Planet GNU

Aggregation of development blogs from the GNU Project

September 17, 2014

FSF Events

Richard Stallman to speak in London

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

Time and detailed location to be determined.

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

September 17, 2014 09:42 PM

Richard Stallman va a dar una charla en La Rioja

Esa charla de Richard Stallman no será técnica y será abierta al público; todos están invitados a asistir.

Favor de rellenar este formulario, para que podamos contactarle acerca de eventos futuros en la región de Logroño.

El título, el lugar exacto, y la hora de la charla serán determinados.

September 17, 2014 08:30 PM

September 16, 2014

FSF Blogs

LibrePlanet is coming March 21-22, 2015: Propose a session!

Our Call for Sessions is open now, and you can also apply to volunteer or exhibit at LibrePlanet 2015. General registration will open in October.

You've got until Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 at 19:59 EST (23:59 UTC) to submit your proposals. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is "Free Software Everywhere." We're looking for talks that touch on the many places and ways that free software is used around the world, as well as ways to make free software ubiquitous. Think "everywhere" in the broadest sense of the word--it's not just geography-based talks we're after. What are some contexts where free software is thriving, and some others where it needs a push? How have you worked to advance free software in your company or community? And what about free software on all of the myriad pieces of hardware we use, including laptops, phones, tablets, and even coffee makers? At LibrePlanet 2015, we're taking software freedom around the world, to outer space, and considering its role in industry, government, academia, community organizing, and personal computing.

Should I submit a session proposal for LibrePlanet?

Yes! We encourage speakers of all experience levels to submit a proposal. LibrePlanet is a great place for new and seasoned speakers alike. While LibrePlanet always includes technical talks, our program also emphasizes non-technical topics and topics that are appropriate for newcomers. We are especially interested to see proposals from people who use free software or apply its values for social benefit, from academic research to community organizing, education to medicine and the arts. LibrePlanet is committed to increasing the participation of speakers belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented at free software conferences, including women and people of color.

Some ideas for sessions

  • Sharing a story of how free software has been applied for social benefit
  • Tackling a threat or organizing challenge facing the free software movement
  • Demonstrating a new and exciting piece of software or development within an existing software project
  • Engaging youth, the future of the free software movement. We're looking for proposals for all age groups, from young children, to high school age, to college students
  • Thinking critically about challenges and opportunities facing the movement, and charting a path to victory
  • Bringing a key part of free software history to life
  • Giving newcomers a way to learn about free software principles and philosophy, and/or giving newcomers a way to start using free software in their daily lives

At LibrePlanet, we are looking for sessions that embrace the free software movement's ideals and also its language. For example, using "free software" is better than using "open source."

Volunteer for LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet depends on volunteer support during the planning process all the way through the event. We're looking for volunteers who want to help us with the planning and preparation work for LibrePlanet. Learn more about volunteering and sign up at

Promotional opportunities at LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the perfect place to spread the word about your organization to an inspired and engaged audience. We have two kinds of promotional opportunities for LibrePlanet 2015: exhibit tables and sponsorships. Exhibit tables will be located in a highly visible primary thoroughfare. Your table and program acknowledgement will reach hundreds of software developers, free software activists, academics, students, and computer users. You can apply for an exhibit table at Exhibitors will be accepted on a rolling basis until the hall fills, so apply early!

What makes LibrePlanet so special is the amazing contributions from our speakers, exhibitors, and volunteers. We can't wait to hear your ideas!

September 16, 2014 08:04 PM

FSF News

LibrePlanet is coming March 21-22, 2015, call for proposals now open for annual free software conference

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts. The conference brings together software developers, policy experts, activists and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments and face challenges to software freedom. Newcomers are always welcome, and LibrePlanet 2015 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels.

This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is "Free Software Everywhere." The call for sessions seeks talks that touch on the many places and ways that free software is used around the world, as well as ways to make free software ubiquitous. Proposals are encouraged to consider "everywhere" in the broadest sense of the word. LibrePlanet 2015 will take software freedom around the world, to outer space, and consider its role in industry, government, academia, community organizing, and personal computing.

"LibrePlanet is one of the most rewarding things we do all year. This conference brings people from all over the planet who want to make the world a better place with free software," said John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF.

Call for Sessions

"I hope we'll receive session proposals from people with all levels of speaking and technical experience; you don't have to be a coder to speak at LibrePlanet. Free software users, activists, academics, policymakers, developers, and others are all key contributors to the free software movement, and we want to showcase all of these skills at LibrePlanet 2015," said Libby Reinish, a campaigns manager at the FSF.

Call for sessions applications are currently being accepted at and are due by Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 at 19:59 EST (23:59 UTC).**

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation, and is co-produced by the Student Information Processing Board. What was once a small gathering of FSF members has grown into a larger event for anyone with an interest in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet is always gratis for associate members of the FSF. To sign up for announcements about LibrePlanet 2015, visit

LibrePlanet 2014 was held at MIT from March 22-23, 2014. Over 350 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, demonstrations, and keynotes centered around the theme of "Free Software, Free Society." You can watch videos from past conferences 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

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 - 5942


September 16, 2014 07:56 PM

guix @ Savannah

Join us for a Guix hackathon on Sep. 27-28!

