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From: Josh Gay <campaigns <at> fsf.org>
Subject: Free Software Foundation re-launches its Free Software Directory, with over 6500 programs listed
Newsgroups: gmane.org.fsf.press.announce
Date: Thursday 29th September 2011 21:23:59 UTC (over 5 years ago)
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, September 29,
2011 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today
announced the re-launch of its Free Software Directory
at <http://directory.fsf.org>. The
Directory lists over
6,500 programs that are free for any computer user to
download, run, and share. It was first launched nearly
a decade ago, but the new version brings a host of new
features designed to make it a more useful and current
resource for users, developers, advocates, and
researchers.

"Since its inception, the Directory has been one of our
most popular and important resources. Its careful
curation has made it a reliable place to find
applications for any purpose that are free -- as in
freedom -- for everyone. Users can find programs they
need, and advocates can find programs to recommend. But
with so much free software being written and shared
now, we wanted to update the technology we use for the
site so that contributors can participate in examining
and posting new entries, and users can more easily
search them," said John Sullivan, FSF's executive
director.

Because each entry is individually checked and tested,
users know that any program they come across in the
Directory will be free software  with free documentation
and without proprietary software requirements. Programs
that run on proprietary operating systems like Mac and
Windows are listed, but only if they also run fully on
GNU/Linux. The new version of the Directory will continue
to provide users these same assurances, but it has been
rebuilt so that members of the free software community
can become familiar with the criteria and then work
together to curate and grow the catalog.

The new site is based on MediaWiki, free software most
famously known for powering Wikipedia. It also uses a
set of extensions called Semantic MediaWiki that add
advanced search and presentation capabilities,
structured to be useful for reading by both humans and
data-mining programs.

"We're empowering contributors to improve every aspect
of the site, from its look and feel to enabling more
types of information and multimedia to be associated
with each individual listing," states campaigns
manager, Joshua Gay, who adds that "we also have plans
to collaborate around sharing data with GNU/Linux
distributions and other free software projects."

To most users of the Directory, the key aspect of the
new software is that it will make it easier for them to
find the program they need. An extensive and flexible
category system, plus over 40,000 keywords and more
than 40 different fields of information, enhance both
simple and advanced searching.

Yaron Koren, one of the free software developers behind
Semantic MediaWiki, gave support and help in the
re-launch effort. "I created the Semantic Forms
extension in order to allow for sites that combine the
collaborative nature of a wiki with the structure and
queryability of a database; so it's heartening to see
Semantic MediaWiki and Semantic Forms being used for
that purpose, and so comprehensively, in the Free
Software Directory," he said.

To learn more about the Directory, visit
<http://directory.fsf.org>. To find out
how you can get
involved in helping the Directory, or suggest
improvements, visit
<http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/FSD:Participate>
or send
email to . Further technical
behind-the-scenes details about the re-launch of the
Directory can be found in a blog post by Sullivan at
<http://www.fsf.org/blogs/directory/behind-the-scenes>.

### 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 fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source
of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support
the FSF's work can be made at
<http://donate.fsf.org>. Its headquarters
are in
Boston, MA, USA.

### Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x20


###


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