Software Freedom Day is September 20th
Please visit http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams
to see what's going on
in your area, or if you're in the Boston area, join staff from the
Free Software Foundation in Chinatown for a day of fun and freedom.
We'll even feed you.
Happy Birthday to GNU
The GNU operating system is turning 25 this year, and the Free
Software Foundation (FSF) has kicked off its month-long celebration of
the anniversary by releasing "Happy Birthday to GNU," a short film
featuring the English humorist, actor, novelist and filmmaker Stephen
Fry. In the five-minute film, Fry compares the free software operating
system to "good science" and contrasts it with the "kind of tyranny"
imposed by the proprietary software.
"Stephen has generously donated his time to the cause of free
software. His ability to communicate a technological and philosophical
movement in terms of the basic principles of sharing and user freedom
-- ideas that everyone can understand -- will introduce a new and
broader audience to the benefits of free software," said Matt Lee, an
FSF campaigns manager and writer/producer of the film.
You can view the film online, and download a copy (and share it!) at:
You can keep up to date with all your favorite GNU projects, via their
individual RSS news feeds, but if you'd prefer to see a wider view, be
sure to check out the new GNU Planet.
Based on the Planet software http://www.planetplanet.org/, Planet
sites typically collect the various weblogs of individuals from a
particular project or community. In this case GNU Planet aggregates
the news feeds of the over 300 GNU software projects. And as GNU heads
into its next 25 years, GNU Planet will provide more transparency to
the work of the GNU project, and make it easier for non-geeks to see
what's going on.
gNewSense 2.1 released, new homepage
gNewSense, the free-as-in-freedom distribution of GNU/Linux
recommended by Stephen Fry in the film, Happy Birthday to GNU, has
released version 2.1. In this version, updates released since the 2.0
release have been incorporated.
The release has been marked with a new homepage for the project, which
aims to make the website easier for new users visiting the site from the
Spring 2008 Bulletin available online
The Sprint 2008 bulletin from the Free Software Foundation is now
online. The printed bulletin is sent to all FSF Associate Members
twice a year http://www.fsf.org/join.
In this issue, find out about the GNU 25th anniversary, The Wikipedia
naming controversy, efforts to move to using hardware which supports
free software, information about our new jobs site, plus an update on
our End Software Patents campaign, plus an interview with the author of
GNUnited Nations, Yavor Doganov.
Submit your nominations for the 2008 Free Software Awards
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project announce the
requests for nominations for the 11th annual Free Software Awards.
The FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software is presented
annually by FSF President Richard Stallman to a person who has made a
great contribution to the progress and development of free software,
through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.
Nominations are also open for the 2008 Award for Projects of Social
Benefit. The Social Benefit award recognizes a project that
intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration
to accomplish an important social task.
On the savannah, where the gnu roam...
There are many services that will host your project's source code,
mailing lists and bug trackers. While very few of these services
charge for their services, most of them are built on proprietary
software. Worse, some of them have started adding adverts for
proprietary software in their mailing lists, or refusing projects
with certain free software licenses.
So, what's the alternative? One real alternative that exists today is
Savannah. Savannah is a community project, providing code hosting for
your free software project, and Savannah is free software and has no
advertising, so your project will not be associated with proprietary
software at all.
DRM down under
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's Federal
Government-funded public broadcaster, and has responsibilities under
the ABC Act 1983 to provide services to the Australian people.
The new ABC Shop has recently launched, with downloads of TV programs
made available -- but only to Windows users willing to install Digital
Restrictions Management (DRM) software on their computers.
Free Hexen and Heretic!
After several years of trying, members of the Doom community have
succeeded in getting the source code to Heretic and its sequel, Hexen
to be re-released as free software under the GNU General Public
License. Now these games, like Doom, can be freely ported to other
Doom has already been ported to the Neo FreeRunner.
Thanks to everyone in the community for their on-going efforts to see
these games released as free software, and thanks to Raven Software
for finally doing the right thing.
Malaysian Government Dept switches to OpenDocument
The OpenDocument format (ODF) is a format for electronic office
documents, such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and
word-processing documents. The OpenDocument format is supported by
free software applications such as OpenOffice.org, AbiWord and
The Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning
Unit (MAMPU) has announced that the agency will be migrating to
OpenOffice.org office suite as well as adopt the OpenDocument Format
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
Notable GNU releases for August 2008 include the new package gnuspool,
an advanced printer spooling system, comparable to CUPS but with several
unique features. It was offered to GNU by its original author and
maintainer, John Collins.
Another notable release is the first version of GNU FreeDink, a portable
and enhanced version of the Dink Smallwood game engine.
The complete list:
ballandpaddle-0.7.1 ccrtp-1.6.2 commoncpp2-1.6.3 ed-1.0
freedink-1.08.20080828 gcc-4.3.2 glpk-4.30 gmp-4.2.3
gnujump-1.0.5 gnuradio-3.1.3 gnurobots-1.2.0 gnuspool-1.0
hyperbole-5.0.3 libidn-1.10 libsigsegv-2.6 libtasn1-1.3
moe-1.0 nano-2.1.4 octave-3.0.2 screen-4.0.3
sipwitch-0.3.2 smalltalk-3.0.4 swbis-0.986 teseq-1.0.0
ucommon-1.9.9 which-2.20 zile-2.2.61
See the packages' announcements, web pages
(http://www.gnu.org/software/PKGNAME) or the distributions themselves
for details. Nearly all are available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or
preferably one of its mirrors: http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html.
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu
mailing list (http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu),
publicly archived (http://lists.gnu.org/pipermail/info-gnu).
Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers.
Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint
like to help. To submit new packages to GNU, see
Please feel free to write to me, email@example.com,
with any GNUish
questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF speeches
Take Action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's
work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.fsf.org/join. If
you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some
rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email
I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers
From rabble-rousing to hacking, from
issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for
everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section
and take action on software patents,
DRM, Vista, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
To ensure you're getting all our campaigns updates, please make sure
you're subscribed to the following mailing lists and RSS feeds:
Copyright © 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted
worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice is