GNU’s upcoming 25-year anniversary

Bruce Perens’ 10 year look back at the "Open Source" marketing campaign reminded me of another anniversary coming up. On September 27th, it’ll be the 25-year anniversary of the GNU project’s announcement, and thus, of the free software movement. That’s a biggie. What to do?

Maybe something should be done to record the history of the GNU project. I’d love to hear the stories of the hackers of the 80s when free software was an unproven ideal. Maybe a reunion event with presentations? – get it on film, transcribed, and online. Maybe a book? Maybe a big awareness campaign, but focussing on valuing freedom? Maybe a report on the progress of the movement? Just thinking out loud.

On history, there’s Stallman’s 1998 article on the history of the GNU project, but it only covers a few aspects. Very few people are mentioned. Wikipedia’s article on the history of the free software movement has some more info as well as some good links, but it’s still patchy.

Stallman published articles to mark the 15th anniversary and the 20th anniversary, but we should start thinking a bit bigger for the 25th anniversary. This is the sort of thing that should be coverstory on a lot of computing magazines in September. This is going to be the biggest anniversary the free software movement has ever had to celebrate.

Ciarán O’Riordan,
Support free software: Join FSFE’s Fellowship