GNU's Bulletin, vol. 1 no. 14, January, 1993

Table of Contents

The GNU's Bulletin is the semi-annual newsletter of the Free Software Foundation, bringing you news about the GNU Project.

Free Software Foundation, Inc.                Telephone: (617) 876-3296
675 Massachusetts Avenue         Electronic mail:
Cambridge, MA   02139   USA

GNU's Who

Michael Bushnell is working on the GNU operating system and maintains GNU tar. Jim Blandy is preparing GNU Emacs 19. Roland McGrath is polishing the C library, maintains GNU make, and helps with the GNU operating system.

Tom Lord is writing a graphics library and working on Oleo, the GNU spreadsheet. Brian Fox is improving various programs that he has written including makeinfo, info, the readline library, and BASH, and is writing the BASH manual. Jan Brittenson is working on the C interpreter and maintaining finger. Mike Haertel is making GNU grep POSIX-compliant and beginning work on optical character recognition. David MacKenzie maintains most of GNU's small utilities--more programs than nearly everyone else combined.

Melissa Weisshaus is editing documentation and writing the GNU Utilities manual. Robert J. Chassell, our Secretary/Treasurer, handles our publishing in addition to many other tasks.

Noah Friedman is our system ambiguator. Lisa `Opus' Goldstein continues to run the business end of FSF, with Gena Lynne Bean assisting in the office. Spike MacPhee assists RMS with administrative tasks. Charles Hannum works on typesetting and many other jobs.

Richard Stallman continues as a volunteer who does countless tasks, such as C compiler maintenance and finishing the C Library manual.

Volunteer Len Tower remains our on-line JOAT (jack-of-all-trades), handling mailing lists and gnUSENET, information requests, etc.

GNU's Bulletin

Written and Edited by: Melissa Weisshaus, Noah S. Friedman,
Charles Hannum, Robert J. Chassell, Lisa Goldstein,
and Richard Stallman.

Illustrations by: Etienne Suvasa and Jamal Hannah

Japanese Edition by: Mieko Hikichi and Nobuyuki Hikichi

The GNU's Bulletin is published in January and June of each year. Please note that there is no postal mailing list. To get a copy, send your name and address with your request to the address on the front page. Enclosing a business sized self-addressed stamped envelope ($0.52) and/or a donation to cover copying costs is appreciated but not required. If you're from outside the USA, sending a mailing label rather than an envelope, and enough International Reply Coupons for a package of about 100 grams is appreciated but not required. (Including a few extra International Reply Coupons for copying costs is also appreciated.)

Copyright (C) 1993 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

What Is the Free Software Foundation?

The Free Software Foundation is dedicated to eliminating restrictions on people's abilities and rights to copy, redistribute, understand, and modify computer programs. We do this by promoting the development and use of free software in all areas of computer use. Specifically, we are putting together a complete integrated software system named "GNU" (GNU's Not Unix) that will be upwardly compatible with Unix. Most parts of this system are already working, and we are distributing them now.

The word "free" in our name pertains to freedom, not price. You may or may not pay money to get GNU software. Either way, you have two specific freedoms once you have the software: first, the freedom to copy the program and give it away to your friends and co-workers; and second, the freedom to change the program as you wish, by having full access to source code. Furthermore, you can study the source and learn how such programs are written. You may then be able to port it, improve it, and share your changes with others. If you redistribute GNU software, you may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, or you may give away copies.

Other organizations distribute whatever free software happens to be available. By contrast, the Free Software Foundation concentrates on development of new free software, working towards a GNU system complete enough to eliminate the need for you to purchase a proprietary system.

Besides developing GNU, FSF distributes copies of GNU software and manuals for a distribution fee, and accepts tax-deductible gifts to support GNU development. Most of FSF's funds come from its distribution service. We are tax exempt; you can deduct donations to us on your U.S. tax returns.

The Board of the Foundation is: Richard M. Stallman, President; Robert J. Chassell, Secretary/Treasurer; Gerald J. Sussman, Harold Abelson, and Leonard H. Tower Jr., Directors.

What Is Copyleft?

The simplest way to make a program free is to put it in the public domain, uncopyrighted. But this allows anyone to copyright and restrict its use against the author's wishes, thus denying others the right to access and freely redistribute it. This completely perverts the original intent.

To prevent this, we copyright our software and manuals in a novel manner. Typical software companies use copyrights to take away your freedoms. We use the copyleft to preserve them. It is a legal instrument that requires those who pass on the program to include the rights to further redistribute it, and to see and change the code; the code and rights become legally inseparable.

