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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2023 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 177, January 2023

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 177, January 2023

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jan 03, 2023 03:43 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 230,509 other activists.

Help us defend the freedom to share: Membership drive extended to January 20

From January 3

Since the start of our fundraiser, more than 260 new associate members -- and even more donors! -- have answered the call to stand strong with the FSF in support of the freedom to share. We're thrilled and grateful to have received all the donations and membership renewals that have contributed to our year-end drive. Because we are ambitious, we had a goal of 455 new members by December 31. We haven't achieved our membership goal yet, but since we've seen a strong show of support in the latter half of our appeal we're extending the date to join, receive all the benefits of membership, and still receive one of this year's snazzy and secure webcam covers we're offering, to January 20. If you are able, please consider joining by that date to help us reach our goal.


  • A message from FSF president Geoff Knauth: Your FSF membership will help us build a stronger future for software freedom
  • IDAD 2022: Celebrating the freedom to share with a new advocacy video
  • Sharing is at the core of the free software community
  • Surprise your loved ones with an FSF membership gift
  • Amin Bandali: Why it's fun to participate in LibrePlanet
  • Join the FSF and support the tech team
  • Fall "Bulletin": Fully shareable, fully lovable
  • New York breaks the right to repair bill as it’s signed into law
  • New persistent memory support in GNU AWK 5.2
  • December GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM 2022
  • December GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Seventeen new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here:

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Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at

Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll to the end to read the Supporter in French and Spanish.

A message from FSF president Geoff Knauth: Your FSF membership will help us build a stronger future for software freedom

From December 30

FSF president Geoffrey Knauth composed a powerful message to all who value freedom in which he reflects upon the FSF's role in protecting every individuals' rights as they are "enshrined in the four freedoms," as Geoff eloquently puts it. The message sets a solemn and urgent tone for the new year, while reminding of us the powerful contribution each one of us can make to the free software movement.

IDAD 2022: Celebrating the freedom to share with a new advocacy video

From December 27

In our sixteenth annual International Day Against DRM (IDAD), we stood up for the freedom to share cultural works, continuing our fight against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) by documenting interviews with passersby about their thoughts on digital sharing. Our interview with Muhammad marks the first of this small series. We'll be publishing others to our social media accounts and PeerTube channel in the form of a playlist, and naturally, they're free for you to download, modify and share for use in your own anti-DRM advocacy. We'll release more interviews in the coming weeks, building forward momentum in the fight against DRM.

Sharing is at the core of the free software community

From December 23

In a highly personal article, FSF program manager Miriam Bastian shares why she thinks the freedom to share is important. She reflects upon her first liberating steps up the freedom ladder, her work and experience in academia and how sharing freely is necessary for research, and her reasons why safeguarding software freedom from mega-corporations who try hard to limit what people can do by way of DRM is so important.

Surprise your loved ones with an FSF membership gift

From December 22

Joining the FSF as an associate member is one of the best ways to bring your friends and loved ones into the free software community. For a full year, they'll be welcomed into the FSF community's collective push towards freedom, and your support will allow us to keep on spreading the free software message all year round -- as well as for years to come. Plus, your gift of a membership will count towards our fundraising goal of 455 new members, helping us start this year off right financially.

Amin Bandali: Why it's fun to participate in LibrePlanet

From December 13

Earlier in the month, we shared a blog post from Amin Bandali in which Amin explains why he loves speaking at, volunteering for, and participating in the annual FSF LibrePlanet conference. Besides being an FSF volunteer, Amin wears several hats around the GNU Project, including as a GNU maintainer, Webmaster, Savannah hacker/admin, and assistant GNUisance. Amin is also a core organizer of EmacsConf, the conference about the joy of GNU Emacs and Emacs Lisp. In short, Amin is a tireless free software activist, and we are very proud that he's also a member of the LibrePlanet committee.

Join the FSF and support the tech team

From December 7

FSF tech team member Michael McMahon discusses the team's year-round jobs and responsibilities, how they do their work in freedom, and how their progress helps to support and strengthen the freedom of the free software community. In doing this work, the tech team operates sixty-three different services, platforms, and Web sites for the FSF staff, the GNU Project, community projects, and the wider free software community. The FSF maintains infrastructure which includes Web sites, streaming infrastructure, NetHack and Minetest games, collaboration tools for members, and more.

Fall "Bulletin": Fully shareable, fully lovable

From December 6

We published the 2022 Fall Free Software Foundation Bulletin. Read about how to protect your privacy, a reflection on this year's GNU Hackers' Meeting, what's new in Trisquel 11, and more! As the seasons change, and those in the Northern Hemisphere prepare for the cold of winter, we continue our annual cadence of software freedom advocacy. Sent from the FSF's cozy Boston office, the physical printed pamphlets have been mailed out to supporters around the world, and issue forty-one of the FSF Bulletin is now also available online!

