Issue 18, September 2009
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 24172 other activists.
Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your web site.
Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at http://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.
Multilingual? Send translations of the Supporter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Software Freedom Day
- Windows 7 Sins campaign launches
- FSF to host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software
- FSF files objection to Google Book Search settlement
- Farewell from Sarah
- We're looking for a few good programs
- Working with Ogg Theora and the video tag
- Osama Khalid is the first GNU Generation member of the month
- FSF updates list of free GNU/Linux distributions, adding Kongoni and announcing the Trisquel 3.0 release
- GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
- Take action with the FSF!
Software Freedom Day is September 19th
Please visit http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams to see what's going on in your area, or if you're in the Boston area, join staff from the Free Software Foundation in Chinatown for a day of fun and freedom.
We'll even feed you.
Windows 7 Sins campaign launches
The Free Software Foundation has launched its "Windows 7 Sins" campaign, making the case against Microsoft and other proprietary software companies, such as Apple and Adobe.
The campaign outlines seven major areas where proprietary software in general and Microsoft Windows in particular hurt all computer users: invading privacy, poisoning education, locking users in, abusing standards, leveraging monopolistic behavior, enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and threatening user security.
FSF will host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software
The Free Software Foundation will host a mini-summit on Women in Free Software to discuss how the free software community can cultivate and increase participation by women in free software's development and activism communities.
FSF files object to Google Book Search settlement
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has filed an objection in court to the proposed Google Book Search settlement. The objection urges the court to reject the proposed settlement unless it incorporates terms that better address the needs of authors using free licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License, and does not provide special competitive advantages to Google.
Farewell from Sarah
I had a wonderful time working at the Free Software Foundation this summer, but it is time for me to return to Hampshire College as my internship comes to a close. It was great working closely with the FSF staff and I have learned a great deal. I spent the majority of my time working on LibrePlanet and defectivebydesign.org.
We're looking for a few good programs
Chances are, if you spend any time hacking, new code is always a useful thing. Well, we're here to help you out. For those of you who don't know, the Free Software Directory is updated almost daily with fresh new code just for you.
What's missing from the Directory? Do you have some fantastic new free project you've been working on that should be in the Directory but isn't? Have you been too shy to send us something but just need that final push to submit it? Well, here's your chance.
Working with Ogg Theora and the video tag
Ogg Theora is becoming a big deal, and that's exactly what we hoped for when we launched the PlayOgg campaign in May 2007. The free, patent-unencumbered video codec now works in over 24% of the world's web browsers with no plugins required. The latest 1.1 release of the Theora encoder is coming out any day now. And when it does, the huge improvements in quality and functionality made over the past year with support from Wikimedia and others will percolate out into the major GNU/Linux distributions, arriving at the fingertips of those who build and maintain the world's biggest video sites.
Osama Khalid is the first GNU Generation member of the month
Congratulations to Osama Khalid (OsamaK) for being selected as the first ever GNU Generation member of the month! Osama speaks Arabic natively, and has been using this gift to help the free software community. He worked with projects including KDE and VLC this past month to translate popular applications into Arabic. As a FSF/GNU translator, he also recently translated Holmes Wilson's blog post on Ogg Theora.
FSF updates list of free GNU/Linux distributions, adding Kongoni and announcing the Trisquel 3.0 release
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced updates related to its list of fully free GNU/Linux distributions, including the addition of one new distribution called Kongoni, and a milestone release of the Trisquel system. Trisquel, which was added to the list last December, has issued its 3.0 release, codenamed "Dwyn." It is the first in a new series of short term support releases that will be updated every six months with new software to add features, improved performance, and hardware compatibility.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
Here are the recent GNU software releases:
acct-6.5.1 ccscript-4.1.2 ccscript3-1.1.7 coreutils-7.5 freeipmi-0.7.12 gengen-1.4 gsl-1.13 libsigsegv-2.7 libunistring-0.9.1.1 moe-1.3 mtools-4.0.11 reftex-4.34 sipwitch-0.5.7 vc-dwim-1.2 xboard-4.4.0 zile-2.3.10
I'd like to specially note the first new release of acct (the GNU package for the standard accounting utilities) in many years. Thanks to the new maintainer, Markus Gothe, for reviving this.
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html).
I'd like to give a warm welcome to Prasad Pandit, author of newly-dubbed packaged pem. Also, thanks once again to to Jim Meyering, already maintainer of GNU coreutils and many other packages, nowjoining in on GNU gzip.
Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to GNU, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.
As always, please feel free to write to me, email@example.com, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
2009-09-17 | The Free Software Movement -- Richard Stallman will speak about the Free Software Movement, which campaigns for freedom so that computer users can cooperate to control their own computing activities. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, often erroneously referred to as Linux, specifically to establish these freedoms.
2009-09-19 | Software Freedom Day 2009 -- Please join the Free Software Foundation as part of an international day celebrating software freedom. We'll be one of the many groups around the world hosting an event that day.
Take action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.fsf.org/join. 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! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://www.fsf.org/volunteer). 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 (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) 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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.