Planet GNU

Aggregation of development blogs from the GNU Project

October 24, 2014

FSF Blogs

A victory for free software over the "Microsoft tax"

The Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) issued a judgment1 that bans the "Microsoft tax," a commercial practice that discourages users from converting their PCs to GNU/Linux or other free operating systems by forcing them to pay for a Windows license with their PCs. PC producers in Italy now cannot refuse to refund the price of the license to purchasers that will not run Windows.

The ruling definitively concludes the case filed in 2005 against a hardware producer by Marco Pieraccioli,2 with the support of the Consumer Association ADUC,3 and affirms Marco Pieraccioli's right to a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license for the computer he purchased.

The primary reason to insist on using free software4 is because nonfree software deprives the user of freedom, including the freedom to participate in its development. The "Microsoft tax" has no effect on that issue.

The "free" in "free software" refers to freedom. It does not mean "gratis," and copies of free software do not have to be distributed without charge. Selling a copy of one free program or many of them is legitimate.5

However, most GNU/Linux distributions are offered to the public gratis, while Windows is not. Therefore, switching to GNU/Linux offers an opportunity for the secondary benefit of saving money -- a benefit that many Italians would value. The "Microsoft tax" has the effect of abolishing that secondary benefit. Now the secondary benefit must be available.

The ruling applies to more than just Windows. The Court states a general principle that applies to any device with software preinstalled: "...who buys a computer on which a given operational software (operating system) was preinstalled by the manufacturer has the right, if he does not agree to the conditions of the license of the software made available to him at first start of the computer, to retain the computer returning only the software covered by the license he did not accept, with refund of the part of the price that specifically relates to it."6

According to the Supreme Court, any commercial practice that prevents the user from getting a refund "..would clash in different ways with the rules that protect the freedom of choice of the consumer, and the freedom of competition among firms..."7

On the one hand, therefore, the judgment follows the path of the French Courts' case law, that on several occasions stated that the joint sale of hardware and software, without providing for the buyer the possibility to obtain refund of preinstalled software, violates the right of the consumer.8

On the other hand, the Italian Supreme Court states that the act of hindering the refund violates the freedom of competition among firms. This statement of principle is interesting considering that, to date, the antitrust authorities have done little against business practices that "force" the joint sale of hardware and proprietary software. Now they may consider taking stronger action.

The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels, the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license terms of the preinstalled software.9 Therefore, if the user does not accept the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free software without having to pay the "Microsoft tax."

Notes:

1 Judgement n. 19161/2014 published 11/9/2014
http://www.italgiure.giustizia.it/xway/application/nif/clean/hc.dll?verbo=attach&db=snciv&id=./20140912/snciv@s30@a2014@n19161@tS.clean.pdf.
2 I had the honor to assist before the Supreme Court Marco Pieraccioli who already had favorable decisions both at first instance (judgment no. 5384/2007 of the Giudice di Pace di Firenze) and in second degree (judgment no. 2526/2010 of the Tribunale di Firenze).
3 See http://aduc.it/.
4 See https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.
5 See https://gnu.org/philosophy/selling.
6 See p. 22 of the judgment.
7 See p. 21 of the judgment.
8 See http://non.aux.racketiciels.info/.
9 The judgment at p. 21 states: "Having been assessed that there are not technological obstacles, the 'packaging' at the source of hardware and operating system Microsoft Windows (as it would for any other operating system for a fee) would actually respond, in substance, to a trade policy aimed at the forceful spread of the latter in the hardware retail (at least in that, a large majority, headed by the most established OEM brands); among other things, with cascade effects in order to the imposition on the market of additional software applications whose dissemination among final customers finds strong stimulus and influence - if not genuine compulsion - in more or less intense constraints of compatibility and interoperability (that this time we could define 'technological with commercial effect') with that operating system, that has at least tendency to be monopolistic".

© Marco Ciurcina, 2014 – Some rights reserved This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or any later version. The text of the license is available here https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode.

October 24, 2014 08:55 PM

remotecontrol @ Savannah

New Address for Web Archive

Hello,

This news posting is an update to our 05 November 2013 posting.
https://savannah.gnu.org/forum/forum.php?forum_id=7777

The Smart Grid Educational Webinar Series Archives has changed the address of our presentation.
https://smartenergyacademy.psu.edu/gridstar/webinar-series-archive

We hope you view this presentation. It was an excellent experience for both the GNU remotecontrol Team and “...the world class experts in the field...”

