Planet GNU

Aggregation of development blogs from the GNU Project

October 30, 2014

FSF Blogs

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: October 31

Join the FSF and friends on Friday, October 31, 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!

October 30, 2014 09:42 PM

Interview with Jessica Tallon of PyPump

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Jessica Tallon, the lead developer PyPump, a simple but powerful and pythonic way of interfacing with the API, which is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 or, at your option, any later version (GPLv3+).

What inspired you to create PyPump?

I began working on PyPump when Evan Prodromou launched the first servers. Although had existed before, I wasn't a user and the only social networks I used were centralized, proprietary ones which really clashed with my views on software freedom and the federated web. I wanted to be able to interact with pump without having to use a browser. The API was easy to understand, so I tried to see if I could put together a basic library.

How are people using it?

There are several interesting projects out there which use PyPump. With my day job as a GNU MediaGoblin developer, we're going to be using it as a way of communicating between servers as a part of our federation effort. A great use I've seen is PumpMigrate, which will migrate one account to another. Another little utility that I wrote over the course of a weekend is p, which was made to be an easy way of making a quick post, bulk uploading photos, or anything you can script with the shell.

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

One thing PyPump does particularly well is being pythonic. We've written PyPump to be as natural for the python developer to work with as possible. Hopefully, that will lower the bar of entry for developers, as they won't have to read through the API documentation or be intimately familiar with Activity Streams in order to write great applications that can interact with

Why did you choose the GNU GPLv3+ as PyPump's license?

This is actually something I get asked a lot and something which I have spent a lot of time thinking about. PyPump is a library and most people expected me to release it under the GNU LGPLv3. The reason I went with the GNU GPLv3 is that I believe that all software, regardless of size, should be free - so that we can all learn, build, fix, and use the software in whatever way we see fit. GPLv3 gives everyone the protection against someone coming along and using all that great work and writing proprietary code against it.

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

There is so much people can do to help. We would love to get help both on the library, as we're currently working towards our 0.6 release, as well as on documentation. With PyPump being a library, we want to make sure that we have accessible, good quality documentation so that the people who want to use PyPump can. Writing software that uses it is also a great way of contributing!

What's the next big thing for PyPump?

The next big thing is our 0.6 release, in which we're aiming to provide much better documentation, better storage interaction, and a much more stable API to write against. I think some of the most exciting things won't be what we add to PyPump, but, rather, what other developers will create with it. I'm really looking forward to it being used in more ways.

Enjoyed this interview? Check out our previous entry in this series featuring Alan Reiner of Bitcoin Armory.

October 30, 2014 08:58 PM

October 29, 2014

freeipmi @ Savannah

FreeIPMI 1.4.6 Released

FreeIPMI 1.4.6 - 10/29/14
o In ipmi-fru, support output of DDR4 SDRAM modules.
o Fix EFI probing on non IA64 systems.
o Fix corner case in ipmi-raw w/ standard input or --file and empty lines.
o Fix parsing corner case in ipmi-chassis.
o Support SSIF bridging.

by Albert Chu at October 29, 2014 06:50 PM

October 28, 2014

gcl @ Savannah

GCL 2.6.12 is released

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

This release was largely motivated to accelerate closure construction
and compiler hash table performance for ACL2(h). Along the way,
support was added for ACL2 static-consing, making GCL at present one
of two lisps offering this optimization for very large and heavy jobs.
This release also features a TAGS target in make, a variety of
compiler speed improvements, an overhaul and standardization of the
error, conditions, and restart systems, protection of system and fork
from SIGPROF, and getc/putc from SIGINT, faster l2 list functions and
nani/address, proper handling of missing objdump and generic TMP
environment variables, processing of mismatched fast-link calls slowly
without error, ppc64le and aarch64 fixes, support for the
si::link-list fast-linking diagnostic, more robust segfault
trapping, and full pathname fixes to the unradomize/re-exec

by Camm Maguire at October 28, 2014 02:49 PM

guile-ncurses @ Savannah

guile-ncurses 1.6 released

I am pleased to announce version 1.6 of GNU Guile-ncurses. Guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is based on the ncurses project's curses, panel, form, and menu libraries.

The web page for GNU guile-ncurses is

Its canonical download location is

Or you can download it from a mirror at

This release adds a couple of new features and changes

- Two more ncurses functions have been wrapped: 'unctrl' and 'resizeterm'
- 'form-driver' now handles Unicode if a recent version of ncurses is being used
- '%is-form-driver-wide' is a new constant that indicates if 'form-driver' can handle Unicode
- 'newterm' now operates only on file ports. Other port types never worked correctly.
- the configure script no longer ignores LIBS and LDFLAGS specified on the command line


Mike Gran

by Mike Gran at October 28, 2014 12:05 AM

October 27, 2014

libtool @ Savannah

GNU libtool 2.4.3 released [stable]


The Libtool Team is pleased to announce the release of libtool 2.4.3.