The GNU Guix project is organizing a hackathon on September 27th and 28th, 2014. The hackathon will take place primarily on-line, on the #guix IRC channel on Freenode. We have started collecting a list of hacking ideas. Feel free to stop by and make more suggestions!

The hackathon is accessible to anyone with experience in GNU/Linux packaging or systems hacking. Scheme programmers will find additional things to work on in the tool set. Finally, we will also be welcoming newcomers and helping them get started.

This is a followup to last year's hackathon, organized for GNU's 30th anniversary.

About GNU Guix

GNU Guix is the functional package manager for the GNU system, and a distribution thereof.

In addition to standard package management features, Guix supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and garbage collection. It also offers a declarative approach to operating system configuration management. Guix uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, with Guile Scheme programming interfaces.

At this stage the distribution can be used on an i686 or x86_64 machine. It is also possible to use Guix on top of an already installed GNU/Linux system, including on mips64el.

by Ludovic Courtès at September 16, 2014 07:58 AM

September 15, 2014

FSF Blogs

IPA Font license added to license list

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the IPA Font license. It is a copyleft free software license for fonts, incompatible with the GPL. The IPA Font is one of the few freely licensed high quality TrueType fonts available for Japanese characters, so verifying that the license is actually free is an important step for Japanese hackers. That success does come with one caveat: the IPA Font license has a somewhat burdensome requirement regarding the use of the name of the font. The license requires that derivative works not use or include the name of the original work as a program name, font name or file name. Since fonts can be easily aliased with free software tools, this isn't too big of an issue, more of an annoyance. Despite this flaw, fonts distributed under the terms of the IPA font license carry freedom to users, and so it deserves a spot on our license list.

September 15, 2014 08:42 PM

Greg Casamento

ToDo for GNUstep

My personal todo list on GNUstep at the moment in no particular order:

  1. XIB v5 support, currently working on this.
  2. Complete XIB/NIB creation via Gorm
  3. NSMetadata classes
    1. Involves looking into GWorkspace to see how metadata is extracted for files and to separate this functionality out.
  4. Printing on Windows. Integration with PrintDlg and GDI Printing API on Windows.
  5. Fix issues in buildtool/xcodebuild clone.
  6. WebKit implementation/Browser using CEF+elements of SWK
  7. Class Parser bugs fixed for ProjectCenter.

by GregC ( at September 15, 2014 05:27 PM

September 12, 2014

FSF Blogs

Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: September 12

Today's Friday Free Software Directory (FSD) IRC Meeting was focused on GNU packages. In particular, user mtmj updated dozens of GNU packages to make sure that the package identifier used on matches the one we use on This is exciting because it brings us one step closer to having a seamless integration between the Free Software Directory and the GNU project (at least in terms of formatting URLs!). The next (super secret project) I want to begin working on is an importer that pulls info from GNU Guix directly into the FSD.

In addition to updating GNU packages and brainstorming some new functionality for the FSD, I want to highlight a new contribution from our newest contributor, c107:

  • Canvas: a feature-rich learning management system. It is licensed under GNU AGPL version 3 (or at your option, any later version).

I believe we have averaged at least one new contributor per week this entire summer! Let's keep this streak going. You, too, can join in on the fun. Find out how to attend our Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meetings by checking our blog or subscribing to the RSS feed.

September 12, 2014 10:50 PM

FSF News

ThinkPenguin wireless router now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

The TPE-NWIFIROUTER comes pre-installed with libreCMC, an FSF-endorsed embedded GNU/Linux distribution.

"This is a big step forward for computer user freedom. For the first time, you can purchase a router that ships with only free software preinstalled. This router and OS give us a platform that we can trust and control, and that the community can use to begin building our own, free software based network for communication, file sharing, social networking, and more," said FSF's executive director John Sullivan.

This is the third product by ThinkPenguin to be awarded the use of the RYF certification mark. The first two were the TPE-N150USB Wireless N USB Adapter and the long-range TPE-N150USBL model.

Christopher Waid, ThinkPenguin's founder and CEO, said, "ThinkPenguin, Inc. was founded with the goal of making free software more easily adoptable by the masses. Everyone needs a wireless router in their homes, and so I am very proud that we are able to offer users a router that ships with 100% free software installed and that is backed by a reputable certification process provided by the FSF."

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom hardware certification, including details on the certification of the TPE-N150USB Wireless N USB adapter, as well as information on the driver and firmware for the device, visit Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult

Subscribers to the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter will receive announcements about future Respects Your Freedom products.

