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
GNU GCC News
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:
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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: http://www.billxu.com/friend/rms/an.open.letter.to.cmb.html.
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
Additional photos can be found
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