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The Free Software Directory needs you! IRC meetups every Friday

by Dana Morgenstein Contributions Published on Apr 23, 2019 12:09 PM

The Free Software Directory is an essential catalog of free software online. The Directory is maintained by countless volunteers dedicated to the promotion of software that respects your personal liberty. As with any group composed of volunteers, the informal Directory team has people who come and go, and right now, it could really use some fresh new members to kick our efforts into high gear.

Tens of thousands of people visit the Directory every month to discover free software and explore information about version control, documentation, and licensing. All of this information is also exported in machine-readable formats, making it a valuable source of data for the study of trends in free software. The Directory is powered by MediaWiki, the same software used by Wikipedia.

A few statistics on what our team and our amazing volunteers have achieved in the last few months and years:

  • The Directory passed 16,000 entries last summer, and is now up to 16,176 total entries.

  • The Official Backlog of the Directory has been improved to better track active and archived bugs.

  • The migration to using the SPDX license identifiers for the Directory is currently underway.

  • In 2018, the Directory received 962,847 unique visitors, with 1,671,047 total visits and 15,129,307 page views. So far in 2019, the directory averaged 79,859 unique visitors a month.

  • The Directory currently has 3,093 registered users.

There are also several larger projects that are in need of new leaders. We organize these projects via our Project Teams. If one of those projects sounds interesting, or if you have another idea about improving the Directory, we would love for you to join us.

Adding and maintaining entries to the Directory is crucial work to give people access to free software which has only free dependencies and runs on a free OS. Every Friday at 12:00-15:00 EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC), volunteers meet on IRC in the #fsf channel on to add new entries, update existing ones, and talk about free software together (to see the meeting start time in your time zone, run this in GNU bash: date --date='TZ="America/New_York" 12:00 this Fri').

If you can't wait or don't have the time to jump onto IRC on Friday afternoons, you can still help: check out the Free Software Directory Participation Guide for instructions.

No matter how you participate, improving the Free Software Directory is an easy, nuts-and-bolts way to make a contribution to the free software movement, bringing us a tinier step every day to a truly free society. We look forward to seeing you on IRC!

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