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

About ThinkPenguin, Inc

Started by Christopher Waid, founder and CEO, ThinkPenguin, Inc. is a consumer-driven company with a mission to bring free software to the masses. At the core of company is a catalog of computers and accessories with broad support for GNU/Linux. The company provides technical support for end-users and works with the community, distributions, and upstream projects to make GNU/Linux all that it can be.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Media Inquires
ThinkPenguin, Inc.
+1 (888) 39 THINK (84465) x703


September 12, 2014 09:45 PM

September 10, 2014

FSF Blogs

Tell the FCC: Net Neutrality is (still) crucial to free software

This post was originally published in July, before the end of the first FCC comment period. Now we're highlighting it again before the end of the second comment period, in support of today's Internet Slowdown day of action. Tons of major Web sites (including ours) are coming together today to give a tongue-in-cheek demonstration of what would happen if the FCC caves to Big Cable and guts Net Neutrality.

If you're in the US, please tell decisionmakers how important Net Neutrality is to the free software community (even if you commented in earlier, it will be counted again). If you're not in the US, you'll still find this post interesting -- there is precedent for other countries basing their rules on what happens here.

We are not linking to the official Internet Slowdown action page because it requires running proprietary JavaScript and heavily encourages Facebook. But we agree with their goals, so we are acting in solidarity by displaying their clever banner (which is free JavaScript) and linking to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Dear FCC tool, where you can take action in freedom.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) needs to be convinced that Net Neutrality is worth saving. The agency has asked members of the public, along with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, to tell it why Internet Service Providers should be banned from traffic discrimination. This comment window is one of the best opportunities we've had to make an impact.

Comments are due Monday, September 15, 2014. Submit your statement in support of Net Neutrality right away using the Electronic Frontier Foundation's free software commenting tool.

Net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally, should be a basic right for Internet users. It's also crucial for free software's continued growth and success. Here's why:

Media distribution giants that use Digital Restrictions Management and proprietary software to control what's on your computer have also been fighting for years to control the network. Without Net Neutrality, DRM-laden materials could be easier to access, while DRM-free competitors could be stuck in the slow lane. Web-based free software projects like GNU MediaGoblin could also suffer the slow treatment while competitors like YouTube shell out big bucks for speedier service. The bottom line--an Internet where the most powerful interests can pay for huge speed advantages could push smaller free software projects right off the map and make it harder for decentralized projects to flourish. That's not good for free software, and it's not good for other innovative voices for change in the digital world.

Tell the FCC: Net Neutrality will help free software flourish.

Activists have worked for years to get to this moment. Over the last several months, things have really heated up--with Internet freedom lovers camping out outside of the FCC, serenading FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler with a special version "Which Side Are You On?" The comments flooding in to the agency have jammed the phones and crashed the FCC's email servers. And yet, Chairman Wheeler still thinks he can get away with ignoring overwhelming public outrage and wrecking the free Internet. We have to keep up our historic momentum in order to convince a cable-industry sympathizer like Chairman Wheeler to listen to the public and protect Net Neutrality.

The deadline for comments is less than a week from now on Monday. Don't delay--comment now!

September 10, 2014 05:04 PM

September 09, 2014

FSF News

Free Software Foundation statement on the new iPhone, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch

Today, Apple announced new iPhone models, a watch, and a payment service. In response, FSF executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:

It is astonishing to see so much of the technology press acting as Apple's marketing arm. What's on display today is widespread complicity in hiding the most newsworthy aspect of the announcement -- Apple's continuing war on individual computer user freedom, and by extension, free speech, free commerce, free association, privacy, and technological innovation.

Every review that does not mention Apple's insistence on using Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to lock down the devices and applications they sell is doing an extreme disservice to readers, and is a blow to the development of the free digital society we actually need. Any review that discusses technical specs without first exposing the unethical framework that produced those products, is helping usher people down a path that ends in complete digital disempowerment.

Keep a tally of how many reviews you read today mention that Apple threatens anyone who dares attempt installing another operating system like Android on their Apple phone or watch with criminal prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Keep a tally of how many reviews mention that Apple devices won't allow you to install any unapproved applications, again threatening you with jail time if you attempt to do so without Apple's blessing. Keep a tally of how many reviews highlight Apple's use of software patents and an army of lawyers to attack those developing a more free computing environment than theirs.

We've seen several examples since the last Apple product announcement of times when smartphones and other computers have been used for political activism and important free speech. We've also seen several examples of times when such expressions have been censored. If we continue allowing Apple this kind of control, censorship and digital "free speech zones" will become the permanent norm.

There is a reason that the inventor of the US's first internally programmable computer shuns Apple devices as antithetical to vital kinds of creativity. But it's not enough to just say "Don't buy their products." The laws Apple and others use to enforce their digital restrictions, giving them a subsidized competitive advantage over products that respect user freedom, must be repealed.

At least the watch did end up having a clasp so you can remove it -- we were worried.

We urge users to investigate ways to support the use of mobile and wearable devices which do not restrict users' essential freedoms. Such projects include Replicant, a free software fork of Android, and F-Droid, an app repository of exclusively free software for Android. People should also let Tim Cook at Apple know how they feel.

September 09, 2014 06:30 PM

health @ Savannah

GNU Health patchset 2.6.3 released

Dear community

GNU Health patchset 2.6.3 has been released !

