GNU philosophy - Essays on Free Software

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To do

This page contains a list of ideas and features which would be nice to see implemented some day. If you are ready to start working on any of these TODO items, we appreciate your help; please write to so we can be aware that the problem is being addressed, and talk with you how to do it best.

For more practical details about getting involved, see how to contribute.

As well as the issues listed here, there are bug reports, which are effectively to-do items too — that can use your help — at the bug tracker web interface. See how to report a bug for more information.

Integration of essays

The GNU philosophy package ought to be the comprehensive collection of GNU Project’s philosophical essays. Therefore, at each new release we will add several articles until we assimilate the entire philosophy section.

Integration of translations

The GNU philosophy package is also primarily concerned about the localization of GNU essays, so each available translation of an essay will have to be integrated. After the integration of all existing translations, we’ll continue to integrate new ones as soon as they become available. The idealistic final objective is to have every article and essay fully translated to every relevant human language.

Like web-pages GNU philosophy uses Debian PO4A for i18n. That means, all procedures and experience the GNU Project has with it can be more or less directly translated to GNU philosophy package. Maybe it can be practical to develop some scripts to convert HTML PO files to an initial Texinfo PO in order to aid translation.

Automatic generation of philosophy section

The philosophy section should be a by-product of a particular automated build performed on this package on a regular basis, in such a way that GNU philosophy becomes the central point of maintenance of GNU philosophical essays, so every change is committed only once to it and there will be no need to do manual synchronization.

Establishment of a new work-flow

A new work-flow should be established since the writers of free software philosophy articles, in particular those of the GNU Project, should perhaps work closely with GNU philosophy maintainers rather than webmasters when submitting new essays.

Integration of foreign essays

Maybe there are some GNU packages that are distributed with free software essays that are not included in the GNU Project’s web page. If there are we need to include them in GNU philosophy too. There are other essays that are published elsewhere that maybe would fit and complement GNU philosophy, and hence should be included too.

Creation of functional indexes

For the sake of general public’s understanding and the benefit of free software community, once all essays have been collected into GNU philosophy package, we can start a throughout meta-study about the essays and how their understanding can help the GNU community to stand by software freedom and against digital threats (like DRM, SaaSS or surveillance).

For example, we can create a document based on citation and indexation of several essays and articles under a similar subject. For instance, we can have a document entitled “Inspiring Quotes of Richard M. Stallman” briefly citing and linking to the correspondent citations and articles. Another example would be a document entitled “Refutation of Common Arguments in Favor of Proprietary Software” indexed by those arguments and then citing and linking to the correspondents set-offs.

A ncurses/X11 configuration system

A semi-graphical terminal-based and graphical window-based configuration system, like the one present in the GNU Linux-Libre build system, would allow for a more fine-grained and easy configuration, increasing the effective utility of the build system and encouraging people to build the package by themselves in configurations that perfectly suit their needs.

For instance, there could be means to select exactly what articles and essays the build system should include in the compiled collections, allowing the user to build a book tailored for a specific task at hand.