GNU Libtool hides the complexity of using shared libraries behind a
consistent, portable interface. GNU Libtool ships with GNU libltdl, which
hides the complexity of loading dynamic runtime libraries (modules)
behind a consistent, portable interface.

This is an interrim release with a few known small regressions, as yet
unfixed due to a lack of man-power. But rather than make you wait any
longer to enjoy the new features and cleaner build using the latest
autotools, gnulib, config.guess, config.sub and bootstrap scripts, with
support for several new systems and system revisions, we're releasing
it now in anticipation of your patches for the remaining nits and

Here are the compressed sources: (1.7MB) (928KB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
.sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file
and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

gpg --verify libtool-2.4.3.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 151308092983D606

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
Autoconf 2.69
Automake 1.14.1
Gnulib v0.1-234-g8415b67


  • Noteworthy changes in release 2.4.3 (2014-10-27) [stable]
    • New features:

- Moved to gnulib release infrastructure.

- M4 is now used for scanning the M4 macros in your that
'libtoolize' looks at to determine what files you want, and where you
would like them installed. This means that you can compose your
version number or any other argument that Libtoolize needs to know at
M4 time using git-version-gen from gnulib, for example.

- Invoking 'libtoolize --ltdl' no longer maintains a separate autoconf
macro directory in the libltdl tree, but automatically adjusts the
installed libltdl configuration files to share whatever macro
directory is declared by the parent project. (Note: if you were
already sharing a macro directory with AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR(ltdl/m4)
or similar, that still works as does any other directory choice).

- Invoking 'libtoolize --ltdl' no longer maintains a separate auxiliary
scripts directory in the libltdl tree, but automatically adjusts the
installed libltdl configuration files to share whatever auxiliary
scripts directory is declared by the parent project. (Note: if you
were already sharing an auxiliary directory with subproject libltdl
using AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR(ltdl/config) or similar, that still works as
does any other directory choice).

- The legacy tests have all been migrated to the Autotest harness.

- The Autotest testsuite can be run without the especially time consuming
tests with:

make check-local TESTSUITEFLAGS='-k "!expensive"'

    • Bug fixes:

- Fix a long-standing latent bug in autom4te include path for autotests
with VPATH builds.
- Fix a long-standing latent bug in libtoolize that could delete lines
from libltdl/ in recursive mode due to underquoting in a
sed script.
- Fix a long-standing bug in libtoolize, by outputting the 'putting
auxiliary files in' header with 'libtoolize --ltdl --subproject'.
- Fix a long-standing bug in libtoolize subproject installation, by not
installing a set of autoconf macro files into the parent project if
there is no present to use them.
- The libtoolize subproject mode selector is now named '--subproject'
and is equivalent to the implied '--subproject' mode when no other
mode is selected; '--standalone' never worked, and is no longer
- Libtool and libtoolize no longer choke on paths with a comma in them.
- In the case where $SHELL does not have the same enhanced features
(e.g. the ability to parse 'var+=append') as $CONFIG_SHELL, libtool
will now correctly fallback to using only vanilla shell features
instead of failing with a parse at startup.
- Correctly recognize import libraries when Microsoft dumpbin is used
as the name lister and extend the dumpbin wrapper to find symbols
in import libraries using the -headers option of dumpbin. Also fix a
bug in the dumpbin wrapper that could lead to broken symbol listings
in some corner cases.
- Use the improved Microsoft dumpbin support to mend preloading of
import libraries for Microsoft Visual C/C++.
- No longer mangle module-definition (.def) files when feeding them to
the Microsoft Visual C/C++ linker via the -export-symbols argument to
the libtool script, thus matching how .def files are handled when
using GNU tools.
- Recognize more variants (e.g. those starting with a LIBRARY statement)
of module-definitions (.def) files when using them instead of a raw
list of symbols to export.
- Fix a long-standing bug when using libtoolize without automake; we
no longer remove install-sh with --force, since it's not a file
libtoolize will reinstall without --install..

    • Important incompatible changes:

- GNU M4 is required to run libtoolize in a directory with a
'' (or '') that needs tracing to determine
what modes and directories have been specified.

- The use of the idiosyncratically named '' in nonrecursive
libltdl builds is deprecated, although it will be supported for one
more year or until the next release, whichever takes longer. Please
upgrade to the more standard naming of '' in keeping with other
GNU projects.

- libtoolize now behaves consistenty in respect of multiple directory
arguments to ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS and multiple invocations of AC_CONFIG-
_MACRO_DIRS, where the first directory is always selected. Previous
releases took the first ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS argument, but the last
invocation of AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS.