Kindly,
GNU remotecontrol

by Stephen H. Dawson at October 24, 2014 07:47 PM

Riccardo Mottola

ProjectCenter 0.6.2 released

Version 0.6.2 of ProjectCenter, GNUstep's IDE (together with GORM), is out!

For more information and to download it, check the GNUstep website:
http://www.gnustep.org/experience/ProjectCenter.html

What's new?
  • Better compiler output parser, which includes fatal error
  • Compiler parser extended beyond gcc, like egcs and clang now get reasonable output
  • GoTo Line panel rewritten, works and can be extended in other editor plugins (like Gemas)
  • Find Panel fixes to work in detached editors, use of the standard find pabel
  • Crash fixes in the editor
  • Crash fixes in the highlighter
  • usage on Windows improvements
  • 64Bit fixes
  • Updated to current GNUstep drag operation (you need this release to work on current GNUstep)
  • some NetBSD/OpenBSD/FreeBSD support fixes (warnings et al.)

by Riccardo (noreply@blogger.com) at October 24, 2014 04:19 PM

unifont @ Savannah

Unifont 7.0.06 Now Available

Unifont 7.0.06 is now available at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-7.0.06/.

This release adds coverage for the following Supplemental Multilingual Plane scripts: Old Permic, Ornamental Dingbats, Geometric Shapes Extended, and Supplemental Arrows-C. The SMP now contains over 5700 glyphs.

Some final adjustments were also made to the ASCII lower-case letters for better alignment. Those changes carried over to other Latin scripts where those letters occur.

For full details, view the ChangeLog file in the source tarball.

by Paul Hardy at October 24, 2014 01:11 AM

October 23, 2014

FSF Blogs

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: October 24

Join the FSF and friends on Friday, October 24, from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC) to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.


Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.


While the Free Software Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!


If you are eager to help and you can't wait or are simply unable to make it onto IRC on Friday, our participation guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on helping the Directory today!

October 23, 2014 09:54 PM

I spoke at LibrePlanet and you can too

LibrePlanet 2015's call for sessions is open for ten more days, until Sunday, November 2nd. Submit your proposal now! Email campaigns@fsf.org with questions about the call for sessions.

CC BY SA Bryan Smith

When the call for session proposals for LibrePlanet rolled around last year, I wasn't sure whether to submit. I hadn't spoken at many conferences before, and I wasn't sure whether the topic I wanted to speak on -- open science -- would be a good fit. But when I looked through the conference Web sites from previous years, I saw a lot of diverse topics and enthusiasm for welcoming new speakers.

So I applied, and a few months later the panel I organized spoke to a full room. I encourage you to submit a session proposal for LibrePlanet 2015!

LibrePlanet is a small, casual conference with a friendly atmosphere. That makes it a great place to speak for the first time, or to propose a new topic. If you have questions or would like advice about submitting a proposal, you can ask the FSF Campaigns Team at campaigns@fsf.org. Hope to see you at LibrePlanet 2015!

October 23, 2014 08:02 PM

GNUnet News

Aleksander Morgado

GUADEC-ES 2014: Zaragoza (Spain), 24th-26th October

A short notice to remind everyone that this weekend a bunch of GNOME hackers and users will be meeting in the beautiful city of Zaragoza (*) (Spain) for the Spanish-speaking GUADEC. The schedule is already available online:

http://2014.guadec.es/programa

Of course, non-Spanish-speaking people are also very welcome :)

See you there!

gnomehispano

(*) Hoping not to make enemies: Zárágozá.


Filed under: GNOME Planet, GNU Planet Tagged: gnome, guadec

by aleksander at October 23, 2014 08:25 AM

October 22, 2014

parallel @ Savannah

GNU Parallel 20141022 ('Shellshock') released

GNU Parallel 20141022 ('Shellshock') has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parallel/

Shellshock has also hit GNU Parallel. It is not a security issue, per se (the security issue was in Bash), but Bash's solution affects --env when exporting a function.

