Free Software Directory

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Free Software Directory
Wiki of the Month December 2013
Image for Free Software Directory
Statistics (2013/11/25)
Pages: 10,765
Users: 1,090 (31 active)
Properties: 132
Categories: 19
Templates: 136
Forms: 46
Table of Contents

The Free Software Directory is a catalog of useful free software that can run under free operating systems. It is hosted by the Free Software Foundation, and maintained by FSF staff and volunteers, who work together to collect detailed information about free software programs and organize it in a clear and accessible format.

Aims

The FSD aims to be a useful resource for users, free software activists, researchers, and GNU/Linux distribution maintainers. Each entry in the directory is carefully checked to ensure that it is free software with free documentation and without any proprietary software requirements.

Sections on the website

  1. Participation guide
  2. Submit/edit an entry
  3. Submit/edit a collection

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a US-based 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1985 with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users. The FSF works to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation — particularly the GNU operating system — and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents. The FSF also publishes the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), the world's most popular free software license, and the only license written with the express purpose of promoting and preserving software freedom.

Features and extensions

The main form on Free Software Directory, using Semantic Forms

Our wiki makes use of Semantic MediaWiki and a number of extensions associated with it, including Semantic Forms, Semantic Result Formats, Header Tabs, Approved Revs (in order to review all non-administrator edits), and Arrays (used extensively in template processing).

Each entry in the Free Software Directory allows users to enter an extensive amount of information about each software project. Users edit entries through a nine-tab form, and each field of the form corresponds with a semantic property.

The way information is displayed is somewhat peculiar. While each page can have several if not dozens of templates, each of these templates is designed to only set semantic properties and does not actually render any visual results on the page. The entire page is rendered through a single template which performs a series of semantic queries on the property values set by the other templates.

Future plans

  • While we currently import some package information from the Debian GNU/Linux distribution, we would like to make the Directory a useful source of information for other distributions to pull into their package management systems.
  • Create and promote our Collections.
  • Continue to improve the general layout and design.
  • Gather and display more information about free software licenses.