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Computing is changing -- so is the FSF's High Priority Projects List

by Georgia Young Contributions Published on Jan 17, 2017 11:25 AM
In response to the changing computing landscape, and with extensive input from the free software community, the Free Software Foundation updated its High Priority Free Software Projects (HPP) list with six new project areas that need your support.

We want a world in which all computer users can do everything they need to do on any computer using exclusively free software. To achieve that mission, we need to make sure that free software fulfills users needs, and we also need to grow the free software community by making it, and the software it creates, welcoming and accessible to all. Until those needs are met, we will use the HPP list to mobilize people and resources to support those projects and to improve the workings of the movement itself.

In 2014, a committee of free software activists with expertise in areas including security, copyleft, design, and development assembled to revise the HPP list. They spent a year soliciting feedback from the free software community about projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users. Today, we share their conclusions regarding what free software initiatives can change the world.

Check out the updated list, which encompasses software projects, advancements in free software-compatible hardware, and efforts to expand and deepen the inclusivity of the free software community. Read a full explanation of the committee's work, which several committee members expanded on at last year's LibrePlanet conference. We are also introducing a changelog that makes it easier to track revisions to the list.

The HPP list offers up some meaty challenges for the free software community, and has seen success since its launch in 2005. The first version of the list included only four projects, three of them related to Java. Eighteen months later, Sun began to free Java users.

While the FSF does not ask to run or control these projects, we seek to use our position and visibility in the community to help bring them beneficial help and attention, including directly supporting development for some.

You can help these projects move forward!

  • If you're a developer, consider contributing code to one of these projects.
  • Or help with their documentation or community organizing.
  • If you have money, make financial donations to them.
  • Everyone can help publicize these recommendations so that these projects get the attention they need.
  • And feedback on the HPP list, including suggestions for future revisions, is always welcome at hpp-feedback@gnu.org.

In the coming months, we'll be taking a closer look at each priority and highlighting more specific ways in which the community can help. We're eager to celebrate work that advances the aims of the HPP list, so let's get started!

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