Sat Jan 6 00:21:28 CET 2007

Badvista

On 15th December the FSF started the campaign Badvista (launch-press-release). On this webpage the FSF tries to summarize the disadvantages of MS Windows Vista and shows what free alternatives there exist.

The FSF criticize the usage of the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in Vista and the Treacherous Computing.

Digg has also a story about it.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Wed Sep 27 09:16:12 CEST 2006

wine.png GNU's birthday

Happy Birthday GNU!

Richard Stallman announced the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system on 27th September 1983. So we celebrate the 23rd birthday today.

If you would like c'mon and join #gnu on freenode and have some fun with us. :-)


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Wed Aug 30 20:30:04 CEST 2006

cdrtools vs. GPL

Yesterday ProLinux wrote an article about cdrtools of Jörg Schilling.

He changed the license of his tool from GNU GPL to the CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License [of Sun]). That shouldn't be the problem, but Debian and the whole FSF think that the CDDL is GPL incompatible.

"This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft;
it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with
the GNU GPL.
It requires that all attribution notices be maintained,
while the GPL only requires certain types of notices.
Also, it terminates in retaliation for certain aggressive uses of
patents. So, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by
the CDDL cannot legally be linked together. 
We urge you not to use the CDDL for this reason.

Also unfortunate in the CDDL is its use of the term
'intellectual property'."


-- gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

Just because the CDDL is incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines, the Debian guys tried to clarify the issue with a bugreport but all they got was a plan about 9 points of Schilling.

It is only absurd and unpracticable for the Debian guys to lose their religion. So we need a cdrtools package free of any license issues. That's why some of the community force a cdrtools fork.

The result of this issue is, that new versions of cdrtools aren't going to go into the Debian repositories. Some of the Debian maintainer will manage the old (GPL coverd) versions and make there local changes until we have got a free cdrtools fork or a miracle.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: *nix, GNU/FSF |

Thu Aug 24 21:48:50 CEST 2006

Turner left FSF

I read a pro-linux article (original linux.com article) about the fact that David M. Turner left the Compliance Lab.

David will go to NewYork and so he left his position. His work will do Brett Smith in the future.

David done a great work for the FSF and the GNU project in enforcing the GPL. Hopefully he'll continue to support boths as a volunteer, e.g. the GPLv3 draft process.

Have a great time, David, and please don't forget us! :-)


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Wed Aug 23 23:22:05 CEST 2006

gnu.org's new design

I noticed that gnu.org has got a new design. It looks more friendly and you get a better and faster overview about all topics.

But, it's a pitty, it is not a CMS - that could have reduced the work of the webmasters a lot.

It is only the sum of HTML templates and the usage of SSI.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Tue Aug 1 23:11:56 CEST 2006

GIF patent

I saw in the last days, because of a mail from Sylvain, that the U.S. GIF patent of IBM will expire on 11th of August 2006.

Then it should be possible to allow GIF files on GNU.org and for all projects hosted on the servers of the GNU project (like Savannah.GNU.org).

Currently some GNU guys are still searching the databases of other countries where GIF patens could still exist....

I would be really happy to see some free GIF images on the web - while never forgetting that PNG exists.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Sun May 21 22:14:41 CEST 2006

Summer of Code

As I had a look at the website of GRUB today I found there a notice releated to Google's Summer of Code this year.

As I had a look at the Summer of Code 2005 page, I realize that this year important (GNU) projects are there, too, for example:

If you are interested in Google's Summer of Code, please read also the GNU guidelines for Summer of Code projects.
"This year, Google's Summer of Code program does not presume projects call themselves 'open source' (a term we cannot accept), so we can participate in it."

So if you are a student and have got some time, please have a try to contribute to a GNU project that needs help.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: things of geeks, GNU/FSF |

Tue Mar 28 21:34:33 CEST 2006

Savannah admins were listed

Today I received a great mail from John Sullivan (current chief webmaster for GNU.org and FSF.org) about the people.html on GNU.org (alphabetical list of some GNU contributors or GNU's Who).

John added the Savannah volunteers to this list. Great day for us. Thanks John, you made my day. :-)


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Thu Mar 23 23:57:33 CET 2006

ProLinux and the GPLv2_only thing

Because of a Savannah Submission of markonvert and the issue about GPLv2 only - ProLinux wrote an article about this.

So I wrote the reasons why we force projects to uses the GPL vX or any later version as a comment to ProLinux and as a followup to the Savannah tracker item.
The whole procedure is also described on our Wiki page about GPLv2 or any later.

But all in all, thanks to ProLinux for naming me in your article. I become famous a little bit - really cool. :-)


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Fri Mar 17 23:20:56 CET 2006

Debian, GFDL, TLDP and SV

Hello! :-)
Yesterday, I received a mail about the fact that "Debian considers GNU FDL conditionally free". So that was the official statement of the Debian project I was waiting for.