New York breaks the right to repair bill as it’s signed into law

From December 28 by Cameron Faulkner

On December 28, 2022, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed the Digital Fair Repair Act, and the law will go into effect on July 1, 2023. In some ways, this is a historic development in the right to repair movement. However, it passed with a last-minute amendment that allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to opt to sell assemblies of parts, which are typically more expensive and less efficient, instead of individual components. The bill also won't require OEMs to provide "passwords, security codes, or materials" to bypass security features, which is sometimes necessary to save a locked, but otherwise functional device. We continue to follow and support the work of right to repair advocates around the world as true right to repair must have software freedom at its core.

New persistent memory support in GNU AWK 5.2

From December 15 by Terrence Kelly

GNU AWK (gawk) 5.2 now supports transparent persistent memory: gawk can "remember" script-defined variables and functions in a persistent heap, which can be re-used by the same script that created it or passed to an unrelated script. Persistent memory makes scripting easier and sometimes improves performance dramatically. No special hardware or software is required to use persistent memory gawk.

The persistent memory gawk User Manual is available here:

A general-purpose, malloc-compatible persistent memory allocator made persistent memory gawk possible. This allocator is intended to facilitate retrofitting persistence onto a wide range of software. A description of the allocator is here:

A talk describing the research prototype of persistent memory gawk is here:

December GNU Emacs news

From December 26 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: Emacs lorem ipsum, "Why use EShell?," unlimited ASCII boxes, and more!

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and exciting free software projects.

To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, January 6 from 12pm to 3pm EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM 2022

Every month on the LibrePlanet wiki, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting Day Against DRM 2022, which provides information about DRM-free living and celebrating the freedom to share. Although the event has ended, the conversation has not. You are invited to adopt, spread, and improve this important resource, including interviewing your community about their thoughts on sharing.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

December GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Seventeen new GNU releases!

Seventeen new GNU releases in the last month (as of December 27, 2022):

For a full list with descriptions, please see:

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list:

To download: nearly all GNU software is available most reliably from Optionally, you may find faster download speeds at a mirror located geographically closer to you by choosing from the list of mirrors published at, or using to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month, we welcome Bruno Haible as the new maintainer of GNU libffcall. Bruno is a long-time GNU maintainer and developer with a long list of contributions to many GNU packages. Welcome again, Bruno, and many thanks for all of your work!

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, 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

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see

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

FSF and other free software events

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, and we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have donated $500 or more in the last month.

This month, a big Thank GNU to:

  • Alessandro Vesely
  • Boone Gorges
  • Charlie Ebert
  • Dave Chapman
  • David Ignat
  • David Lecompte
  • Demo Agoris
  • Devin Horvay
  • Dock Williams
  • Donald Craig
  • Emin Martinian
  • Fumitoshi Ukai
  • Haru Kaneko
  • Hideki Igarashi
  • Inouye Satoru
  • Jared Flatow
  • Jean-Francois Blavier
  • John Gilmore
  • Kyle McCormick
  • Laurie van Someren
  • Marcus Pemer
  • Mark Boenke
  • McManus Family Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation
  • Michael Lewis
  • Michael Stroucken
  • Morten Lind
  • Nicodemus Paradiso
  • Nicolas Avrutin
  • Paul Cassella
  • Pedro Brito
  • Peter Kunze
  • Portia Jones
  • Robek Dirstein
  • Rogers-Tanner Family Fund
  • Shashank Sabniveesu
  • Stephen Longfield
  • Steve Tuyizere
  • Steve Wickert
  • Thomas Hahn
  • Thomas Saglio
  • Tobias Platen
  • Uday Kale
  • Walker Holahan
  • William Hill Jr.

You can add your name to this list by donating at

GNU copyright contributions

Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:

  • Arsen Arsenović (Texinfo, GNU Coreutils)
  • Artem Kovalov (GNU Emacs)
  • Ilya Yurievich Chernyshov (GNU Emacs)
  • Matt Trzcinski (GNU Emacs)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aqui:

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici:

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Take action with the FSF!

Contributions from thousands of individual associate 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 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 campaigns section and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management, free software adoption, OpenDocument, and more.

Do you read and write Portuguese and English? The FSF is looking for translators for the Free Software Supporter. Please send an email to with your interest and a list of your experience and qualifications.

Copyright © 2023 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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