GNU Manifesto

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The GNU Manifesto was written by Richard Stallman and published in March 1985 in the Dr. Dobb's Journal of Software Tools published. This work served as an explanation of the goals and definitions of the GNU project and as a call for participation and support in the development of GNU (a free computer operating system). This work is held in high regard within the free software movement as an elementary philosophical resource on the subject of GNU. The complete text can be found in some free software such as B. Emacs and is publicly available.


The GNU Manifesto begins by outlining the goals of the GNU project (GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix", currently GNU is not Unix ). The contents of GNU - at the time of writing - are detailed in the manifest. Richard Stallman gives there a thoughtful justification of the importance and the advantages in the realization of the project. One of the main points behind the GNU project - according to Stallman - is the rapid trend (at that time) towards the propitarization of Unix and its various components. Later in the text it is described how pretty much everyone would benefit from the project. Basically this breaks down into two points, namely the benefits of the contributors and the benefits of the consumers / community as a whole. In other words, software developers (i.e. contributors) can modify, improve, correct etc. the source code under GNU regulations, thereby actively participating in the stability and feature set of the software. In addition, developers can use GNU licensed code in their own applications. The second part of this chapter explains how not only developers can benefit from it, but also end users. The general trend is that - according to the author - everyone benefits from the goals set by the project. A fair amount of the GNU Manifesto is focused on debunking potential concerns about the GNU goals. The concerns described include, for example, a programmer's need to earn a living, the problems promoting free software , and the perceived need for profit. In conclusion, most of the text is an explanation of how the free software philosophy works and why it is a good decision for the technology industry to follow.

See also

Portal: Free Software  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Free Software

Individual evidence

  1. Richard Stallman : Dr. Dobb's Journal . In: Dr. Dobb's Journal . 10, No. 3, March 1985, p. 30. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  2. ^ A b Richard Stallman : The GNU Manifesto - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF) . In: . GNU project . March 1985. Retrieved October 18, 2011.

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