In this month's update, the FSF tries to block a patent-encumbered
standard from slipping through the IETF, the FSF Europe reports on the
latest court decisions in the Microsoft case, and the FSF India meets
with their government to coordinate the promotion of free software.
Meanwhile, the SFLC vs Monsoon GPL lawsuit has been
dismissed after Monsoon agreed to generous terms with the BusyBox
developers. GCC and the Hurd both
make incremental progress this month and there's a new GNOME roadmap
full of things you can look forward to in GNOME 2.22 and 2.24.
FSF Expresses Opposition to TLS-authz "experimental" standard
The Free Software Foundation issued a press
release describing the steps they'd taken to oppose the TLS-authz
"experimental" standard, which was under consideration by the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF). TLS-authz
was originally being considered as an official standard until a company
called RedPhone Security disclosed that they had
applied for a patent which would have to be licensed by anyone wishing
to use TLS-authz. This resulted in TLS-authz being rejected as a
standard since it could not be freely used nor could it be support by
any free software. However, there were efforts to keep the standard
alive as an IETF "experimental" standard. The FSF as well as others
oppose this because any widespread adoption of the technology would be
bad news for free software use. The FSF is also calling on programmers
not to support TLS-authz. All support for TLS-authz has been removed
There's a new
FSF Europe newsletter out. It mentions that the European courts have
upheld the European Commission demands that Microsoft cease obstructing
interoperability of its products and cease bundling certain products.
The newsletter also includes stories on problems at WIPO and FSFE
activity at OpenExpo in Switzerland. There were also links to YouTube
videos of a meeting between Chilean Minister of Economy Alejandro
Ferreiro and FSFE president Georg Greve about the economics of Free
part one, video
A FSF India delegation met with the
Union Minister for Information Technology and the secretary of the
Ministry of IT in New Delhi on 18 October. The government officials
indicated they were committed to supporting open standards and would
work with the FSF India. They also talked about several existing FOSS
projects in India.
FSF India is also supporting the Save Kannada Campaign
that opposes Microsoft's plan to proprietize Government software in
Karnataka as well as converting schools and offices to Microsoft
Palamida's GPLv3 Information
site showed 1051 projects have reported making the switch to GPLv3
so far. Meanwhile, there was good news from the Software Freedom Law Center.
They have jointly announced with Monsoon Multimedia that an agreement
has been reached and the GPL enforcement lawsuit filed on behalf of the
BusyBox developers has been dismissed. The plaintiffs agreed to
reinstate Monsoon Multimedia's rights to distribute BusyBox. In exchange
Monsoon Multimedia agreed to a few things too, including:
"Monsoon Multimedia has agreed to appoint an Open Source Compliance
Officer within its organization to monitor and ensure GPL compliance, to
publish the source code for the version of BusyBox it previously
distributed on its Web site, and to undertake substantial efforts to
notify previous recipients of BusyBox from Monsoon Multimedia of their
rights to the software under the GPL. The settlement also includes an
undisclosed amount of financial consideration paid by Monsoon Multimedia
to the plaintiffs."
dedicated to Linus Torvalds was presented on the bug-hurd
mailing list. It fixes a locking issue that could cause the file system
to hang under certain conditions. The problem was revealed by the git
testsuite, prompting the dedication. With the patch, git now compiles on
Hurd-based systems. There were further tweaks to the new IPv6 support
this month as well as minor makefile improvements to make the Hurd
easier to compile on older versions of GCC. There was some discussion
earlier in the month on the gnu-system-discuss
list of whether sub-hurds could be used in place of chroot.
How you can help: The number of developers working on the Hurd
and GNU Mach continues to be small and they could use your help. Check in
on the #hurd IRC channel or
mailing list. There should be no trouble finding interesting things
to work on.
GNU GCC News
The release of GCC 4.3.0 is slowly approaching as developers smash
the last few bugs. As of the last status report, there were 36 P1 bugs,
115 P2 bugs, and 33 P3 bugs. The new release branch is created when the
bug count drops below 100. While a total of 184 bugs sounds like a lot,
it shouldn't really take too long according to Mark Mitchell:
"Based on previous experience, the 33 P3s will probably turn out to be
about 2 P1s and 10 P2s. So, 184 is a slight overstatement ... if we
each fix a bug a day, we'd been done sometime next week. So, there
shouldn't be that far to go."
How you can help:
if you're interested in working on compiler
development, visit the Contributing to GCC
find out how you can help with development of the GNU GCC
The GNOME Roadmap
document has been updated to show the plans for GNOME 2.22 and GNOME
2.24. Lots of interesting improvements to existing programs. There is
also a list of new programs that may be added to GNOME including the
Anjuta DevStudio IDE, the Vinagre VNC client, the GtkGLExt OpenGL
extensions to GTK+, and others.
How you can help: GNOME needs your help. In addition to
programmers, the GNOME team also needs people to assist with testing,
translation, accessibility, documentation, website maintenance,
graphics, and marketing. To find out what you can do and how to get
started, visit the Join GNOME
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?
RMS will be speaking in Sonora Mexico on the 8th and 9th of November.
He moves on to Mexico City on the 12th. From there he travels to Foz do
Iguacu, Brazil where he'll give a talk at Usina de ITAIPU on the 14th.
His next stop is Granada, Spain on the 17th. Then back to Brazil on the
20th where he'll be speaking at Hotel Fiesta Bahia in Salvador de Bahia.
The next day he'll be speaking in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Finally, he'll
speak in Cuenca, Ecuador on 26 November. For details and updates see the
FSF upcoming events page.
This monthly news summary about the Free Software Foundation and GNU
project was 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. This is a news summary about the FSF but it is not produced by
or associated with the FSF in any way.
I'm looking for a volunteer to take over writing this news summary each
month. It's a minimal amount of work, taking no more than a few hours per