Priority: High

Table of Contents

  • About GNU Health Patchsets
  • Summary of this patchset
  • Installation notes
  • List of bugs fixed in this patchset

About GNU Health Patchsets

We provide "patchsets" to stable releases. Patchsets allow quick bug fixes and updates for production systems.

Patches and Patchsets maximize uptime for production systems, and keep your system updated, without the need to do a whole installation. Some of them, and thanks to the magic of Tryton can be applied to running system.

NOTE: Patchsets are applied on previously installed systems only. For new installations, download and install the whole tarball (ie, gnuhealth-2.6.3.tar.gz)

For more information about GNU Health patches and patchsets you can visit

Summary of this patchset

  • Affected modules (excludes localization / typos) : health, health_lab, health_socioeconomics
  • health : The relate action on appointments is now a wizard, to create patient evaluations from appointment (due to Tryton change on action domains); more validations and constraints on operational sectors, specialties and insurances; fix appointment report.
  • health_socioeconomics : Fix Smilkstein Family APGAR (FAPGAR) on the field "help from family".

Installation Notes

You must apply previous patchsets before installing this patchset. If your patchset level is 2.6.2, then just follow the general instructions. You can find the patchsets at GNU Health FTP site (

Read and follow the general instructions at

Source the GNU Health profile (source $HOME/.gnuhealthrc) to update your environment

Update your database ( update=all )

List of bugs fixed in this patchset

by Luis Falcon at September 09, 2014 04:00 PM

GNU MediaGoblin

Deb Nicholson receives O’Reilly Open Source Award

Those of you who follow MediaGoblin closely likely know of Deb Nicholson, our community manager. This post is a bit late, but nonetheless, I wanted to share something exciting that happened:

Deb Nicholson receiving the O'Reilly Open Source Award
Deb Nicholson receiving the O’Reilly Open Source Award.
Photo by Bryan Smith, released under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.

That’s right! Deb Nicholson won the O’Reilly Open Source Award, one of the most recognized awards in the FLOSS world, for her work on GNU MediaGoblin and OpenHatch. Here’s the text of Deb’s nomination:

Deb Nicholson has been a sparkplug for Linux and FOSS advocacy and she can best be described as the traffic cop at the intersection of technology and social justice. A free speech advocate, economic justice organizer and civil liberties defender for years, Deb became involved in the free software movement. She is the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at MediaGoblin. She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools and education.

…as well as the message from the award announcement itself:

Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She became involved in the free software movement about five years ago when she started working for the Free Software Foundation. She is currently the Community Outreach Director for the Open Invention Network and in her spare time, she serves on the board of OpenHatch. Congratulations Deb!

Deb Nicholson receiving the O'Reilly Open Source Award
Photo by Bryan Smith, released under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.

Deb and I have known each other from when she used to work at the Free Software Foundation and we became friends over time. I’ve always been impressed with the tireless work Deb has put into making the world of free software a better and friendlier place for everyone, as well as her extensive knowledge gained from a long history of social justice work. Early on in MediaGoblin starting up as a project, I talked to Deb about it and asked if she’d be interested in being involved. I’m glad I did… Deb has brought much to the project and I constantly lean on her skills in writing, her sharp wit, and her clear and regular guidance on how to build MediaGoblin into a better community. MediaGoblin wouldn’t be the same place it is today without Deb working with us.

Deb, thanks for your work on MediaGoblin, OpenHatch, and so many other things… and for being a great friend to myself and many others in the MediaGoblin community! We’re glad to have you here!

by Christopher Allan Webber at September 09, 2014 03:45 PM

FSF Events

Richard Stallman - "Libre Software, Libre Education" (New York, NY)

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.

Time and detailed location to be determined.

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

September 09, 2014 02:27 PM

remotecontrol @ Savannah

September 08, 2014

FSF Blogs

Interview with GNU remotecontrol

GNU remotecontrol logo

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Stephen H. Dawson and the rest of the GNU remotecontrol project, a web application for managing building automation devices. Stephen is the maintainer of the GNU remotecontrol software project and is an Information Technology Management professional with over twenty-five years of industry experience in various areas of application development, database management, and networking.

Tell us a bit about GNU remotecontrol

GNU remotecontrol is a web application serving as a management tool for reading from and writing to multiple IP enabled heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) thermostats, and other building automation devices. While various IP thermostat manufacturers have offered web portals exclusively for their users to remotely access and adjust the settings of individual thermostats, they do not provide a unified management tool for multiple thermostats. The goal of GNU remotecontrol is to provide this management tool for individuals and companies alike.

The background on this project is focused around the HVAC Thermostat. Currently, there is an international effort to create a smart grid, which is a modernized electrical grid that uses data-driven, responsive technologies which are designed to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity. The HVAC thermostat of today struggles to become part of the smart grid due to an inability to provide remotely controlled HVAC operation and an unfitness to predict HVAC demand. The tension to balance HVAC comfort against cost is a constant challenge. GNU remotecontrol provides the ability to simplify energy management and determine energy costs through a database driven, web application with a user interface that provides simple to operate check boxes and pull-down menus. GNU remotecontrol can be used to increase the deployment of the smart grid, while also providing additional end user benefits through data driven decision making. The results are lower costs from optimized HVAC management and the improved efficiency of existing HVAC implementations. The long-term target of the GNU remotecontrol project is to pave the way for demand response through unattended server side automation.