Haiku of the month:

Shellshock pain hits us.
Dash dash env is affected.
Upgrade Parallel.
-- Ole Tange

(Last month's haiku was by Malcolm Cook)

New in this release:

  • --env was changed to deal with Bash's new way of exporting a function.
  • GNU Parallel is demonstrated in: Data Science at the Command Line: Facing the Future with Time-Tested Tools
  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job is can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with: (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/) | bash

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your commandline will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU Parallel - The Command-Line Power Tool, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, February 2011:42-47.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/merchandise.html
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --bibtex)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

by Ole Tange at October 22, 2014 08:23 PM

freedink @ Savannah

GNU FreeDink 108.4

Here's a new bugfix release of the GNU FreeDink game :)
http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/freedink/freedink-108.4.tar.gz

- Never recreate an empty hard.dat in the game, even if there's a problem opening it (avoids corruption when running both the game and an editor at the same time).
(thanks CocoMonkey for the report)

- DinkC: load_palette() now searches for palette in the right place
(thanks scratcher for the report)

- DinkC: Dink position is updated after a new screen is loaded
(thanks metatarasal for the report)

- New translations for the engine strings in Russian (thanks Yuri Kozlov) and Hungarian (thanks Balázs Úr).

About GNU FreeDink:

Dink Smallwood is an adventure/role-playing game, similar to Zelda,
made by RTsoft. Besides twisted humor, it includes the actual game
editor, allowing players to create hundreds of new adventures called
Dink Modules or D-Mods for short.

GNU FreeDink is a new and portable version of the game engine, which
runs the original game as well as its D-Mods, with close
compatibility, under multiple platforms.

by Sylvain Beucler at October 22, 2014 08:22 PM

FSF Events

Richard Stallman - "The Free Software Movement" (Houston, TX)

The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to make these freedoms possible.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is free of charge, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Registration, which can be done anonymously, while not required, is appreciated; it will help us ensure we can accommodate all the people who wish to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Houston.

October 22, 2014 11:55 AM

librejs @ Savannah

LibreJS 6.0.3 released

LibreJS 6.0.3 contains a few bugfixes. You can get it here: http://www.gnu.org/software/librejs/

Changes since the 6.0.1 release:
* Disable license analysis when JavaScript is turned off in the
browser. This fixes a bug reported by Rubén Rodríguez.
* Updated the Google Analytics regex to block recent versions of
Google Analytics.
* Reduced file size of the add-on executable.

by Nik Nyby at October 22, 2014 04:39 AM

October 21, 2014

gnuzilla @ Savannah

GNU IceCat 31.2.0 released

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the
GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical
one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from
the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend
non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license
restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0.
https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

Source tarballs, binaries for generic GNU/Linux systems and translations
are available at http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuzilla/31.2.0/
New gpg key ID:D7E04784 GNU IceCat releases
Fingerprint: A573 69A8 BABC 2542 B5A0 368C 3C76 EED7 D7E0 4784

This is a new iteration of the IceCat project, based on new build
scripts and with an extra focus on privacy.
The new maintainer is Ruben Rodriguez.

IceCat will continue to stick to the ESR (Extended Support Release)
cycle (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq/) because
it provides security updates over a stable base. That will also allow to
port privacy features from TorBrowser, which is now following v31ESR.

== Changes since v24 ==

  • Javascript can be disabled through the configuration interface.
  • Third party cookies are disabled.
  • Referrers are spoofed (to the same server where the file lives).
  • The user is not asked to install plugins (such as flash or java).
  • Only free software gets offered by IceCat.
  • Installed plugins (flash, java) require per-site activation.
  • DuckDuckGO as default search engine, through https and without JS.
  • DoNotTrack header enabled.
  • Reporting features disabled (Avoids send data to mozilla's partners

about crashes or security related events).

  • Disabled "Social API" that brings integration with Facebook.
  • Disabled "Safe browsing", which asks Google if websites are safe

before browsing them.

  • Disabled access to the clipboard from JS.
  • Don't recommend online services for IRC.

Preinstalled add-ons:

  • LibreJS 6.0.1 checks for the freedom of the javascript you run
  • HttpsEverywhere 4.0.2 redirects requests through https when possible.
  • Spyblock, custom made and based on AdblockPlus, provides:

- A blacklist of trackers that is used in any browsing mode.
Self-served, privacy-friendly advertising is preserved.
- A filter for all third-party requests while in private browsing.
- A filter for javascript data retrieval while in private browsing.
- Autoupdate for filter lists is optional.

  • A custom homepage lists this and other features with links to

documentation and the possibility to disable them quickly if needed.

Fingerprinting:

  • Spoofing the useragent to:

- Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/31.0

  • Fonts can be listed with this methods:

- Plugins like java or flash: these are disabled by default in
IceCat, requiring the user to enable them in a per-site basis. Also
Gnash doesn't work for fingerprinting.
- JS probing: the custom homepage allows to disable custom fonts.

  • Plugins: IceCat no longer discloses the list of installed plugins.
  • Extra spoofing: appname, appversion, buildID, oscpu and platform.
  • Request pages in english by default.

