On Wikipedia, WikiProject Free Software has launched. The goals are to raise the quality of existing free software articles and to fill in any information gaps about the topic. It's a new initiative and hasn't yet built up much momentum, so I thought I'd mention here where it some free software savvy people might see it and be interested in helping.
There's been plenty of good news in the last few weeks. Not enough to write full blog entries on, but here's a list, newest first:
- 2007-03-05: Free software is nothing to fear (about the term)
- 2007-03-02: The Fedora GNU+Linux distro looks to be moving closer to being fully free software - following the lead of gNewSense.
Background: OpenDocument format was approved as an ISO standard in May 2006. This was important for the free software community because there are free software applications for reading and writing OpenDocument files.
Below is the table of contents for a transcript I just put online of a 2006 talk by Richard Stallman on "Free Software and the Future of Freedom".
Twenty years ago, someone made a transcript of a free software talk he gave in Stocholm. There are quite a lot of similarities between the 2006 version and 1986 version.
Here's the 2006 transcript:
To think about what free software licences should do about tivoisation, we have to understand what problems we're trying to prevent, and how it works - so that we can ensure that it doesn't work.
How tivoisation works
Tivoisation is a technique that manufacturers use to produce a computer, to sell to you, whose software they can update but you can't.
There are three elements involved in tivoisation:
- The manufacturer puts a chip in the computer which checks any software before it is run and which will only allow authorised software to be run.
At last week's GPLv3 conference, the topic of embedded GPLv3 software came up a few times. Below is something of a summary of those discussions. Georg Greve blogged about the conference, so I'll avoid repeating what he covered. Suffice to say, it was an event the organisers can be proud of, and Tokyo is a lovely and interesting place.
I think the issue of GPLv3 in embedded software falls into two categories: warranties, and regulated hardware.