GNU and FSF News for April 2007

Posted 6 Apr 2007 at 16:21 UTC by robogato Share This

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

Free Software Foundation Awards for 2006 Announced

In late March, the FSF announced the winners of the two annual FSF awards. Sahana won the 2006 FSF Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Sahana is an entirely volunteer effort to create software for managing large-scale relief efforts, it was "created in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, to compensate for the devastating consequences of a government attempt to manually manage the process of locating victims, distributing aid and coordinating volunteers." Sahana narrowly beat out OLPC and Project Gutenberg this year. Previous winners include Wikipedia.

The 2006 Award for the Advancement of Free Software went to Theodore Ts'o, project leader of Kerberos and contributor to the Linux kernel. Ts'o has also worked on the ONC RPC project, and developed key utilities that are part of the E2fs project. Previous winners include Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall, Alan Cox, and other well-known members of the FOSS community.


According to the GCC home page, "All m68k targets now support ColdFire processors and offer the choice between ColdFire and non-ColdFire libraries at configure time. There have been several other significant changes to the m68k and ColdFire support. This work was contributed by Nathan Sidwell of CodeSourcery and others." This will come as good news to many embedded developers including robot builders, among whom gcc m68k targets are heavily used.


As expected, GNOME 2.18 was released on schedule. Early reviews indicate it shows good incremental improvement but no major suprises. For more details see the GNOME 2.18 release notes or grab a copy of the GNOME Live CD to try it out. See the GNOME roadmap for general information on what to expect from future releases.

The GNOME Foundation has retained the legal services of the nonprofit Software Freedom Law Center.

GUADEC 2007 Update

The 8th annual GNOME Users and Developers European Conference (GUADEC) is coming up 15-21st July 2007 in Birmingham, England. The latest new on the conference can be found on the GUADEC News page.

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 place 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."

Where's RMS This Month?

Richard Stallman will be making several appearances this month including College Park, MD, St. Louis, MO, Marlboro, VT, and Baltimore, MD. Most of the talks are open to the public and will be on the usual topics of free software, the free software movement, and copyright.

GNU General Public License version 3

The third draft of the new and improved version of the most widely used free software license has been released along with a detailed guide. This is the "last call" draft and the final license will likely look very similar. The good news is that the latest round of changes is being met with more agreement from people who have had serious issues with the first two drafts. Even Linus Torvalds seems to be warming up to the latest draft. CNET quoted Torvalds as saying, "I'm much happier with many parts of it. I think much of it reads better, and some of the worst horrors have been removed entirely."

Thanks again for doing this, posted 6 Apr 2007 at 21:47 UTC by atai » (Journeyer)

Much appreciated.

Thanks and a request, posted 7 Apr 2007 at 11:08 UTC by garym » (Master)

Ditto on the thanks, but also a request: your lead paragraph doesn't tell us much when it pops up in our aggregators -- could you open with a headline summary and maybe put your "about" blurb as a footer on the posting? tia.

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

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