To Do:

  • Add the needed documentation at libreplanet (volunteers welcome!):

- http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:IceCat/
- http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:IceCat/icecat-help
- http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:IceCat/Tour
- http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:IceCat/keyboard-shortcuts

  • Incorporate patches from TorBrowser 4.0
  • Build binaries for Windows and MacOS

by Ruben Rodriguez at October 21, 2014 08:06 PM

October 20, 2014

Nick Clifton

October 2014 GNU Toolchain Update

In this month's news we have:
  
  * GDB now supports hardware watchpoints on x86 GNU Hurd.

  * GDB has a new command:

       queue-signal <signal-name-or-number>

    This queues a signal to be delivered to the thread when it is resumed.

  * GCC supports a new variable attribute:

     __attribute__((io (<addr>)))

    This specifies that the variable is used to address a memory mapped peripheral.  If an address is specified the variable is always assigned to that address.  For example:

     volatile int porta __attribute__((io (0x22)));

    Even without an address assigned to it, a variable with this attribute will always be accessed using in/out instructions if supported by the target hardware.

    There are two variations on this attribute:

      __attribute__((io_low <addr>)
      __attribute__((address <addr>)


    These are like the "io" attribute except that they additionally inform the compiler that the variable falls within the lower half of the I/O area (for "io_low") or outside the I/O area (for "address"), which may make a difference to the instructions generated to access the variable.

  
  * GCC's sanitizer has a couple of new options:

     -fsanitize=object-size

    This option enables instrumentation of memory references using the __builtin_object_size function.  Various out of bounds pointer accesses can be detected in this way.

     -fsanitize=bool

    This option enables instrumentation of loads from bool.  If a value other than 0/1 is loaded, a run-time error is issued.

      -fsanitize=enum

    This option enables instrumentation of loads from an enum type.  If a value outside the range of values for the enum type is loaded, a run-time error is issued.


  * The inter-procedural analysis pass now supports a new optimization:
  
     -fipa-icf
      -fipa-icf-functions
      -fipa-icf-variables

    
    This performs identical code folding for functions and/or read-only variables.  The optimization reduces code size, but it may disturb unwind stacks by replacing a function by an equivalent one with a different name.

    The optimization works more effectively with link time optimization enabled.  The optimization is similar to the ICF optimization performed by the GOLD linker, but it works at a different level and it may find equivalences that GOLD misses.


  * The AArch64 target now supports a workaround for ARM Cortex-A53 erratum number 835769:

      -mfix-cortex-a53-835769

    When enabled it inserts a NOP instruction between memory instructions and 64-bit integer multiply-accumulate instructions.

Cheers
  Nick

October 20, 2014 11:43 AM

October 18, 2014

unifont @ Savannah

Unifont 7.0.05 Now Available

Unifont version 7.0.05 is now available for download at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-7.0.05/.

Unifont is part of the GNU Project. It is a dual-width font,
with TrueType and other versions created from an underlying pixel
map. Glyphs are composed on either an 8-by-16 pixel grid or
a 16-by-16 pixel grid. Its goal is to provide a low-resolution font that covers all of Unicode's Basic Multilingual Plane, Plane 0.

This version includes over 5,400 glyphs in the Unicode Supplemental Multilingual Plane (Plane 1), in addition to complete coverage of the Basic Multilingual Plane and several scripts in Michael Everson's ConScript Unicode Registry (CSUR).

Further details are available at https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/unifont/ and at http://unifoundry.com/unifont.html.

Paul Hardy

by Paul Hardy at October 18, 2014 04:40 AM

October 17, 2014

teximpatient @ Savannah

Chinese translation of TeX for the Impatient

Zou Hu (thank you!) has completed a Chinese translation of TFTI (starting from earlier work by others). The sources are available from https://bitbucket.org/zohooo/impatient and a PDF is at http://zoho.is-programmer.com/user_files/zoho/epics/tex-impatient-cn.pdf ...

by Karl Berry at October 17, 2014 10:36 PM

FSF Blogs

Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: October 17

In today's Friday Free Software Directory (FSD) IRC Meeting we approved updates to several entries; we added a new category, System-administration/virtualization; and we also sent emails to the maintainers of two different programs asking them if, in addition to publishing their source code, they would consider making it free software. We also added a new entry that I am looking forward to trying out this weekend:

  • tocc, a tag-based file management system that allows you to tag/classify any file in your file system. It is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL version 3 or (at your option) any later version.