What inspired you to create GNU remotecontrol?

GNU remotecontrol is not a solo effort. GNU remotecontrol would not exist without the project team. There are also several folks contributing on and off without being a part of the team.

The vision for GNU remotecontrol came in 1978. The United States was experiencing a substantial energy supply problem. GNU remotecontrol was envisioned to help solve the energy consumption problem, on a national basis. The technology necessary to interconnect the various pieces of GNU remotecontrol was not widely available in 1978. 2007 started the first tangible software development effort, after years of thinking, talking, and sketching plans. Several technology pieces brought together under GNU remotecontrol were already in place and could be leveraged by GNU remotecontrol, once the initial code development was complete. We considered selling the software. We found two firm barriers preventing widespread adoption in the commercial market.

  1. People wanted the software under their control, including possession of the source code.
  2. People wanted help to use the software, but were often unsure of the help they needed.

It became clear commercial usage of this software would not occur at any foreseeable future, if ever, due to the requirements of the people using this software. They want a complete list of information regarding the software (source code) and assistance available to them (collaboration) before they would commit to using it. This inseparable combination brought the realization to release the software through a license satisfying these exact two user requirements.

How are people using it?

This answer is three-fold, based on the network connected HVAC thermostats available today:

  • The people who have directly spoken with us are researching the existing software capabilities and determining if the software is suitable for their facilities.

  • The people who have emailed us are looking for a suitable substitute for the proprietary software they use now. They are looking for more information on how to reduce their operating costs and leverage collaborative effort on their next energy management installation. Some of these people are looking to retrofit existing energy management installations.

  • The people who desire to remain nameless and faceless are often competitors concerned that their proprietary software will not be as desired in the future as it is now, due to the benefit of a collaborative software project using a license such as AGPL.

We are not surprised there are those who feel GNU remotecontrol is their competitor, although we state GNU remotecontrol does not have competitors. We are a collaborative effort. True collaboration is the polar opposite of competition.

Now, let's talk a bit about who is involved using GNU remotecontrol and the flow of steps to get things working.

  1. Getting GNU remotecontrol setup with the source code, the web server, and the database server is an information technology effort.
  2. Getting GNU remotecontrol setup with an energy efficiency plan is a mechanical engineering effort, after the GNU remotecontrol information technology parts are setup.
  3. Getting a network connected HVAC thermostat setup is a combined effort, between mechanical engineering and information technology.
  4. Selecting GNU remotecontrol is often the financial officer's or business owner's decision. The financial officer receives the hardware and software requirements of the business facilities, from information technology and mechanical engineering groups, undertaking an evaluation of cost versus benefit regarding any proposed energy management solution.
  5. The business then chooses the option best meeting their needs. Guidance on structuring the implementation cost is covered in the GNU remotecontrol user manual.

What features do you think really sets GNU remotecontrol apart from similar software?

The "ease of use" phrase is the most prevalent comment we hear from first time users. The ability to perform concurrent operations on multiple network connected HVAC thermostats is another key feature of GNU remotecontrol, bringing significant time savings to installations with large numbers of thermostats. Automatically adjusting multiple time zones allows the management of geographically dispersed systems from a single location. Usage logs with timestamps can be used to generate detailed management reports and further off line data analysis. GNU remotecontrol also provides detailed access controls for different user groups, role based authentication, encryption, and other features that are not often found in similar software.

It is our considered opinion the coming together for these three groups (information technology, mechanical engineering, and financial officer) is what GNU remotecontrol can best deliver to the public. We are helping to build these groups into a team. Each of these groups have their education and certifications in their respective area of expertise. They all need each other, to successfully run their facilities and accomplish the goals of their organization. One group cannot try to accomplish the role of another group, nor can they risk a guess in areas outside their expertise. They need to work with each other, as a unified group, as a team, to determine what their organization should implement. The group members who can communicate effectively with others will succeed using GNU remotecontrol to optimize the operation of their HVAC systems.

What barriers do you think exist before wider adoption of GNU remotecontrol will occur?

The marketplace has many different network connected HVAC thermostats, each combining bits of different technologies. There is little standardization. There are plenty of technology standards, technology organizations, and industry associations speaking to the network connected HVAC thermostat concept. A standards based network connected HVAC thermostat is still quite expensive today, because the market cannot settle on a single technology standard and begin large scale manufacturing. The same principle occurred in data networking, once the combination of ethernet and IP addressing was selected. We make the following controversial statement. Once the market chooses a single set of end-to-end technology standards to build the network connected HVAC thermostat, there will be many manufacturers making and selling network connected HVAC thermostats. This statement we make is controversial, due to the widespread argument about price versus technology features being the driver for maturing the network connected HVAC thermostat aspect of the smart grid. The circles of this argument are mostly either an industry push or a market demand mindset. The desire for this technology has yet to present a clear pattern, because technology standardization is not present, which is preventing the start of widespread manufacturing.

