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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE - What is the GNU-Project?</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>What is the GNU project?</h1>
  8. <div id="introduction">
  9. <div class="image">
  10. <img src="/graphics/heckert_gnu.small.png" alt="GNU head" />
  11. </div>
  12. <p>The <a href="http://www.gnu.org">GNU project</a> was launched in
  13. September 1983 by Richard M. Stallman to create a complete operating
  14. system which is <a href="/documents/freesoftware.html">Free Software</a>.
  15. Software development work started the following January. Today we have
  16. several Free Software operating systems which respect the users' freedom
  17. by giving everybody the right to use, study, share and improve the
  18. software for any purpose.</p>
  19. </div>
  20. <p>
  21. Stallman established the Free Software Foundation in October 1985 to
  22. assist administrative, legal, and organisational aspects of the GNU
  23. project and also to spread the use and knowledge of Free Software.
  24. The main licences of the GNU project are the <a href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html">GNU General Public
  25. License (GPL)</a> and the <a href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html">GNU Lesser General Public License</a> (LGPL,
  26. originally called GNU Library General Public License). Over the years
  27. they have become established as the most widely used licences for Free
  28. Software.
  29. </p>
  30. <p>
  31. The GNU project consists of numerous smaller sub-projects maintained
  32. by volunteers or businesses or combinations of the two. These
  33. sub-projects themselves are also called "GNU projects" or "GNU
  34. packages."
  35. </p>
  36. <p>
  37. The name of the GNU project is derived from the recursive acronym
  38. "GNU's Not Unix." Unix was a very popular operating system in the
  39. 80s, so Stallman designed GNU to be mostly compatible with Unix so
  40. that it would be convenient for people to migrate to GNU. The name
  41. acknowledges that GNU learned from Unix's technical design, but also
  42. importantly notes that they are unrelated. Unlike Unix, GNU is Free
  43. Software.
  44. </p>
  45. <p>
  46. Being Unix-like, GNU is modular in design. This means that third
  47. party components can be inserted into GNU. Today, it is very common
  48. for people to use a third party kernel called Linux with GNU systems.
  49. Many people use the name "Linux" for this variant of GNU, but this
  50. prevents people from hearing of the GNU project and its goal of
  51. software freedom. FSFE asks people to use the term "GNU/Linux" or
  52. "GNU+Linux" when refering to such systems.
  53. </p>
  54. </body>
  55. <timestamp>$Date: 2009-07-09 10:06:27 +0200 (Thu, 09 Jul 2009) $ $Author: gollo $</timestamp>
  56. </html>
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