In addition to all this good work, we also also had some discussions related to Respects Your Freedom computer hardware certification, which makes me think that we should make RYF a theme for an upcoming meeting!

You can join in our discussions and help improve the Free Software Directory every Friday! Find out how to attend the Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meetings by checking our blog or by subscribing to the RSS feed.

October 17, 2014 10:03 PM

FSF News

The Free Software Foundation opens nominations for the 17th annual Free Software Awards

Award for the Advancement of Free Software

The Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free Software is presented annually by FSF president Richard Stallman to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

Individuals who describe their projects as "open" instead of "free" are eligible nonetheless, provided the software is in fact free/libre.

Last year, Matthew Garrett was recognized with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work to keep "Secure Boot" free software compatible, as well as his other work to make sure that so-called security measures do not come at the expense of user freedom. Garrett joined a prestigious list of previous winners including Dr. Fernando Perez, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Rob Savoye, John Gilmore, Wietse Venema, Harald Welte, Ted Ts'o, Andrew Tridgell, Theo de Raadt, Alan Cox, Larry Lessig, Guido van Rossum, Brian Paul, Miguel de Icaza, and Larry Wall.

Award for Projects of Social Benefit

Nominations are also open for the 2014 Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.

We look to recognize projects or teams that encourage people to cooperate in freedom to accomplish social tasks. A long-term commitment to one's project (or the potential for a long-term commitment) is crucial to this end.

This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. We have deliberately chosen this broad criterion so that many different areas of activity can be considered. However, one area that is not included is that of free software itself. Projects with a primary goal of promoting or advancing free software are not eligible for this award (we honor individuals working on those projects with our annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software).

We will consider any project or team that uses free software or its philosophy to address a goal important to society. To qualify, a project must use free software, produce free documentation, or use the idea of free software as defined in the Free Software Definition. Projects that promote or depend on the use of non-free software are not eligible for this award. Commercial projects are not excluded, but commercial success is not our scale for judging projects.

Last year, the GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women (OPW) received the award, in recognition of its work to involve women (cis and trans) and genderqueer people in free software development. OPW's work benefits society more broadly, addressing gender discrimination by empowering women to develop leadership and development skills in a society which runs on technology. OPW does this critical work using the ideals and collaborative culture of the free software movement.

Other previous winners have included OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and Wikipedia.

Eligibility

In the case of both awards, previous winners are not eligible for nomination, but renomination of other previous nominees is encouraged. Only individuals are eligible for nomination for the Advancement of Free Software Award (not projects), and only projects can be nominated for the Social Benefit Award (not individuals). For a list of previous winners, please visit https://www.fsf.org/awards.

Current FSF staff and board members, as well as award committee members, are not eligible.

The tentative award committee members are: Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Matthew Garrett, Rob Savoye, Wietse Venema, Richard Stallman, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Vernor Vinge, Hong Feng, Fernanda G. Weiden, Harald Welte, Vernor Vinge, Jonas Oberg, and Yukihiro Matsumoto.

Instructions

After reviewing the eligibility rules above, please send your nominations to award-nominations@gnu.org, on or before Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 23:59 UTC. Please submit nominations in the following format:

  • In the email message subject line, either put the name of the person you are nominating for the Award for Advancement of Free Software, or put the name of the project for the Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

  • Please include, in the body of your message, an explanation (forty lines or less) of the work done and why you think it is especially important to the advancement of software freedom or how it benefits society, respectively.

  • Please state, in the body of your message, where to find the materials (e.g., software, manuals, or writing) which your nomination is based on.

Information about the previous awards can be found at https://www.fsf.org/awards. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the LibrePlanet conference, March 21-22 2015, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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 fsf.org and 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.

Media Contacts

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

October 17, 2014 05:05 PM

FSF Events

Richard Stallman - "Free Software: The Basis for Freedom in Computing" (London, United Kingdom)

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is free of charge, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around London.

Start time and room number to be determined.

October 17, 2014 02:51 PM

October 16, 2014

freedink @ Savannah

New FreeDink DFArc frontend 3.12 release

Here's a new release of DFArc, a frontend to run the GNU FreeDink game and manage its numerous add-on adventures or D-Mods :)
http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/freedink/dfarc-3.12.tar.gz

- DFArc now launches Dink and Dinkedit asynchronously, so you can run the editor even when the game is running.

- Improve extract & package performance.

- Fix infrequent off-by-1-pixel bug in logo animation.

