issue of the FSF Europe newsletter is out. Topics include
Mythbusting MS-OOXML; First Swedish Fellowship meeting held in
Gothenburg; Free Software on Exit festival 2007, Novi Sad, Serbia;
Freedom in the hills: the Bergtagung; GNU GPL licence confirmed once
again in a court of law; Submit Free Software projects to the Trophées
du Libre; Ongoing work of spreading GNU GPLv3 understanding; and Tell a
friend about the Fellowship, share this newsletter.
GPL Version 3 Progress
Migration to the GPLv3 continues at a steady pace. Palamida's GPLv3 Information site
showed 534 total GPLv3 packages as of August, up from 300 in July.
Microsoft and the Free Software Foundation continue to disagree about
about the GPLv3. In the latest round, the Free Software Foundation clarified why
Microsoft could not exempt itself from the requirements of the
GPLv3. To summarize:
Microsoft cannot by any act of anticipatory repudiation divest itself of
its obligation to respect others' copyrights. If Microsoft distributes
our works licensed under GPLv3, or pays others to distribute them on its
behalf, it is bound to do so under the terms of that license. It may
not do so under any other terms; it cannot declare itself exempt from
the requirements of GPLv3.
The FSF has published a blog
entry in response to a whitepaper that appeared on the web recently
suggesting that hypervisors could circumvent GPLv3's anti-tivoization
clause. It's pointed out that no "circumvention" is needed because the
GPLv3 doesn't require that users have permission to modify all
software on the device, only code covered by the GPLv3. So there are
several ways a device using GPLv3 code could be tivoized and
virtualization is one of them. The anti-tivoization terms in the GPLv3
simply aren't as broad as the hype in the press has suggested.
Gnash 0.8.1 released
A new alpha release of Gnash, the GNU Flash
player is out. This release adds a new garbage collector that reduces
runtime memory requirements, a more robust parser, improved key event
handling, build support for KDE as well as GNOME, and other
improvements. The Gnash plugin should work with Firefox or any other
Mozilla browser. The desktop player now works on GNOME and KDE. For all
the details on this new version, see the
GNU Grub Appears in Marvel Comic
Millan spotted the GNU bootloader, GNU Grub, in issue #4 of
the Marvel comic book, Mighty Avengers. Grub
appears on a computer display inside a missle facility in Lithuania.
Apparently Grub's large red ACCESS DENIED banner only appears when
someone is stealing your launch codes.
Thomas Schwinge has set up a new and improved Hurd Wiki. This contains all sorts
of useful information and hopefully even more will be added over time.
Development of the Hurd has a long and complicated history. Hopefully
this can be explained in the wiki in a way that will help new
programmers know how things got where they are and where things need to
go in the future. This month on the hurd-devel list
there there was discussion about switching from CVS to SVN. Other
possibilities such as git, Monotone, darcs, and arch were also
discussed. No decision was reached. Discussion on the l4-hurd list
centered on the merits of various types of memory address space
management systems on a multi-server microkernel. A group in India has donated
an installer for the Hurd.
Discussion on the gnu-system-discuss
list, was mostly about the lack of any clear plan for either the
Hurd or the GNU OS as a whole. Many posters complained that they wanted
to work on something but it was unclear which version of the Hurd to
work on, the gnumach Hurd, the L4 Hurd, Hurd-NG (aka NG-Hurd), the
Coyotos microkernel, or something else. Several thought contributing any
work was futile until there was a clear chain of command and a roadmap
that explained the goals and a plan to achieve them. Others wondered why
the Linux kernel couldn't be used since it's available and free already.
RMS was a frequent poster as were several of the Herd developers. I got
so engrossed in the discussion, I even posted my
own proposal. Let's hope the discussion is an indicator of increased
interest and new activity in the Hurd project.
GNU GCC News
No new GCC releases yet but 4.3.0
is under development. The GCC 4.3 series will include a lot of new features and
optimizer improvements. This release will include the MPFR library that will provide
various math optimizations and improvements. There will
also be a new forward propagation pass on RTL that will result in
improved compile-time and better code generation. Lots of other good
stuff is coming but there's still a lot of work to do according to the
report. If you're interested in this sort of thing, they could use your help.
No major GNOME news this month but several interesting minor
developments. Wouter Bolsterlee has released a new
version of the GNOME Speciment font viewer. Claudio Saavedra has
uploaded some more GUADEC
2007 photos. The Google Summer of Code blog posted an entry
about the GNOME's accomplishments, linking to some other summaries
of the 2007 GNOME SoC results.
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 at several locations in California in the coming
days. He'll speak on September 10 at Stanford about the purpose of the
GNU Public License and why version 3 does the job better. Then, on
September 11 at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, about the FSF and the GNU GPL.
Later the same day, he will speak at San Jose State University about the
goals and philosophy of the Free Software Foundation. The
next day, September 12, he'll speak at Berkeley on copyright and the
community. Then, on September 13 he'll be at the
University of San Francisco talking about the free software movement.
After California, you may spot RMS in Italy where, on September 24 at
the University of Pavia, he'll be talking about the free software
movement and the GNU operating system. Details of his apearances can
always be found on the FSF list of upcoming RMS
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. I'm also looking for a volunteer to take over writing this
news summary each month.