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You are here: Home Blogs RMS September 2013 - Saint-Denis, France - GNU 30th celebration at Paris VIII

September 2013 - Saint-Denis, France - GNU 30th celebration at Paris VIII

by Jeanne Rasata Contributions Published on Oct 03, 2013 12:03 PM

In addition to speaking at MIT for the FSF-organized event, RMS was the guest of honor at the Paris VIII university celebration of the GNU Project's 30th anniversary, on September 21, in Saint-Denis. The festivities were organized by April, a foundation whose history prominently features the GNU Project and one that is known for being the staunchest defender and promoter of free software in France.

RMS gave his speech "The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System", which was both preceded and followed by "Hacking GNU" workshops. Led by Luca Saiu and Sylvain, both long-time GNU contributors, these workshops were held in in "le bocal" (i.e. "the jar"), the university's computer science lab, where April's founders had studied in the '90s.

In the morning, Luca showed how easy and enjoyable it can be to program in Emacs Lisp, demonstrating how the complete source code (which was only 15 lines long) of a simple facility he implemented over flyspell mode added the possibility of easily switching from one language to another. Sylvain showed people how to spare themselves a lot of work and hassle through the use Autoconf and Automake. In the afternoon, they both focused on what the roles of the maintainers of a GNU package are, how work developer teams are organized, GNU standards, tools, etc. There was also a workshop to introduce the youngest computer users and their parents to programming through Scratch 1.4, a free software education tool.

During the party later, which featured homemade cake, made-to-order crêpes, and custom-made T-shirts which immediately sold out, which immediately sold out, April executive director Frédéric Couchet presented RMS with a box of chocolate pralines and a 3D marzipan gnu specially commissioned for the occasion from Leysieffer, RMS's favorite chocolate company.

(Photos number 1 through 19, courtesy of David Lapetina; photos number 20 through 30, courtesy of Frédéric Couchet; photos number 31 through 60 courtesy of Jeanne Rasata.)

Please send any pictures you might have of a GNU 30th celebration you might have attended to

See for a full list of all of RMS's confirmed engagements. Please contact if you'd like him to come speak, or fill out our contact form, if you would like us to inform you about future events in and around Biot and Paris, both of which RMS visited while he was in France, on his last trip.

Thank you to Frédéric Couchet and all Aprilians for helping make this event possible.!

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