- New Serbian, Catalan, Turkish, Esperanto, Brazilian Portuguese and Hungarian translations, as well as translations updates.

- Upgrade to wxWidgets 3.0.

About GNU FreeDink:

Dink Smallwood is an adventure/role-playing game, similar to Zelda, made by RTsoft. Besides twisted humor, it includes the actual game editor, allowing players to create hundreds of new adventures called Dink Modules or D-Mods for short.

GNU FreeDink is a new and portable version of the game engine, which runs the original game as well as its D-Mods, with close
compatibility, under multiple platforms.

DFArc is an integrated frontend, .dmod installer and .dmod archiver for the Dink Smallwood game engine.

by Sylvain Beucler at October 16, 2014 09:54 PM

FSF News

Matthew Garrett joins Free Software Foundation board of directors

Matthew Garrett

He becomes the eighth director on the FSF's board. The full list of their names and biographies can be found at http://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board.

"Matthew Garrett is a truly committed defender of users' freedom. The FSF is fortunate to have him on the board of directors," said FSF president Richard M. Stallman.

A developer specializing in the interactions between operating system kernels, platform firmware and system security, much of Garrett's work has focused on mechanisms for avoiding the oft-suggested tradeoff between user security and user freedom, ensuring that users have ultimate control over which software their devices will and will not run.

FSF executive director John Sullivan said, "Matthew has generously donated his time and expertise to advise the FSF on many issues in recent years, especially Restricted Boot and other disconcerting trends at the intersection of hardware and proprietary software distribution. His willingness to increase his involvement in FSF technical and policy leadership is fantastic news for our members and supporters."

Earlier this year, Garrett won the Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free Software. He holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Cambridge, and presents frequently around the world on the topic of free software in wider society.

On accepting the invitation to join the board, Garrett said, "It's been almost thirty years since the Free Software Foundation was founded, and in that time free software has become an indispensable part of computer use everywhere, creating an entire new generation of users and developers for whom free software has always been ubiquitous. Unfortunately, the number of threats to user freedom has also increased over that time. The FSF continues to campaign against attempts to restrict the rights of users and developers to be in ultimate control of the software that they use and the devices that they own, and I'm proud to be able to be a part of that."

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 fsf.org and 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.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

The above image is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 by nekonoir on Flickr.

October 16, 2014 09:39 PM

FSF Blogs

SSL, POODLE, and you

The flaw, which only affects the SSL 3.0 protocol, makes traffic vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. We have dropped support for SSL 3.0 on fsf.org and gnu.org until a fix is released.

SSL 3.0 is nearly two decades old so most users will not be impacted by this change as we will continue to support modern encryption protocols. Older Web browsers without support for TLS 1.0 or later may have trouble connecting to our websites using a secure http connection (https).

A summary of CVE-2014-3566 can be found on the National Vulnerability Database.

The OpenSSL project has also produced a technical report(PDF) on the vulnerability.

October 16, 2014 07:15 PM

GNUtls

October 15, 2014

FSF Blogs

Registration is now open for LibrePlanet 2015: "Free Software Everywhere," March 21-22, 2015 in Cambridge, MA.

FSF members attend LibrePlanet gratis. Not a member? Join today to register gratis, or register at our non-member rate.

This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is "Free Software Everywhere." Talks at this year's conference will touch on the many places and ways that free software is used around the world, as well as ways to make free software ubiquitous. At LibrePlanet 2015, we're once again teaming up with the Student Information Processing Board at MIT (SIPB), and together we're taking software freedom around the world, to outer space, and through all kinds of industries, governments, organizations, fields of study, and communities.

Want to speak at LibrePlanet?

Our Call for Sessions is still open. You can propose an individual session, panel, or workshop now through Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 23:59 UTC.

Have questions about what makes a good proposal? We're hosting an information session to answer any questions you have about submitting a proposal for LibrePlanet on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 16:00 - 18:00 UTC (12:00 - 14:00 EDT). Join us in the #libreplanet IRC channel on freenode. Don't use IRC? Email your questions to campaigns@fsf.org.

Need help getting to LibrePlanet?

Apply for a travel scholarship! We have a limited amount of funding to bring conference participants to LibrePlanet from all around the world. You can apply for a scholarship starting now -- the application deadline is November 30 at 23:59 UTC. Scholarship recipients will be notified in mid-December.

If you don't need a scholarship, you can help us ensure that LibrePlanet 2015 welcomes all people by making a contribution to the conference's scholarship fund now, or when you register for LibrePlanet. A donation of $50 covers one night in a shared Boston-area hotel room, but any amount helps.