The copyleft used by the GNU Project is made from a combination of a regular copyright notice and the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL is a copying license which basically says (in several pages of legalese) that you have the freedoms discussed above. An alternate form, the GNU Library General Public License (LGPL), applies to certain GNU Libraries. This license permits linking the libraries into proprietary executables under certain conditions. The appropriate license is included in all GNU source code distributions and in many of our manuals. We will also send you a copy. Please send your request to either address on the front cover.

Note that the library license actually represents a strategic retreat. We would prefer to insist as much as possible that programs based on GNU software must themselves be free. However, in the case of libraries, we found that insisting they be used only in free software appeared to discourage use of the libraries rather than encouraging free applications.

We strongly encourage you to copyleft your programs and documentation, and we have made it as simple as possible for you to do so. The details on how to apply either license appear at the end of each license.

LGPL Query

Both libg++ and libc are covered by the Library General Public License. Do you use either of these libraries in a proprietary application under the terms of the LGPL? We would like to know to help evaluate whether the LGPL is doing the job it was designed to do. Please send mail to, or to the postal address on the front cover of this Bulletin.

Free Software Support

The Free Software Foundation does not provide any technical support. Although we create software, we leave it to others to earn a living providing support. We see programmers as providing a service, much as doctors and lawyers now do; both medical and legal knowledge are freely redistributable entities for which the practitioners charge a distribution and service fee.

We maintain a list of people who offer support and other consulting services, called the GNU Service Directory. It is in the file `etc/SERVICE' in the GNU Emacs distribution, `SERVICE' in the GCC distribution, and `/pub/gnu/GNUinfo/SERVICE' on Contact us if you would like a printed copy or wish to be listed in it.

If you find a deficiency in any GNU software, we want to know. We have many Internet mailing lists for announcements, bug reports, and questions. They are also gatewayed into USENET news as the gnu.* newsgroups. You can get a list of the mailing lists available by mailing your request to either address on the front cover.

If you have no Internet access, you can get mail and USENET news via UUCP. Contact a local UUCP site, or a commercial UUCP site such as:

UUNET Communications Services,
3110 Fairview Park Drive - Suite 570,
Falls Church, VA   22042
Phone: (703) 876-5050

A list of commercial uucp and networking providers is posted periodically to USENET in newsgroup news.announce.newusers with Subject: `How to become a USENET site'.

When we receive a bug report, we usually try to fix the problem. While our bug fixes may seem like individual assistance, they are not. Our task is so large that we must focus on that which helps the community as a whole. We do not have the resources to help individuals. We may send you a patch for a bug that helps us test the fix and ensure its quality. If your bug report does not evoke a solution from us, you may still get one from another user who reads our bug report mailing lists. Otherwise, use the Service Directory.

So, please do not ask us to help you install the software or figure out how to use it--but do tell us how an installation script does not work or where the documentation is unclear.

Free Software Support Far From Home

Here are some free software support companies that we have not mentioned before. We urge you to employ support service companies such as these, because you help the industry as well as yourself by getting your pick of support vendors. The FSF is not affiliated with any of these companies. For the addresses of other support companies, please consult the Service Directory.

GNUs Flashes

Please Support Free Software

If you believe in free software and you want to make sure there is more in the future---please support the efforts of the FSF with a donation!

Your tax-deductible donation (on U.S. tax returns) will greatly help us reach our goals.

$500    $250    $100    $50     other $______

Foreign currency:______

Circle the amount you are donating, cut out this form, and send it with your donation to:

Free Software Foundation
675 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA   02139   USA

Cygnus Matches Donations!

To encourage cash donations to the Free Software Foundation, Cygnus Support will match gifts by its employees, and by its customers and their employees.

Cygnus will match donations from its employees up to a maximum of $1000 per employee, and will match donations from customers and their employees at 50% to a maximum of $1000 per customer. Cygnus Support will donate up to a total of $10,000 in 1993.

Donations payable to the Free Software Foundation should be sent to Cygnus Support where they will be matched and forwarded to the FSF each quarter. The FSF will provide the contributor with a receipt to recognize the contribution (which is tax-deductible on U.S. tax returns). Donations sent to the FSF directly will not be matched, except by prior arrangement with Cygnus Support.

Andrew Toolkit Stays Free

The Andrew Toolkit is both an extensible, object-oriented toolkit for graphical user interfaces and a package of applications. The most widely-used application is the Andrew Message System (AMS). The Toolkit is distributed on the GNU Project's "optional" X Windows tape, and the GNU Project's Source Code CD-ROM.