- The libtoolize program now advises use of the new Autoconf
AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS declaration. If you follow that advice, all
your developers will need at least autoconf-2.70 and automake-1.13
to rebootstrap your probject. If you still need to support
bootstrap with older Autotools, then you should add the following
to your file:


- Overhead of probing for a non-backslash crippled echo equivalent
during initialization of every script has been removed in favor of
trusting that "printf %s\n" works out of the box on all non-museum
host architectures. Manually setting ECHO appropriately in the
build environment will be necessary on some ancient architectures.

    • Changes in supported systems or compilers:

- Support for bitrig (--bitrig*).

- Solaris 7 and earlier requires ECHO=/usr/ucb/echo in the build
environment, to build and use libtool.


by Gary V. Vaughan at October 27, 2014 08:11 PM

FSF Events

Walter Bender - "Learning to Change the World" (Cambridge, MA)

Join us as Walter Bender presents "Learning to Change the World: How the Technology and Culture of Free Software Can Fuel a Learning Revolution One Teacher and One Child at a Time."
Walter Bender is founder and executive director of Sugar Labs. Sugar Labs is a member project of the non-profit foundation Software Freedom Conservancy. Sugar Labs develops educational software used by more than three-million children in more than forty countries.
In 2006, Bender co-founded the One Laptop per Child, a non-profit association with Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour Papert. As director of the MIT Media Laboratory, Bender led a team of researchers in fields as varied as tangible media to affective computing to lifelong kindergarten. In 1992, Bender founded the MIT News in the Future consortium, which launched the era of digital news.

Registration or RSVP'ing, while not required, is always appreciated, as it will help us ensure there is enough space and food for all. You can RSVP by e-mailing Will Rico (

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

October 27, 2014 06:35 PM

wget @ Savannah

GNU wget 1.16 released

  • Noteworthy changes in Wget 1.16
    • No longer create local symbolic links by default. Closes CVE-2014-4877.
    • Use libpsl for verifying cookie domains.
    • Default progress bar output changed.
    • Introduce --show-progress to force display the progress bar.
    • Introduce --no-config. The wgetrc files will not be read.
    • Introduce --start-pos to allow starting downloads from a specified position.
    • Fix a problem with ISA Server Proxy and keep-alive connections.

Download it here:

and verify with GPG:

by Giuseppe Scrivano at October 27, 2014 10:04 AM

librejs @ Savannah

LibreJS 6.0.4 released

Changes since the 6.0.3 release:
* Fixed a bug where some sites would hang until you reload them.
Savannah bug #43466

* Fixed a bug where the complaint box would sometimes get

* Updated some internal libraries, and removed a library
dependency. For details you can see the ChangeLog:

by Nik Nyby at October 27, 2014 12:46 AM

October 26, 2014

Riccardo Mottola

New GNUMail release 1.2.2

After Pantomime a GNUMail release had of course to follow.
The same words as for Pantomime apply.

Due to the inactivity of CollaborationWorld and Ludovic, we(*) decided to import the sources in gnustep-nonfsf at

(*)German, Sebastian and myself with the contributions of others

The download is at:

This release contains updates and some important, long-needed fixes:
* critical fixes on GNUstep which finally make SMTP usable again (including security detection in preferences)
* use the corresponding Pantomime to finally run on NetBSD
* Many 64bit fixes
* port to MacOS re-instantiated (10.3/10.4 tested)
* Memory problem fixes
* General code cleanup to compile on modern compilers (gcc4 and clang) and on modern obj-c runtimes
* works slightly better on small displays
* crash fixes

There is still quite some stuff to do, but at least GNUMail can be compiled, run and used again and I hope other will enjoy it!

GNUMail on MacOS

GNUMail on GNUstep

by Riccardo ( at October 26, 2014 11:15 PM

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."


1 Judgment n. 19161/2014 published 11/9/2014
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
4 See
5 See
6 See p. 22 of the judgment.
7 See p. 21 of the judgment.
8 See
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

October 24, 2014 08:55 PM

remotecontrol @ Savannah

New Address for Web Archive


This news posting is an update to our 05 November 2013 posting.

The Smart Grid Educational Webinar Series Archives has changed the address of our presentation.

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...”

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:

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 ( at October 24, 2014 04:19 PM

unifont @ Savannah

Unifont 7.0.06 Now Available

Unifont 7.0.06 is now available at

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 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 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 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:

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

See you there!


(*) 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:

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:

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with: (wget -O - || curl | bash

Watch the intro video on

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/ lists
  • Get the merchandise
  • 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:


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 :)

- 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:

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.

Source tarballs, binaries for generic GNU/Linux systems and translations
are available at
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 ( 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.


  • 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!):


  • 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:


    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.


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


    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:

    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:


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


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

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 and at

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 and a PDF is at ...

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.


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

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.


After reviewing the eligibility rules above, please send your nominations to, 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 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 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

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 :)

- 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