Register for the conference now or become a member and then register at no cost, and don't forget to pick up a limited-edition, 100% certified organic cotton, union-made t-shirt while you're at it.

The energy and inspiration is palpable at LibrePlanet. Whether it's rubbing elbows with a maintainer you admire, learning about a new tool that can help you with your work, or rolling up your sleeves for the struggle against proprietary software, I'm telling you, you want to be in Cambridge, MA on March 21-22, 2015 for this year's LibrePlanet.

October 15, 2014 09:36 PM

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: October 17

Join the FSF and friends on Friday, October 17, from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC) to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. We will be on IRC in the #fsf channel on freenode.


Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions, to providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.


While the Free Software Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help!


If you are eager to help and you can't wait or are simply unable to make it onto IRC on Friday, our participation guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on helping the Directory today!

October 15, 2014 07:12 PM

autoconf-archive @ Savannah

Noteworthy changes in release 2014.10.15

A brand-new Github mirror of the Archive's Git repository is available at <https://github.com/peti/autoconf-archive>. That project allows developers to submit patches as Pull Requests instead of having to go through Savannah's patch tracker.

The Archive no longer creates release tarballs compressed with gzip and bzip2; only tarballs compressed with xz and lzip are distributed.

AX_LIB_POSTGRESQL: substitute CPPFLAGS rather than CFLAGS.

AX_GCC_ARCHFLAG: Rewrite x86 support <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8514> and extend Clang support <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8515>.

AX_GCC_VAR_ATTRIBUTE: support the init_priority attribute.

AX_PERL_MODULE_VERSION: fix a misspelled variable name. Other unfixed issues remain. See <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8507>.

AX_BOOST_PYTHON: several issue have beeen fixed. Further details can be found at <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8540>.

AX_HAVE_QT: Only check $PATH and qmake for Qt variables. The old logic for detecting Qt without $PATH or qmake was never very reliable and the last change to this macro broke it entirely. If the Qt variables cannot be found via $PATH and qmake, then it would be best to manually define them in the makefile.

AX_TLS: fix quoting problem.

AX_F90_LIBRARY: several bug fixes and improvements. Further details are at <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8500>.

AX_LUA: fix initialization of ac_cv_header_lua_h. Further details are at <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8505>.

AX_AT_CHECK_PATTERN: executes a test similar to AT_CHECK(), except that stdout and stderr are awk regular expressions. Further details can be found at <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?8492>.

AX_OPENMP: prevent false negative due to -Wunused-variable.

AX_COMPILER_VENDOR: improve detection of the CRAY compiler.

AX_ENABLE_BUILDDIR: support absolute paths.

AX_HAVE_QT: auto-detect Qt 5 by querying $PATH and qmake. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8486>.

AX_CHECK_ENABLE_DEBUG: add an --enable-debug option which defines an ENABLE_DEBUG cpp variable if set. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8452>.

AX_CODE_COVERAGE: new macro which contains all the necessary logic and Makefile rules for instrumenting a project with code coverage using lcov. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8451>.

AX_LIB_HDF5: don't overwrite the CPPFLAGS variable. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8449>.

AX_BOOST_BASE: fix for x32 systems. This subject probably needs more attention, though. See <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8433>.

AX_BERKELEY_DB(_CXX): add --with-libdb option so that this macros works on OSX with home-brew installed version of BDB. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8416>.

AX_CXX_HAVE_PLACEHOLDERS: check if std::placeholders is defined in <functional>. Submitted it <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8414>.

AX_LIB_HDF5: add support for recognizing HDF5 built with ccache. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8450>.

AX_CC_MAXOPT: Improve CPUID identification patterns as mentioned in patch #8514. Add ICC options added in version 11.0 (which deprecates older -xX style options). Add support for latest Intel performance processors (see #8514 for details). See <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8522>.

AX_EXECINFO: new macro to test execinfo size type. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8525>.

AX_CXX_VAR_PRETTYFUNC: new macro to determine the function name.

AX_CC_MAXOPT: default to -O2 for MSVC instead of -O3.