The features available in each product will go up and cost of each product will go down, as in any other product offering where there is direct competition. Essentially, the same turn of events which radically occurred with data network routers and switches approximately fifteen years ago is about to occur with the network connected HVAC thermostat. Select a standard, 'commoditization' of design and manufacturing kick in, and the market demand increases due to lower prices. This turn of events will most likely play out in North America, Japan, possibly South Korea, while now occurring in India. India is now retooling their entire national electric grid, to be complete within the next fifteen years. It is not a matter of if the network connected HVAC thermostat will be a viable member of a smart grid. It is a matter of when this membership will occur. We expect several developed nations to have made these decisions within the next ten years from now, along with big milestones occurring in all financial markets, social communities, and developed nations within the next two years. These milestones will collectivity accelerate adoption of the network connected HVAC thermostat in residential, commercial, and industrial facilities.

The leading HVAC topic of today is the numbers game. Numbers, in the form of who is paying for the energy bill, who is paying for the hardware to run the HVAC system, and who is paying for the paychecks of the people operating the organizations many HVAC systems. Adding the network connected aspect to the HVAC thermostat requires the mechanical engineering group to work hand-in-hand with information technology group. The network connected aspect also means information technology is now inseparable from the effort to operate HVAC systems. The mechanical engineering and the information technology groups each must become comfortable with this work arrangement, to successfully operate network connected HVAC thermostats. The good news for any organization is the rising cost of energy will cause anyone considering the costs of HVAC systems to only purchase from suppliers and employ staff who can collaborate effectively to achieve operating cost savings.

Why did you choose the AGPL as GNU remotecontrol's license?

We spent nine months researching which license to select for this software project, along with years of looking beforehand. We spoke with GNU about AGPL. They talked us through some of the scenarios which could ultimately occur with this software project, in the long-term, along with what has occurred with other software projects, in the past. The option for anyone to take this software, alter it within the parameters of the AGPL license, all while providing a complete understanding of those alterations, is quite attractive to us. Richard Stallman states, "Any software without a license is not free." We agree with this statement.

How can users (technical or otherwise) help contribute to GNU remotecontrol?

We foresee the project will grow to include additional software development languages, along with further language translation of both the user interface display language and the project documentation. We have a pretty good development test environment now, but would like to setup a more robust test environment. We would like to include an innovation aspect to our test environment, where contributors can work through what-if scenarios and improve the software. We are looking for a Development Server Administrator. We welcome contributions from both PHP Developer and MySQL Developer folks.

What's the next big thing for GNU remotecontrol?

Short answer, data privacy within the smart grid. A credible, dependable, and trustworthy software project must responsibly address the associated data privacy involved with such a large scale transformation to any culture. Would you ever want anything less? The success of the smart grid is resting upon effectively predicting demand for energy consumption and executing dynamic demand response. Successfully predicting demand for energy consumption involves recording historical energy consumption, for identifying trends of probable future energy demand. This historical usage is where the data privacy matter is centered. The reality is historical user data will be stored by the public utility. It is only a matter of how the residential customer wants their specific user data handled.

Long answer, helping people understand the data privacy need within the smart grid and understanding how to achieve it. People ask, “why are we doing this?” Our answer is it needs to be done, as a matter of social responsibility. Need can be a controversial term, depending on how the term is used. The word “need” is never controversial when referring to a customer or business defining what they require. The phrase caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is a concern when considering altering a national electric grid. Successfully selecting and implementing technologies to work together is no small task. The best way we can see helping is providing both source code and collaboration. The phrase caveat lector (let the reader beware) is suitable to any culture desiring to alter their national electric grid. Enabling the world to read about both best practices and source code for energy management software helps to successfully purchase either hardware or professional services.

The simplicity of installing the HVAC thermostat has been well proven for many years. The local home supply store has many different options available for purchase. The network connected aspect is where rubber meets the road today. GNU remotecontrol began and continues with the understanding the three roles of financial, mechanical, and informational must successfully work together as a group within any organization. We do not claim to have all of the answers, because we know we do not have all of the answers, nor will we ever have all of the answers. Companies come and go. The most wonderful technology of today, from a company which ceases to exist tomorrow, does not help anyone the day afterwards. We are working on the software, while gathering the best practices, hoping the hardware will standardize. The hardware will one day standardize, as the marketplace wants the network connected HVAC thermostat. GNU remotecontrol is attempting to help smooth the road between today and the realization of the next generation electric grid.

Enjoyed this interview? Check out our previous entry in this series featuring the developers of

September 08, 2014 09:25 PM

FSF News

FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need

While other databases list hardware that is technically compatible with GNU/Linux, h-node lists hardware as compatible only if it does not require any proprietary software or firmware. Information about hardware that flunks this test is also included, so users know what to avoid. The database lists individual components, like WiFi and video cards, as well as complete notebook systems.

The compatibility information comes from users testing hardware on systems running only free software. Previously, h-node site guidelines required they be running one of the FSF's endorsed distributions. While the FSF does not include Debian on this list because the Debian project provides a repository of nonfree software, the FSF does acknowledge that Debian's main repository, which by default is the only place packages come from, is completely free.