Not long ago, several people asked whether the Toolkit would stay free. It will. The Andrew Toolkit Consortium plans to continue to make versions of the Toolkit and the AMS freely usable and distributable. However, there is (as there always has been) a catch: members of the Consortium get updates sooner and more frequently than the rest of us. This provides Consortium members with another incentive to continue as members.

GNU Zip to Replace Compress

by Richard Stallman

We finally have a data compression program that is as good as compress (actually, somewhat better) and patent-free for the moment. It is called gzip and was written by Jean-Loup Gailly,

When compressing, gzip produces a new format all its own. We cannot implement compress-compatible compression because of the LZW algorithm patents. However, the patents do not prohibit uncompression, so gzip is designed to recognize and properly uncompress files that were made by compress.

gzip uses the file suffix `.z' for compressed files. We chose this because GNU programs such as GNU tar and the Emacs 19 Dired mode use `z' as an option or command pertaining to compression, and these would be less natural and harder to remember if compressed files did not have `z' in their names. This suffix conflicts with the compact program, but this does not seem to be a big problem; distribution of compact files is not widespread.

We are gradually converting our FTP distribution files on to use gzip. We hope to stop distribution of compress soon. In the GNU system, we plan to make the compress command run gzip.

While we think gzip does not infringe any patents we know of, it is always possible it infringes others we have not heard about. Even if it is patent-free today, new software patents are issued every day, and one covering gzip may be issued at any moment. In September 1991, when we were a week away from releasing another data compression program, a patent was issued which covered the algorithm that it used. We never released that program.

Unfortunately, patents endanger any software development activity, and you cannot effectively protect yourself from them except through political action to change the law in your country and elsewhere. The author of compress and the author of the program we almost used in 1991 have both joined the LPF.

What Is the LPF?

The League for Programming Freedom (LPF) aims to protect the freedom to write software. This freedom is threatened by "look-and-feel" interface copyright lawsuits and by software patents. The LPF does not endorse free software or the FSF.

The League's members include programmers, entrepreneurs, students, professors, and even some software companies.

From the League membership form:

The League for Programming Freedom is a grass-roots organization of professors, students, business people, programmers, and users dedicated to bringing back the freedom to write programs. The League is not opposed to the legal system that Congress intended--copyright on individual programs. Our aim is to reverse the recent changes made by judges in response to special interests.

Membership dues in the League are $42 per year for programmers, managers and professionals; $10.50 for students; $21 for others.

To join, please send a check and the following information:

The League is not connected with the Free Software Foundation and is not itself a free software organization. The FSF supports the League because, like any software developer smaller than IBM, it is endangered by software patents. You are in danger too! It would be easy to ignore the problem until the day you or your employer is sued, but it is more prudent to organize before that happens.

The address is:

League for Programming Freedom
1 Kendall Square - #143
P.O. Box 9171
Cambridge, MA   02139
Phone: (617) 243-4091

If you haven't made up your mind yet, write to LPF for more information, or send Internet mail to

Project GNU Status Report

Sources of Free Information

There is more to `freely redistributable' than software. Here is a partial list of organizations providing freely redistributable information.

GNU Software Worldwide

by Melissa Weisshaus

Users world-wide now have easier access to GNU and other free software. Users in the United States have been able to get free software from the FSF and numerous other FTP sites for some time. Recently, free software oriented companies and FTP sites have appeared around the world, making GNU and other free software more easily available to users in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Additionally, there has been increased interest among the world business community in GNU software.

Companies have been set up to support, develop, and in some cases distribute GNU and other free software. Some companies that we know of are Wingnut in Japan, the Free Software Association of Germany, and Signum Support AB in Sweden. Additionally, the "Center for GNU Development" in Moscow is translating GNU documentation into Russian.

There are now FTP sites available in ten countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Please see the updated list in "How to Get Gnu Software" for an expanded list of international FTP sites and for FTP sites in your area.

In December of 1992, the FSF, the Japan Unix Society, and the Software Engineers Association of Japan jointly sponsored a GNU Technical Seminar in Tokyo. The conference was quite successful, attended by over 130 GNU enthusiasts. In April of 1993, a conference will take place in Moscow; Richard Stallman will attend that conference also.

See the articles entitled "GNU Technical Seminar in Tokyo" and "GNU in Japan" for more information about Japanese GNU development. For information regarding the Moscow conference, see the article entitled "Moscow Free Software Conference". See the "GNUs Flashes" to get information about the Free Software Association of Germany, and "Free Software Support Far From Home" for information about Wingnut and Signum Support AB.

