From: Wojtek, Sidnet | To: Gentoo Linux + Marcin Sztrubel (Avalon Foundation beneficiary)

Is "geek" the first thing on your mind after hearing the word "programmer"? Well… in many cases, you probably would not be wrong to think that way. It would appear that in our team, the role of the most highly devoted technological zealot is played by Wojtek Siewierski, also known as Vifon. It is solely because of him that our company project management system, Redmine, is now known as Nerdmine. Thanks to his special toolbox, Vifon is always prepared to handle any and all technological emergencies and his PC with heavily customised settings would most likely prove practically unusable to anyone besides him, and him alone.

Which open source and non-profit projects will we support in May thanks to Wojtek’s choices?

Gentoo Linux

Gentoo is one of the most flexible Linux distributions. It is a blast for experienced and demanding users who like to constantly tinker with their operating systems and adjust every single detail to their personal preferences. Thanks to the specific nature of Gentoo (which is based on source code instead of binary packages), many functions can be automated. As such, Wojtek does not have to manually correct and modify the software provided to him by the system. This tedious and time-consuming process is now a thing of the past.

The core element of Gentoo is its package manager called Portage. It allows the user to customise practically any aspect of the programs and libraries that they ...

From: Leszek, Sidnet | To: Mozilla + A Piece of Heaven Foundation

In the Sidnet team, several key factions exist: macOS supporters, Linux lovers and Windows fans – and all of them are equally ready to fight for the honour of their beloved operating system. One of the representatives of the latter camp is Leszek Kalota, who chose projects to support this month. Even the biggest advocate of Windows, used to working with proprietary applications, still appreciates the value of open source software. Check who will receive our financial support in April thanks to Leszek.

Mozilla

The creator of the web browser, Firefox, which Leszek uses in his everyday work. Mozilla puts a lot of emphasis on the fight against rampant disinformation plaguing the Internet. In addition, it promotes digital skills and strives to maintain a high level of online discussions.Currently, Mozilla is developing the first browser specifically designed for software developers. Firefox Developer Edition is currently in the testing phase and it includes functions like:
  • a CSS Grid, which allows the user to visualize the grid, display associated area names or preview transformations,
  • a graphics editor, thanks to which the user is able to fine-tune animations, alignment and padding,
  • a Web Audio editor, which allows the user to work with the Web Audio API.

"The tools created by Mozilla are designed for the benefit of Internet users, not to make a profit. This is why they have my respect and why I have been using their products, that is, the Firefox ...

From: Tadzik, Sidnet | To: Matrix + SOS Children's Villages

We have our own way of celebrating the Ides of March. As such, on the day of this mid-March feast instead of honouring the god of war, we chose to celebrate our own private heroes. After all, we do that every month. This time, we will support open source projects and charities selected by Tadeusz Sośnierz, an experienced Perl programmer.

Matrix

Matrix is an open standard used in online communication. One of the apps based on this standard is Riot, through which our team can maintain contact, despite being largely scattered around. Unlike popular messenger apps, Matrix does not try to force people to use its own, specific network. Instead, it aims to connect already existing communication networks with one another. Thanks to this solution, it will not be necessary for us to install numerous apps and create several accounts to stay in touch with our friends.

It is a perfect choice for people who want to break out of “the matrix”, that is, the part of the Internet which is governed by big tech corporations and not the users themselves. “The Internet is constantly centralising. It is becoming increasingly focused around major global companies that consider Internet users to be products, not customers. Matrix is one of the projects that bring back a bit of the Internet’s former splendour” - says our programmer.

“In addition to that, Matrix also places great emphasis on the resistance of the network to ...

From: Jakub, Sidnet | To: Django + Warsaw Hospice for Children

Every team has a member who sees the world in slightly darker tones than the rest. In our team, this honorable duty is fulfilled by Jakub, but this does not stop him from investing in our initiative aimed at supporting those in need. See whose day is going to be brighter, thanks to Jakub Opara:

Django

The most popular framework for building web applications in Python. It is used by Mozilla, Disqus and Instagram, among others. Django was created nearly 15 years ago as an internal project for the editorial department of the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper. It grew to become a well-known project and is currently developed by the Django Software Foundation.