"Unlike other common GNU/Linux distributions, installing official Debian by default means installing only free software. As long as Debian users do not add additional package repositories, their systems are a reliable source of fully free compatibility information. We're looking forward to working with Debian to help free software users get the hardware they need, and encourage the companies who provide it," said FSF's executive director John Sullivan.

"By collaborating with h-node, Debian for the first time has the opportunity to join efforts with other free software communities on the assembly of a database of hardware that doesn't require anything outside the Debian main archive to work properly," said Lucas Nussbaum, Debian Project Leader. "Debian is confident that the fruits of this collaboration will result in the largest curated database of Debian-compatible hardware, and invites all Debian community members to contribute hardware compatibility information to h-node."

H-node was started by Antonio Gallo, who continues to be the project's lead developer. The FSF now provides infrastructure and support. The software powering the site is also distributed as free software under version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

Users can contribute either by running one of the FSF's endorsed distributions, or Debian with only packages from the default main archive installed. Developers and translators can contribute by working on the site's code. Information for getting involved is 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

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Lucas Nussbaum
Debian Project Leader

September 08, 2014 03:37 PM

September 07, 2014

GNU Remotecontrol

Newsletter – September 2014


We are unable to accomplish timely completion of the September 2014 edition. We have decided to wait and publish the next edition in October 2014, instead of rushing to produce a lesser quality work. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this decision. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding our decision.


Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

by gnuremotecontrol at September 07, 2014 04:15 PM

September 06, 2014

gcl @ Savannah

GCL 2.6.11 has been released

Greetings! The GCL team is happy to announce the release of version
2.6.11, the latest achievement in the 'stable' (as opposed to
'development') series. Please see for
downloading information.

This release features better floating point precision processing,
support for cygwin, arm64, ppc64, ppc64le and solaris, more robust
SGC, exact vararg initialization, SIGFPE trapping via
#'si::break-on-floating-point-exceptions, x86 support for libopcode
instruction disassembly via #'si::disassemble-instruction, simplified
build dependencies, faster gcd, lcm, typep, coerce, 1+-, predicates,
pcl cache, SGC, fast-linking, closure calls and compiled bignums,
compilation of top level closure forms by default, memoization of
array type handling, support for machines handling long and object
returns in different registers, a much smaller cmpinclude.h, prelink
support, default Debian compiler flag support (especially
stack-guard), new linking and fast-linking diagnostic functions, some
selinux support via READ_IMPLIES_EXEC personality, and many
miscellaneous bug fixes and support for bugs in various external

by Camm Maguire at September 06, 2014 04:19 PM

direvent @ Savannah

Direvent 5.0 available for download

Direvent 5.0 -- a first GNU release of the package -- is available for download from the official GNU FTP, and from the
package FTP home.

by Sergey Poznyakoff at September 06, 2014 02:13 PM

September 05, 2014

FSF Blogs

Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: September 5

Today's Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meeting was both productive and comedic. While some of us were working hard updating and adding new entries to the Directory, others were keeping us fully entertained by debating software freedom in the context of UFOs and other alien spacecraft.

Two highlights from today's meeting are packages from a new contributor, Tsyesika:

  • PyPump: an interface to the API's. The aim of this project is to provide very natural Pythonic representations of Notes, Images, People, etc., so as to allow you to painlessly interact with them. It is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL version 3 (or at your option, any later version).

  • Inboxen, an email program that provides protection, via virtual inboxes. It is licensed under GNU AGPL version 3 (or at your option, any later version).

In addition to maintenance work and adding some new semantic property values and categories, we also published updates to a number of existing packages, including: TappyTux, State Machine Compiler, Psi, PrimaGIS, Moodle, Liferea, GNU HaliFAX, Ggcov, GShow TV, Fwlogwatch, Empathy, BirdFont, Bibfilex, Bayonne, and AudioMove.

As far as we know all of the packages in the Free Software Directory were created by humans on planet Earth.

You, too, can join in on the fun. Find out how to attend our Friday Free Software Directory IRC Meetings by checking our blog or subscribing to the RSS feed.

September 05, 2014 11:01 PM

Bring the FSF to your campus!

Software freedom and learning go hand in hand. Textbooks should be DRM-free, readily shareable, and easy to check out from the library for as long as you need them. You should be able to use whatever free operating system you choose, not forced into a contract with Microsoft (as is the case at schools like Virginia Tech). Everyone studying computer science at the college level should be able to see and learn from the code that makes their software tick. Learning is a cooperative endeavor; the tools you use to learn should promote cooperation, not proprietize human knowledge.

We're on a mission to help students and other members of campus communities organize to make their schools free software friendly. Would you like us to come to your campus to speak to your class, meet with your student group, or give you tools to meet with your administrators? Email

September 05, 2014 10:06 PM

September 04, 2014

FSF News

Free Software Foundation adds libreCMC to its list of endorsed distributions

The FSF's list consists of ready-to-use full systems whose developers have made a commitment to follow the Guidelines for Free System Distributions. This means each distro includes and steers users toward exclusively free software. All distros reject nonfree software, including firmware "blobs," and nonfree documentation.

