PRESS: FSF calls for community participation to help update High Priority Free Software Projects list
The High Priority Free Software Projects (HPP) initiative draws attention to areas of development and specific projects of strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users. The HPP list helps guide volunteers, developers, funders, and companies to projects where their skills and resources can be utilized, whether they be in coding, graphic design, writing, financial contributions, or activism.
Longtime committee member Benjamin Mako Hill said previously that an "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." As computing is more ubiquitous than ever, the HPP list reflects ongoing changes in priorities for the free software movement.
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.
The previous update to the list was based on feedback from more than 150 free software community members who, according to executive director of the FSF, John Sullivan, are best equipped to "know about free software pain points. We want to hear from people what the areas are where they feel heavily pressured, or even required to use proprietary software, as well as about problems they see on the horizon as technology develops." More information about the kinds of projects that are relevant to the HPP list can be found through the FSF Web site. A new committee has been assembled to review, edit, and publish an updated version of the list. This committee is looking for feedback from members of the free software community focused on a wide range of topics and problems that may be relevant to the HPP list.
Committee chair Sean O'Brien, founder of Yale Privacy Lab, the PrivacySafe appliance, and the GNU Health Embedded effort, said about the relaunch of the High Priority Projects list, "In the past year, we've seen the tremendous value of digital work, communication, and infrastructure during times of crisis. The High Priority Projects list sends a strong message that free software is paramount in all aspects of our lives, helping us to not only respond in emergencies but to build a free and functional society."
FSF program manager Zoë Kooyman added, "The HPP list has enormous potential, and it's important to get feedback from the community so it reflects the current state of free software. The HPP list provides focus to projects and developers, as well as to supporters looking to fund free software projects. Free software is the only answer to respecting users in the increasingly digital environment we all live and work in, and the HPP list can help guide software's continued path to freedom."
The FSF encourages community members to send in their suggestions and ideas about the list for the committee to review by January 8, 2021. Based on the feedback received, the current projects included in the list, and the committee's own contributions, a substantially revised list and an analysis will be published before a lively discussion at the LibrePlanet 2021 conference.
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 https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.
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