“Django works well for the purposes of our internal projects. It allows us to quickly create web applications and new tools to facilitate our work. We used Django to create several handy utilities, such as a team schedule planner, specifically tailored to our needs”, says Jakub.

Warsaw Hospice for Children

A foundation that aims to promote palliative care for terminally ill children, provided at their homes. Thanks to this model the young patients are not required to stay in the hospital permanently, but instead may return home, where they are visited by hospice employees. Since 1994 the Foundation has focused on improving the quality of life of the children, as well as providing support to their families.

“The Foundation does not make promises to extend the life or ...

From: Krzysztof, Sidnet | To: Debian + Hug a Cat Foundation

We don't need any New Year’s resolutions to do something good – helping those in need has become a habit of ours. Just like every month, we are donating to a selected open source project and charity organisation. This time, it was our programmer Krzysztof Skarbek’s turn to choose.

Debian

Linux kernel-based, independently-developed operating system.
  • Acclaimed. It has existed for more than 25 years and has been continually developed by contributors across the globe.
  • Stable. This makes it the go-to choice for many other Linux distributions, including the most popular among them – Ubuntu.
  • Free. True to the open-source creed since its inception. The base system is 100% composed of free software.
“Debian is an example of free software, and I don’t mean its price here – it’s about freedom. Its users can modify it to suit their needs without any copyright infringements”, says Krzysztof.

Fundacja Przytul Kota (Hug a Cat Foundation)

This foundation knows that not every cat always falls on its feet. It takes abandoned animals into its care, treating and feeding them, as well as organising real and virtual adoptions and fundraisers. Cats awaiting new owners can find a temporary home in the Foundation’s Purrery, and sometimes also in the volunteers’ private homes.

“It is evident that the volunteers are doing their all. They handle engaging everyday communication via Facebook, publish monthly financial reports and organise events. All this without looking to profit, based ...

From: Jędrzej, Sidnet | To: Privacy Badger + Unwanted and Forgotten

Helping somehow feels easier in December than in all the other months… as long as we can find the time between chasing shopping deals and gorging ourselves on Christmas treats. We take helping others seriously, which is why we could not miss the opportunity to once again donate funds to those in need. This month’s open source project and foundation were chosen by another first-timer – Jędrzej Przybyszewski, one of our programmers.

Privacy Badger

A browser add-on which filters network traffic and blocks elements which may be malicious. While add-ons such as AdBlock prevent certain pages and their elements from being displayed, Privacy Badger blocks unwanted tracking mechanisms:
  • cookies which store data such as page language or preferred products in online stores, and which are used to compile visitor statistics
  • referrer headers which contain information on how the user found the site
  • ETag tracking – which is abused by certain websites to track user activity even after disabling cookies
„Users being spied on by websites is nothing new. This kind of monitoring is sometimes beneficial – it results in products and services which better match our needs. However, I am not a fan of sharing all information with every website, which is why I really like Privacy Badger,” says Jędrzej.

Niechciane i Zapomniane (Unwanted and Forgotten)

A non-profit organisation which has been combating animal homelessness for 12 years. It seeks new homes for abandoned animals, promotes their microchipping and registration, as well ...

From: Piotr, Sidnet | To: WinSCP + “To see a brother in others”

Our way to get through November? Instead of firing up the stove, by warmly giving something to others: helping the needy and those who develop open source projects - often at the expense of their own time. This is the first time that supported ventures are chosen by our programmer Piotr Zieliński.

WinSCP

Graphical SFTP client for Windows with useful features such as:

  • support for the portable version,
  • file synchronization,
  • multiple sessions running at the same time.

