la Chambre" or "de Kamer"), extracts data from it and offers them to the world via Rest API and database dumps. The hope is to see people reuse this data to build wonderful tools for citizens use.

I've made this project in django-nonrel to be able to use MongoDB as a database and I'm pretty happy about it for this kind of usage.

NosÉlus.Be

NosÉlus.Be is a new project, born at the eGov Wallonia Hackathon (where I wasn't present), that aims to give a better vision to citizens of what their MPs are doing. The current focus is written questions. They have used my data from DierenTheater.

I've recently went to a meeting with the initiator of that project and other people and I hope that we can build something beautiful together.

Regards Citoyens (nosdéputés.fr and nossénateurs.fr)

Regards Citoyens is a French initiative that aim to simplify the process of our democratic institutions. One of its most know action is the website nosdéputés.fr but it's only a part of what is being done.

I'm not that much involved in it, only giving small tip from time to time, but I really love what they are doing so I put them here to give them some advertisement.

Other

  • Le Festival des biens communs (*Common Good Festival*) is a regular meeting in Brussels around the theme of the common goods. Their current focus is the citizen re-appropriation of the Josafat fallow land (but not only). I've had the pleasure to explain how internet and the freesoftware are a good example of common goods and how they are managed.
  • OpenTechSchool Brussels is the Brussels "chapter" of OpenTechSchool initiative. I've been a coatch for the python workshops and hope to have other occasions to learn and share.
  • HSBXL is the oldest Hackerspace of Brussels where I go from time to time since they are doing cool things.

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Past

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La Quadrature du Net

La Quadrature du Net is a citizen group that defend our Fundamental rights on the Internet at the French and at the European level (and probably more). They have been very active against ACTA and many other subjects and bad law projects.

I've been helping them for more than 3 years by working in the press review team, writing script, irc bot, websites (the Political Memory, "Pas Peur d'Hadopi" with mathieui, ...), making signature statistics for the written declaration 12, finding people to help during the written declaration 12 and many other.

Software Freedom Day 2013 at the HSBXL

Software Freedom Day is a worldwide event where local freesoftware enthusiast are encouraged to make celebration events. Jurgen has been doing this at the HSBXL for some years already. This year, Sid and I joined our forces with Jurgen, and with the help of members of the HSBXL, it ended up being a very cool event.

RMLL 2013

The RMLL (LSM for Libre Software Meeting in english) is an annual freesoftware meeting that happens in France, Belgium and Switzerland. I've joined the team of the 2013 edition the first time this project nearly failed due to the resignation of one of the key members. My main contribution has been to manage the meetings since we were organizing ourselves in a do-ocratie way.

I've also made two presentations in the, very cool, Hackerspace Room, one about the Political Memory and one to relaunch Neutrinet with the help of Taziden and Bouska. I've also participated to a round table organised by Teymour for Regards Citoyens (or maybe April? Not that sure) called « Quand le libre se mêle de démocratie ».

P402

P402 is a student collaborative platform built for the ULB by a friend (he usually doesn't like being quoted online) following a post (in french) on how this kind of platform could be.

I've also contributed a bit to the code.

Seeks

Seeks used to be, for me, our best chance to have a good alternative to google search engine. The main idea was make a network that put people that do similar research together and to share this knowledge in a DHT. Sadly, its main contributor has stopped working on it and the source code in C++, written in a very "scientific" style, makes it hard for anyone to take over the project.

I've written a good part of the search engine parsers used in it. I'm still waiting (because of the lack of time for me to do it myself) for a successor project to emerge. And no, searx is not its successor, it's only an anomysing meta-search engine.

WarGod

Not that much an important thing, but since I'm still using it almost every day I'll put it here. WarGod is a very simple RSS reader that generate static html pages and that allow me to write simple xpath query to grab the content of a post.

Cercle Informatique de l'ULB

The Cercle Informatique de l'ULB is a student society in which I've been involved for many years during my studies. I've been lesson delegate, vice president, (lost at presidency) and propaganda delegate. I've spent many years doing a lot of things there, including painting some walls and serving beers at the FOSDEM.

Related to the Cercle Informatique, I've been fux for 2 years then Grand Senior for 2 years in it's guilde, the Guilde Gates (it's a student group that organises cantus).

BES

The BES, Bureau des Étudiants en Science, is a student representation organisation at the ULB. I was secretary in it for one year.

Misc

I'm also a member of April and Afpy and RAT (Régie Alternative Télécom, don't have a website yet).

I was told one day that I was supposed to be a Belgian Telecomix agent. I still don't know what this is supposed to mean.

The content of this website is versioned with git. If you want to change/improve something just send me a patch.

Feel free to contact me on brain@worlddomination.be.