AX_CXX_HAVE_REFERENCE_WRAPPER, AX_CXX_HAVE_BAD_FUNCTION_CALL, AX_CXX_HAVE_BIND, AX_CXX_HAVE_BIT_AND, AX_CXX_HAVE_BIT_OR, AX_CXX_HAVE_BIT_XOR, AX_CXX_HAVE_CREF, AX_CXX_HAVE_FUNCTION, AX_CXX_HAVE_HASH, AX_CXX_HAVE_IS_BIND_EXPRESSION, AX_CXX_HAVE_IS_PLACEHOLDER, AX_CXX_HAVE_MEM_FN, AX_CXX_HAVE_REF: remove dependency on AX_CXX_NAMESPACES.

AX_BOOST_BASE has been extended to recognize ppc64le as a lib64 architecture. Submitted in <https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8473>.

AX_PROG_FLEX has been extended to support OpenBSD.

AX_COUNT_CPUS has been extended to support Win32 (and Win64). Further details are at <http://savannah.gnu.org/patch/index.php?8381>.

by Peter Simons at October 15, 2014 03:22 PM

New Autoconf Archive mirror at available github.com

There is now a brand-new mirror of the GNU Autoconf Archive's Git repository available at https://github.com/peti/autoconf-archive that those who enjoy this sort of thing can use to submit patches to the Archive by means of a Pull Request instead of going through Savannah's patch tracker.

Happy forking!

by Peter Simons at October 15, 2014 01:41 PM

October 14, 2014

FSF Blogs

For Ada Lovelace Day, highlighting FSF sysadmin Lisa Maginnis

The holiday is named after a 19th-century English mathematician who is considered by many to be the first programmer. Though generations passed before her contribution was fully acknowledged, she was a pioneer both as a scientist and as a challenger of rigid gender roles. For this Ada Lovelace Day, we're profiling Lisa Maginnis, who is the FSF's senior systems administrator.

As the leader of the technical team, Lisa is responsible for choosing, configuring, and maintaining the FSF's office computers and servers. She uses extensive knowledge of hardware, networking, and electrical engineering to maintain a complex array of all-free software. An alert system sends text messages to her OpenMoko if servers have problems, and she's no stranger to urgent after-hours trips to the office to get something back online.

Since the FSF is the organizational sponsor of the GNU Project, Lisa also administers https://gnu.org and various GNU development repositories. GNU is a central piece in the free software world, and Lisa plays a larger role in keeping it running than many people know.

Lisa Maginnis

Lisa's life as a hacker started when she was thirteen, when her mother tried to teach her C programming from a book. Frustrated by her inability to compile the first exercise on Windows 95, she started exploring the Internet and discovered GCC and Slackware GNU/Linux. What followed was multiple weeks of Lisa downloading Slackware over her 56k Internet connection and teaching herself how to install it. By the end, she had not only successfully compiled and run the book's first exercise, but discovered free software and left Windows for good.

Self-directed and ambitious, Lisa dropped out of college when her professors refused to let her use free software tools for her projects. She put to rest any doubts about her decision when she helped found two companies, and then settled at the FSF.

Lisa is not just an enthusiast, but a deep believer in the value and importance of free software. Along with the need for freedom, she also believes that free software is important to avoid duplication of proprietary work, and to help developers "stand on the shoulders of giants."

When she's not working at the FSF, Lisa finds the time to maintain OpenCashier, a free software point of sale system. She's also contributed to a medical records system called OpenEMR, and now writes patches for software used by the FSF, like CiviCRM.

Lisa and a gnu handing out printouts of the FSF's 2013 Holiday Giving Guide in front of an Apple store.

As an expert in free software and in computer hardware, Lisa also advises the FSF's campaigns and licensing teams on technical issues -- it's common for her to review technically complex writings before they are sent out. She even participates actively in campaigns and attends conferences to promote the FSF.

Lisa combines technical talent and skill with a love of computer user freedom. As a self-taught system administrator with a commitment to freedom, her career has not been free of challenges, but she's turned each struggle into an opportunity and climbed to an influential position. She's a cornerstone of the FSF and an important resource for the GNU Project. Thank you, Lisa for your contribution to free software.

You can find Lisa on Freenode IRC as nully in the #fsf or #gnu channels. The FSF is currently looking for another system administrator, so if you've got the chops, you can join her team!

To read more about more women in free software, check out our previous Ada Lovelace Day posts:

October 14, 2014 10:35 PM

GNUCash News

October 13, 2014

GNUtls

GnuTLS 3.3.9, 3.2.19, and 3.1.17

Released GnuTLS 3.3.9, 3.2.19, and 3.1.17, which are bug-fix releases on the current and old stable branches respectively. The GnuTLS branch 3.3.x is the new stable branch.

by Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos (nmav@gnutls.org) at October 13, 2014 12:00 AM