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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2009 April


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:16 PM

Issue 13, April 2009

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 18153 other activists.

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  • Version 2.2 of gNewSense released
  • FSF releases audio recording of LibrePlanet conference
  • Winners of the annual free software awards announced!
  • Help spring the Javascript Trap
  • European Elections and the Free Software Pact
  • Can you help the Open Graphics Project?
  • Nintendo DSi: Defective by DESiGN
  • Join Amazon authors' "drmfree" effort
  • Introduction to the GNU/Linux command line
  • The Digital Tipping Point: A free film made with free tools
  • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Version 2.2 of gNewSense released

This release features the return of 3D acceleration -- as free software. The gNewSense project today announced version 2.2 of its free GNU/Linux distribution. This is the second point update to the release codenamed 'deltah'.

We're especially excited to see that, as a result of the cooperation between SGI and the FSF to relicense the core 3D library code as free software, today's release re-introduces GLX. This means that hardware acceleration is enabled by default, so applications like Compiz and 3D games will work again.

FSF releases audio recording of LibrePlanet conference

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today released the complete audio recordings from the first day of the LibrePlanet GNU/Linux conference, held on March 21, 2009, in Cambridge, MA.

Winners of the annual free software awards announced!

Creative Commons was honored with the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, and Wietse Venema was honored with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software.

Presenting the awards was FSF founder and president Richard Stallman.

Help spring the Javascript Trap

On Saturday, March 21, during the LibrePlanet conference, FSF president Richard Stallman announced a plan of action for addressing the problem of non-free Javascript, Flash and Silverlight programs. He highlighted the danger posed to user freedom by the way these nontrivial programs are silently run in browsers with no opportunity for users to view or modify unobfuscated source code.

European Elections and the Free Software Pact

Free Software advocacy associations April (France/Belgium) and Associazione per il software libero (Italy) have launched a joint campaign aimed at the European Parliament elections in early June. The campaign invites citizens to ask candidates to sign the Free Software Pact.

Can you help the Open Graphics Project?

It's a big project and there are many different ways to help, but the immediate need is for someone to clean up the text on their wiki, both to improve the organization of the information there and to make sure that the language used represents the project goals accurately by emphasizing free software values rather than just open source development.

Nintendo DSi: Defective by DESiGN

In November, Nintendo released the DSi console in Japan. Next month, the rest of the world will be hit by this console. Similar to the previous Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles, the DSi has two screens and the ability to access WiFi networks. However, in an effort to heavily control what gamers can do with their consoles, Nintendo has chosen to encumber this new version with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM).

Join Amazon authors' "drmfree" effort

DefectiveByDesign activists have been tireless in finding and labeling DRM-infected products on Amazon with tags like "defectivebydesign" and "drm". There's another new tag to watch for when you're shopping, "drmfree". The use of the tag is obvious but the story behind it is important -- it's being applied and promoted by authors who want to advertise the fact that they don't like Digital Restrictions Management and don't want it applied to their works.

Introduction to the GNU/Linux command line

This manual was initially written at LibrePlanet, the GNU/Linux conference hosted at the Harvard Science Center, Cambridge, MA, on March 21, 22 2009. LibrePlanet was sponsored by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and organized into three tracks, free software activism, freedom for network services, and high priority free software projects.

Copies of the manual can be ordered online for $20.

The Digital Tipping Point: Free film made with free tools

Christian Einfeldt is producing a documentary movie called the Digital Tipping Point about how free software is changing global culture. He is releasing all of his footage under a free license, and is inviting participants to grab the video and use it to tell stories about how free software has changed their lives. He also wants the film to be produced using only free software tools.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

Here are the recent GNU software releases:

bash-3.2.48 coreutils-7.2 dico-2.0 freeipmi-0.7.7 global-5.7.5 glpk-4.37 gnuspool-1.5 gsasl-1.1 gv-3.6.7 libgsasl-1.1 libiconv-1.13 libidn-1.14 libmicrohttpd-0.4.1 m4-1.4.13 octave-3.0.5 sipwitch-0.5.3 solfege-3.14.1 zile-2.3.6

See the packages' announcements, web pages ( or the distributions themselves for details. Nearly all are available from, or preferably one of its mirrors (

To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list (, which is publicly archived (

I'd like to give a warm welcome to Chris Bryant, redubbed maintainer of vmslib, and Troy Will, the new maintainer of stow.

For this issue of the FSS, I'd like to especially point out GNU gv, a PS/PDF previewer that works as a front end to Ghostscript. It has a long history, starting with Tim Theisen's Ghostview (almost contemporaneous with Ghostscript itself), and continuing under the name gv with much additional work by Johannes Plass. It has been rejuvenated by its new (as of last year) maintainer Markus Steinborn, who has released several updates and continues active work. See for downloads, documentation, and the usual information.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at To submit new packages to GNU, see

As always, please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events

  • Free Software in Ethics and in Practice

    San Antonio, TX, 2009-04-20

  • GNU General Public License: What We've Changed in Version 3 and Why

       Austin, TX, 2009-04-23
  • Copyright vs. Community

       Austin, TX, 2009-04-24
  • The Ultimate Emacs Course

       Ourense, Spain, 2009-04-27

Take action with the FSF

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at If you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:

I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers ( From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section ( and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


Copyright © 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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