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You are here: Home FSF News FSF announces a major overhaul of free software High Priority Projects List

FSF announces a major overhaul of free software High Priority Projects List

by Georgia Young Contributions Published on Jan 17, 2017 09:44 AM
Boston, Massachusetts, USA – Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced a major update to its High Priority Free Software Projects (HPP) list.

The HPP list highlights projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users. A committee of free software activists, assembled in 2014, spent a year soliciting feedback from the free software community for the latest revision of the list.

"As the technological landscape has shifted over the last decade since the first version of the list was published, threats to users' freedom to use their computers on their own terms have changed enormously," said Benjamin Mako Hill, who is part of the High Priority Projects committee and also a member of the FSF's board of directors. "The updated High Priority Projects list is a description of the most important threats, and most critical opportunities, that free software faces in the modern computing landscape."

Launched in 2005, the first version of the HPP list contained only four projects, three of them related to Java. Eighteen months later, Sun began to free Java users.

While the FSF does not ask to run or control projects on the HPP list, it uses its position and visibility in the community to help bring them beneficial help and attention, including directly supporting development for some.

"We've seen the High Priority Projects List guide contributors and funding to important free software projects," said FSF executive director John Sullivan. "We are committed to making the list more active than it has been in the past, by drawing on the immense expertise in the free software community. I hope others will support us, both financially and with their input, so that this can become a sort of annual strategic plan for advancing computer user freedom."

The latest revision of the list includes nine project areas, encompassing software projects, advancements in free software-compatible hardware, and efforts to expand and deepen the inclusivity of the free software community. Also, there is now a changelog to document revisions to the list. The committee published a full explanation of its work in March, and several members of the committee shared its findings at last year's LibrePlanet conference.

The committee includes ginger coons, Máirín Duffy, Matthew Garrett, Benjamin Mako Hill, Mike Linksvayer, Lydia Pintscher, Karen Sandler, Seth Schoen, and Stefano Zacchiroli. Feedback on the HPP list, including suggestions for future revisions, is welcome at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software – particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants – and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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