GNU and FSF News

Posted 6 Feb 2007 at 22:18 UTC (updated 5 Mar 2007 at 01:35 UTC) by robogato Share This

This is the first in what will hopefully be monthly summaries of news from the Free Software Foundation and GNU project. This summary has been distilled down from press releases, blogs, email lists, and website news pages. The idea is to provide a concise summary of the latest FSF/GNU news for those who don't have the time or interest to find and read all the original news sources within that community.

Software Libre 3.0 - Free Software World Conference

The third annual Free Software World Conference will be held in Badajoz, Spain on 7-9 February.

"The Manuel Rojas Congress Centre in Badajoz, will hold the celebration of the III Free Software World Conference, from February, 7th to 9th, 2007 under the motto “A Challenge for Imagination”. Its shared organization between the Regional Government of Extremadura and Andalucía is based on the collaborative agreement for the development and the promotion of Free Software and the collaboration of Technologies sector businesses".


The GNU GCC developers have made a lot of improvements and fixes to GCC's new Fortran frontend. Programmers at Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. have contributed a GCC port for the Synergistic Processor Unit (SPU) for the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (BEA). Diego Novillo of Red Hat has contributed Memory SSA, a new mechanism that improves compile-times and memory utilization of the compiler. Kaveh Ghazi has integrated the GCC middle-end with the MPFR library, allowing more effective compile-time optimization. Andrew Haley and Tom Tromey merged gcj-eclipse, bringing a new generics-enabled version of Classpath and new tools that will appear in GCC 4.3.


The GNOME Foundation has elected their new board of directors:

Quim Gil
Dave Neary
Jeff Waugh
Glynn Foster
Vincent Untz
Anne Østergaard
Behdad Esfahbod

The GNOME 2.17.90 development release is out and marks the start of the UI freeze. To find out what's new, see the release notes for the platform, desktop, admin, and bindings. The next stable release will be GNOME 2.18.0, scheduled for March of 2007. The release team has announced the module decisions for 2.18.0.

GNOME developer Murray Cumming wrote an amusing blog entry recently titled Dealing with Zealots in Open Source Communities. He points out the most common species of FOSS zealots and offers some good advice on how all of us zealots can get along with each other to reach common goals. Gnome developer John Stowers recently posted his thoughts on the advantages of a Metadata-enabled GNOME. Iago Torai posted some interesting screenshots from GNOME buildbot's new integrated unit tests.

FSF High Priority Free Software Projects

The Free Software Foundation maintains a list of what they believe are the highest priority projects at any given time. If you're looking for something fun to work on or just want to make the world a better place, this is a good way to start.

"There is a vital need to draw the free software community's attention to the ongoing development work on these particular projects. These projects are important because computer users are continually being seduced into using non-free software, because there is no adequate free replacement. Please support these projects."

FSF Calls for Support of Public Access to Scientific Works in EU

The Free Software Foundation is asking for your help to encourage the EU to improve public access to scientific works by a signing a petition.

"In the wake of the publication of the report from the “EU Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe” a consortium of organizations working in the scholarly communication arena is sponsoring a petition to the European Commission to demonstrate support for Open Access and for the recommendations in the report. Signatures may be added on behalf of individuals or institutions."

FSF Asks for Support of Bill Xu's Campaign Opposing Proprietary Banking Requirements in China

"Because the China Merchants Bank online banking service uses the ActiveX proprietary software, it excludes free software users from using its service. Bill Xu launched a campaign to oppose this, The FSF supports this campaign, and is asking free software users to join in. The campaign's URL is: (Chinese language)"

FSF Supporters Share Their WOW Moments with Microsoft in NYC

In a recent open letter to computer users, Bill Gates asked, "as we prepare to launch Windows Vista...I'd like to invite you to share your wow moments with us." The Free Software Foundation took him up on his invitation. As part of the FSF's Bad Vista campaign, free software supporters joined the high-profile launch events for Vista in Grand Central Station and Times Square in New York. What is the "wow moment" experienced by Free Software supporters? "The realization that Vista imposes restrictions we simply won't accept on freedoms we value." Photos of the FSF event can be found the latest Bad Vista blog posting. The event was also covered by BoingBoing and engadget. Additional photos can be found on flickr

Where's RMS This Month?

Richard Stallman is in Badajoz, Spain for the Free Software World Conference and will be speaking on 7 February, 2007 at the Badajoz Congress Centre. The speech will be in Spanish and is open to the public.

GNU General Public License version 3

The new and improved version of the most widely used free software license is expected to take effect in March 2007. Among the features everyone agrees on are better compatibility with international copyright laws and compatibility with a wider range of FOSS licenses such as the Apache Public License and Eclipse license. Other provisions, particularly those that protect user's freedoms from hardware DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) are more controversial.

GNU project software (gcc, make, glibc, coreutils, etc) will switch to the new license immediately but there are still some significant holdouts in the larger FOSS community such as MySQL and the Linux kernel. Rumour has it that Sun will use the GPL3 for OpenSolaris and Java but they deny the final decision has been made yet.


If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please post them below

If you're wondering..., posted 6 Feb 2007 at 22:27 UTC by robogato » (Master)

If you're wondering what this article is and why I posted it, please see my related blog post.

Now THIS is FOSS Journalism, posted 7 Feb 2007 at 01:13 UTC by garym » (Master)

A thousand thanks for this. Free of hype, just the facts, tight on focus clear to the point; bravo. there is intelligent life out there after all!

No existing FOSS journals even come close to covering any of this news, and no robot-minded feed aggregator could ever replace this summary you've done, and I'll be watching my advogato for your future GNU/FSF revues.

Great Idea!, posted 7 Feb 2007 at 02:13 UTC by mako » (Master)

Please do follow through and post these once a month or so. This is a great idea and may really serve to breath life into Advogato in a new and great way.

Agreed!, posted 7 Feb 2007 at 17:01 UTC by joolean » (Journeyer)

This is great.

Thank you, posted 7 Feb 2007 at 18:42 UTC by atai » (Journeyer)

This is a great service, especially being made available in this site. Now advogato is more essential for free software than ever.

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