I read the mail and thought something like: Oh yes, that was that kind of information you posted somewhere on your blog - but 'NO!'.
Today I read the announcements/miscellaneous page of The Linux Documentation Project. There you can read that the Debian decission affacted the project. The files of TLDP can now be included in the Debian distribution, because the Debian devs voted for the GNU FDL as a free documentation license without any invariant sections...

And the last point of the topic: Savannah.GNU.org. If you looked at the project submissions or if your project is in the queue - we are on it currently. The last weeks we had a huge backlog of project submissions and support requests, but the reviews are getting faster. So thanks for your patience.

Good night.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Mon Mar 13 20:52:37 CET 2006

Debian and the GNU FDL

Hello. I read the Symlink article about Debian and the GNU FDL which containts the URIs of the voting on debian-devel-announce, the statistics and the result of the voting with explenations.

The result of the voting was Debian accepts the GNU Free Document License (GNU FDL) as a free (like in freedom).
The majority of the Debian developers voted for

"GFDL-licensed works without unmodifiable sections are free"

But once more: It is the opinion of the Debian devs, not of the Debian users - so it's NOT the whole optionion of the Debian project (which is larger than some devs).

It doesn't suprise me much that the Debian devs have got still a problem with our invariant sections in the GNU FDL, so the voting doesn't contain any new aspects for me to think about.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Sun Mar 12 22:49:21 CET 2006

Hurd's development

Before I'm going down for sleep, I had a look at the HURD project page and then to their CVS tree.

After a short look into the hurd directory I noticed that the files are between 11 months and 9 years old, but after a closer look I saw the ChangeLog.
It's 6 weeks old and there were several changes in it between 2002-09-17 and 2006-01-26. You can compare the data and then you'll notice that the changes only apply to the Makefile and the configure scripts.
Isn't that annoying?

If I mentioned Hurd I have to say that there is another important project - HARD (Hurd's Alternative Repository for Development).
The files in their CVS tree are almost all 6 months old.

But if you think now that the development there is frozen you are totally wrong, we have got several new translations of the HURD project page.
And not all of the development happens primary on Savannah. Don't worry about this all and keep on supporting the HURD development!


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Thu Feb 16 16:24:38 CET 2006

FSF, SV and the thing about the GFDL

Hello everybody out there reading my blog.
I will have another try (after this one) to comment the policy change of Savannah.GNU.org.

After reading the offical statement[1] you should notice that we don't limit users very much. The policy only applies to new projects and then only if they have got manuals written in Texinfo, and documentation[s] which ought to be improved into such manuals[1].

But of course we would be glad if other projects switch their licenses to the GNU FDL (or compatible licenses), too, even if they are not affected by this policy.

If you are interested in this issue or if you've got questions/comments about the policy or how you apply the GNU FDL to your documentations, feel free to bug us about it. :-)

Furthermore some links about the topic:


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Tue Jan 31 23:13:51 CET 2006

Savannah.GNU.org switched its policy

<Original blog entry deleted>

Update 2006-02-09:

Savannah didn't changed its policy about the license requirements, there exists only plans to do so. Currently we discuss how usefull it is to use the GNU GPL for your documentations. However you can even use any other GNU FDL compatible licenses to release your documentations - so we don't limit anybody there.

Another point is that the discussion about the GNU FDL exists because we saw abuses on this issue - nothing else.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |

Mon Jan 30 16:53:53 CET 2006

The Linux kernel and the GPLv3

Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel, wrote Wed, 25 Jan 2006 on the LKML:

"The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever been valid."


The full story is, that Linus doesn't accept GPLv3 for his kernel. That's why the GPLv3 draft says explicitly:

"Regardless of any other provision of this License, no permission is given to distribute covered works that illegally invade users' privacy, nor for modes of distribution that deny users that run covered works the full exercise of the legal rights granted by this License.".

Even you had to open private keys (for the DRM) so that every user can run your program propperly. That's something Linus doesn't want.

Linus wrote on the LKML furthermore: "The Linux kernel has never stated that [GPLv2 or any later version] in general. Some authors have chosen to use the suggested FSF boilerplate (including the 'any later version' language), but the kernel in general never has."

So seems like Linux never goes GPLv3 or to say it in other words, the FSF goes with the GPLv3 an other way then Linus wantes to go...

Some links about this topic:

At the end: I don't believe in things Linus said in his posting. The GPLv2 says (and Linus copied it into his COPYING file): "If the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation."(9.)

I think parts of Linux may be redistributed and modified under the GPLv3 as well... but this may happen to the whole kernel, too.


Posted by Sebastian Wieseler | Permalink | Categories: GNU/FSF |