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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2023 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 186, October 2023

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 186, October 2023

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Oct 03, 2023 10:48 AM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 231,914 other activists. That's twenty-four more than last month!

Thumbnail image of call for sessions.

Call for sessions for LibrePlanet 2024: Cultivating Community now open

From September 5

The call for sessions for LibrePlanet 2024: Cultivating Community, the sixteenth edition of the FSF's conference on ethical technology and user freedom, is open.

Submit your session today and join us for fun talks about free software, as well as discussions and workshops. We look forward to reading your session proposals. Also, if you need help with your session proposal, or if you would like to just socialize, please come meet with us in our LibrePlanet hour on IRC.

Submissions are being accepted through Wednesday, October 25, 12:00 EDT (16:00 UTC).


  • FSF celebrates forty years of GNU with a hackday for families, hackers, and hackers-to-be
  • Free Software Awards: Nominate those who inspire you by Nov 21
  • Forty years of GNU and the free software movement
  • FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant
  • An audacious plan to halt the Internet's enshittification by Cory Doctorow at DEF CON 31
  • French translation of the manifesto "Free children from the digital stranglehold!"
  • September GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Introduction to the Command Line
  • September GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Twelve 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!

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

FSF celebrates forty years of GNU with a hackday for families, hackers, and hackers-to-be

From September 27

On September 27, 1983, Richard M. Stallman announced the development of the GNU operating system and thereby initiated the global free software movement. Today, the GNU operating system is entirely composed of free software, i.e. it gives the user the freedom to use, study, modify, and share it. GNU, usually combined with the kernel Linux, enables millions of people everyday around the world -- including entire governments -- to operate their computers in freedom.

In honor of this milestone, celebrations were held in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland on September 27 and at the FSF's headquarters in Boston, MA, USA on October 1. We encourage you to read about our history as well as to check out and share #GNU40 tagged microblog posts.

Free Software Awards: Nominate those who inspire you by Nov 21

From September 26

There's no better way to show a member of the free software community that you appreciate their efforts to cultivate the free software movement than by nominating them to the Free Software Awards. Whether you're a deeply entrenched member of that community yourself or a newcomer to the movement, you can take the time today to show that you appreciate one particular member or project's commitment to the ideals of software freedom. By nominating someone, you send the message that you appreciate their vital work.

Nominate someone today. The deadline for nominations is November 21 at 23:59 EST (04:59 UTC).

Forty years of GNU and the free software movement

From September 18

On September 27 in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, and again on October 1 in Boston, MA, USA, the FSF celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the GNU operating system and the launch of the free software movement. Free software advocates, tinkerers, and hackers all over the world celebrated at these events, which marked an important milestone in the history of computing. Forty years later, GNU and free software are even more relevant. Photos and videos from this special GNU Hackers' Meeting in Switzerland are now available on the GNU website.

FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant

From September 11

The FSF, a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

This is a great opportunity for a team-oriented self-starter who thrives on multitasking, is calm under pressure, has an eye for detail, and wants to make a difference.

An audacious plan to halt the Internet's enshittification by Cory Doctorow at DEF CON 31

From September 15

Cory Doctorow recently gave a keynote at DEF CON 31 that touched upon many topics pertinent to software freedom. In this talk, he details the trajectory of typical proprietary platforms: "First, platforms are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die." He offers solutions, such as requiring interoperability and standards-based designs, which would at least allow for people to leave proprietary platforms for free platforms while maintaining communication with the same people (similar to how a person may switch their phone services from one carrier to another). We found the talk to be persuasive and insightful, and wanted to share it with you.

French translation of the manifesto "Free children from the digital stranglehold!"

Ongoing petition by Educode

Late last month, we received word about a French translation of the manifesto "Free children from the digital stranglehold!"

Of these documents, which advocate for free software in the classroom, Educode tells us the following:

The manifesto was produced by Educode, an association based in Belgium. While the draft manifesto is indeed strongly inspired by the Dutch [initiative**], as it is essentially based on a French translation of the Dutch manifesto, it is totally independent of it.

The campaign to promote and collect signatures for the French version is scheduled to run throughout the coming school year, i.e. the 23-24 academic year.

And while the Dutch petition closes on 2023-10-02, the French petition has not yet set a closing date. But it is certain to remain open until at least July 2024. One of the aims is to appeal to the new Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, which will be set up following the legislative elections held in Belgium in June 2024.

As there are also plans to extend the campaign more widely at [the] European level, with a new English translation of the manifesto and petition, and even in other languages if we succeed in federating forces around it, yes, any help in promoting support for this French-language manifesto and petition among European citizens is most welcome.

We encourage you to read up on this promising initiative, and participate in the petition if you agree with their views.

September GNU Emacs news

From September 25 September by Sacha Chua

In these issues: Beginner learning resources for Emacs, analyzing your time in Org Mode, prettifying LaTeX Buffers, 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, October 6 from 12:00 to 15:00 EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Introduction to the Command Line

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 Introduction to the Command Line reverse-engineered sources and other references, which provides an online reference to this popular book, reverse-engineered source files, and work towards a second edition. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.

Note: As of this writing, we are unable to locate the source files for this valuable resource. Although we were able to reverse engineer the sources from the EPUB version into various formats, we would like to have a copy of the original sources. If anyone has a copy, please send it to We have already reached out to various people, including the project maintainers.

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

September GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Twelve new GNU releases!

Twelve new GNU releases in the last month (as of September 29, 2023):

For a full list with descriptions, please see:

Also, the GNU Boot maintainers have published its first release candidate, and are calling for help for testing, initially from folks who could recover from computers that don't boot anymore. If you have the needed skills for rescuing your system from a non-booting state and want to help test the GNU Boot release candidate please see the for the announcement and for the downloads.

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 you may use to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

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

September 27 this year marked the fortieth anniversary of Richard Stallman's initial announcement of the plan to develop the GNU operating system to give users freedom in their computing. There was a special GNU Hackers' Meeting on September 27 in Switzerland, featuring presentations about various GNU packages, hacking, and free software and its critical importance in our societies now and going into the future. The video recordings and presentation slides are available from

Finally, I regret to report we learned that Thien-Thi Nguyen (ttn) died in October 2022. Thien-Thi was a hacker, artist, writer, and long-time maintainer and contributor to many GNU programs as well as other free software packages. He was the GNU maintainer of the rcs, guile-sdl, alive, and superopt packages, and he was working on GNU Go as well. Thien-Thi especially loved GNU Emacs, GNU Taler, and GNU Go: he was the author and maintainer of the gnugo, ascii-art-to-unicode, and xpm GNU Emacs packages, and made substantial contributions to many others such as vc, as well as to GNU Taler and its documentation.

We greatly miss Thien-Thi in the free software community -- his death is a great loss to the Free World. This edition of GNU Spotlight is dedicated to the memory of Thien-Thi.

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:

  • Christina Howell
  • Hideki IGARASHI

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:

  • Arne Babenhauserheide (GNU Guile)
  • David Fussner (GNU AUCTeX, GNU Emacs)
  • Gavin Downard (GNU Emacs)
  • Jeffrey Phillips (GNU Emacs)
  • Paul Nelson (GNU AUCTeX, 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

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

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui:

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em português, clique aqui:{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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