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.
GNU GCC News
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
GNU General Public License version 3
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."