For Piotr, this solution is useful in his everyday work. “It allows me to very quickly preview the contents of files (e.g. environment files) located on servers. Thanks to synchronization, I can open the file in a text editor and edit it without having to manually move it between the local computer and the server”, our programmer said.

W człowieku widzieć brata (To see a brother in others)

The organization has been working for more than 10 years for the benefit of lonely, disabled, homeless, sick, elderly people and those who for other reasons cannot cope with everyday life. It provides equal opportunities for children and youths. The foundation is also a partner of the Pajacyk program, under which it gives meals to children in schools in Łódź.
“The name of the foundation aptly reflects the essence of its activity - supporting those who have found themselves in a difficult situation and who are threatened with social exclusion”, said Piotr.

From: Filip, Sidnet | To: Brave.com and "Prima" Foundation

If you are a member of the Sidnet team, we leave you no choice but to support those who need it. This time it was our programmer Filip Sergot's turn to select valuable projects. Although the creators of Brave, his favourite browser, refuse to accept donations, we still chose to describe this particular initiative. Labradors from the Prima Foundation - you lucky dogs! As a result of this unusual turn of events, you are going to receive a double donation this month ;-)

Brave.com

It is a browser created to give more guts to the most aware of the Internet users.

It effectively counters the fear related to online privacy:

  • It blocks the ads and scripts, preventing the associated data collection,
  • It simplifies the cookies control,
  • It makes use of secure connection when possible (automatically selecting the HTTPS protocol).

“Brave is a response to the growing concerns related to collection of user data implemented by major companies, such as Google or Facebook. It is quick and it also grows quickly - with new, very usable functions being added continuously. My favourite capability is the tab preview function” - Filip said.

"Prima" Labrador Retriever Rescue Foundation

This organization focuses on fighting the detrimental stereotypes related to careless ownership of a Labrador dog. It offers effective assistance for the dogs, especially for the Labrador retrievers.

The Foundation has a special place in my heart. I had a Labrador once, but at the very young ...

Monthly Donations: Antispam Bee and Flawiusz Obrusiewicz

It's September already, and although none of us have to pack our bags every morning to go to school, we still miss the holidays that have just passed. However nostalgic we may be, we haven't forgotten about the support we lend to open source projects and others in need. This month, it's the first time for Kamil Wiśniewski to choose our beneficiaries. He is the brave (and, so far, the only) representative of our team residing in Lublin.

Kamil chose Antispam Bee, a free WordPress plugin which, as the name would suggest, serves to combat the bothering issue of comment spam. He used this plugin for his own purposes, and was very satisfied, given its efficiency. Seeing that we have some projects planned that will make use of WordPress, it's very likely we'll have the opportunity to try out this plugin too. For the time being, we wish to send our regards to the plugin's authors and congratulate them on the project!

The other beneficiary this month is Flawiusz Obrusiewicz, a man from Lublin who is undergoing difficult physical rehabilitation following a case of cerebral oedema. Our support for Flawiusz will be provided through Fundacja Pomocy Dzieciom i Osobom Chorym "Kawałek Nieba" ("A Piece of Heaven" Foundation for Children and Ill People). We sincerely hope for the best for Flawiusz and his family, and we especially hope that he finds the strength and perseverance ...

Monthly Donations: the Perl Foundation and the Rescue Haven

Every month we support one open source project and one charity, and August is no different. This time, the selection of the recipients was made by Michał Wojciechowski, the founder of our company, who also initiated this tradition over six years ago.

Michał decided to support the Perl Foundation. Perl is a programming language with a long history, and although it had fallen a bit behind in terms of popularity in recent years, we still find it very effective and use it for many projects, both internally and when building solutions for our clients. Our donation is to support the development of the language, its ecosystem and community.

We also help the Rescue Haven, an animal rescue centre which provides shelter for animals that have suffered from human cruelty and neglect. This organization is of special meaning to us, as we originally supported it in May 2012, when we made our very first donations, therefore beginning the monthly initiative.

We wish all the best to everyone in the Perl Foundation and the Rescue Haven!

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