The wireless network router is a ubiquitous device found in almost every home or business. Virtually all routers on the market today ship with proprietary operating systems. With libreCMC, users can now replace the proprietary operating system on many routers with a 100% free software operating system.

"Today, if you run libreCMC on your home router, you will gain more control over your computing and over the security of your communications. Over time, as a platform designed for and by free software users, we hope libreCMC will make it easy for any user to run their own services, and to remotely access and share files without having to rely upon third-parties," said Joshua Gay, FSF's licensing and compliance manager.

Bob Call, the founder and lead maintainer of libreCMC, said, "The core goals of the libreCMC project are to provide a solid platform that gives users the freedom to control their computing, both in the embedded and large application spaces and eventually in the area of high-performance computing. Right now, libreCMC supports five different versions of routers, as well as the Ben NanoNote. In the future, we hope to expand support to more devices, provide an easy solution for users to host their own services, and pave the way for free software to expand in the embedded world."

The FSF is currently evaluating routers running libreCMC for its Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program.

More info about libreCMC and how to get involved can be found out 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.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

Bob Call
Founder & Maintainer


September 04, 2014 07:50 PM

guix @ Savannah

Emacs as a general-purpose package manager

GNU Guix, the package manager written for the GNU system, now has a neat Emacs user interface! It offers a visual, user-friendly alternative to the guix package command-line interface.

For those familiar with package.el, the main user interface is quite similar: commands like guix-newest-available-packages, guix-search-by-regexp, and guix-installed-packages present a browsable list of packages. Individual packages can be selected, which displays additional details and presents a button to install or delete them. It is also possible to mark a set of packages for installation, upgrade, or deletion, and execute the set of operations in a single transaction.

The interface has been developed by Alex Kost and was merged in Guix a day ago. It uses Geiser, the beloved Guile/Emacs interface and development environment, to communicate with the underlying Guile process. That Guile process, in turn, simply uses Guix and the whole distribution as libraries—the goodness of embedding the packaging DSL in a general-purpose language.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

by Ludovic Courtès at September 04, 2014 08:30 AM

September 02, 2014

freedink @ Savannah

New FreeDink game data release

Here's a new release of freedink-data :)

It adds 2 new sounds, as well as 2 new complete translations in Catalan and Hungarian.

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.

freedink-data contains the original game story, along with free sound and music replacements.
Your help is welcome to fill the gap!

by Sylvain Beucler at September 02, 2014 07:00 PM

September 01, 2014

GNUnet News

August 31, 2014


August 29, 2014

FSF Blogs

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 26 new GNU releases!

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: Nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors ( You can use the url to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month, we welcome Raman Gopalan as a new co-maintainer of GNU gengen (with its author Lorenzo Bettini), Marcel Schaible as the new maintainer of GNU gperf, and Sergey Poznyakoff adds yet another new package, direvent, to his long list. I'd also like to specially thank Assaf Gordon (the author and maintainer of GNU datamash, new last month) for a significant amount of effort with all aspects of Savannah; new Savannah volunteers are always needed, and welcome. Thanks to all.

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 To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see

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

August 29, 2014 09:01 PM

August 27, 2014

FSF Blogs

Watch: "JavaScript: If you love it, set it free"

In his speech, John emphasized how proprietary JavaScript, which runs on the user's Web browser without being released under a free license, hurts the user's freedom to view and modify the software that they run. He also highlights some specific examples of malicious behavior by proprietary JavaScript such as blocking browser functions or recording the user's keystrokes.

Free your javascript video thumb

Watch the video on our GNU MediaGoblin instance

John discussed the progress of the FSF's Free JavaScript campaign, as well as the development of GNU LibreJS, a browser plugin built to stop non-free JavaScript from being executed on the user's computer. He also explained how simple it is to release JavaScript under a free license through Web Labels -- simple pages that enumerate the licenses of all the JavaScript distributed on a Web site -- or by adding a license tag to the code.

Through the Free JavaScript campaign, which grew out of Richard Stallman's insights in The Javascript Trap, the FSF is working to pursuade governments, NGOs, and other organizations to fix their Web sites to work without forcing the user to execute any proprietary software on their computer. The campaign is currently focusing on Reddit.

To get involved in the Free JavaScript campaign, join the low-volume Free JavaScript Action Team email list.

If you have expert-level knowledge of JavaScript or software licensing, we invite you to submit a request to join the JavaScript Developers Task Force, a discussion list that works closely with the FSF on the Free JavaScript campaign and provides technical guidance to Web sites working to free their JavaScript.

If you'd like to view the slides from John's presentation, you can view them on John's user page on LibrePlanet.

This blog post was written by FSF campaigns intern Alex Patel.

More information about the FSF's internship program is available on our Internships page.


August 27, 2014 09:30 PM

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 29

Join the FSF and friends on Friday, August 29, 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 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!

August 27, 2014 08:12 PM