Another Kernel Built with GCC

Version 2.1 of AMIX (Commodore's SVR4-based Unix for the Amiga 2000 and 3000) has its kernel built with GCC. The stated reason is better performance.

GNU in Japan

Mieko,, and Nobuyuki Hikichi,, continue to work on the GNU Project in Japan. They translate GNU information, write columns (and a book), request donations, and consult about GNU. They have translated Version 1 of the GNU General Public License into Japanese and have arranged for the translation of Version 2, which will be available soon. They also provided invaluable help supporting the recent GNU Technical Seminar in Tokyo.

Japanese versions of Emacs (nemacs) and Epoch (nepoch) are available. Both of them are widely used in Japan.

MULE (the MULtilingual Enhancement of GNU Emacs) is a version of GNU Emacs that can handle many character sets at once. Eventually the features it provides will be merged into the FSF version of Emacs. Ken'ichi Handa,, is beta testing MULE; you can FTP sources from or

The Village Center, Inc. has printed a Japanese translation of the GNU Emacs Lisp Reference manual and also uploaded the Texinfo source to various bulletin boards. They are donating part of the revenue that generated by distributing the manual to the FSF. Their address is: Fujimi-cho 2-2-12, Choufu City, Tokyo 182.

A group connected with the commercial personal computer network in Japan is writing and distributing a copylefted hardware (circuit diagram) design and associated software that uses a MIPS-architecture based CPU. The OS which runs on this machine, t2, is a subset of Unix that uses GCC and GDB as the system's compiler and debugger. They are also running MIPS-BSD, which is based on both the 386BSD and Mach kernels.

Many groups in Japan distribute GNU software, including JUG (a PC user group), Nikkei Business Publications and ASCII (publishers), and the Fujitsu FM Towns users group. Anonymous UUCP is also now available in Japan; for more information contact

You can also order GNU software directly from the FSF--indeed, we encourage you to do so: every 150 tape orders allows FSF to hire a programmer for a year to create more free software.

The FSF does not distribute nemacs, nepoch, or MULE on tape; however nemacs is available on the GNU Source CD-ROM.

GNU Technical Seminar in Tokyo

The FSF, together with the Software Engineers Association of Japan (SEA) and the Japan Unix Society (JUS), sponsored a GNU Technical Seminar in Tokyo on December 2 and 3, 1992. The speakers were Richard Stallman, Michael Bushnell, and Ken'ichi Handa. Bob Myers and David Littleboy translated the English talks into Japanese. Software Research Associates, Inc. provided help in countless ways. The FSF also unveiled both the newly released GNU Source Code CD-ROM and the new GNU T-shirts.

Over 130 people attended the seminar and many members of the Japanese press interviewed Richard Stallman. (Look for a cover story in an upcoming issue of Asahi Pasocon.) We are considering more seminars both in Japan and elsewhere if there is sufficient interest in any one region.

The FSF had a booth and a visible presence at the Japan Unix Society Fair '92 held in Yokohama from December 9 through 11. JUS provided the booth, and JUS volunteers pitched in to help staff it. This was so successful we hope to appear at other Unix events in Japan in the future.

On December 10, Richard Stallman gave a talk at Toshiba Corporation which was attended by 70 people. The following day, he spoke at Aoyama Gakuin University.

Both the seminar and the booth succeeded beyond our expectations. We received many unsolicited donations from individual supporters and users' groups, and were surprised and pleased by the number of the enthusiastic volunteers who came forward to help us at our various events.

Moscow Free Software Conference

A conference on free software will take place in Moscow on April 19-23, 1993. It will be hosted by the Society of Unix User Groups (formerly the Soviet Unix Users Group), the Russian Center for Systems Programming, and the International Center for Scientific and Technical Information.

Participants are coming from North America, Europe and Japan, including Richard Stallman, who founded the Free Software Foundation.

The main topics include: the current state of the GNU project and other FSF projects; free software portability in open systems environments; user experiences with free software; free software in education and training; legal aspects of free software; relevance of free software to modernization and democracy in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union; and how to contribute to free software.

The hosts of the conference are requesting submissions of original designs, papers and ideas, and welcome the participation of computer and software companies.

For further information, you may contact any of the following members of the program committee. In Moscow, you may contact Sergei Kuznetsov,, at +7-095-272-4425; Mr. Kuznetsov is the chair of the meeting. You may also contact Peter Brusilovski, at +7-095-198-7055, or Dmitry Volodin, at +7-095-231-2129. In Boston, contact Geoffrey S. Knauth,, at +1-617-891-5555.

...imagine how little used calculus would have been if a court had decided that no one could study, use or do research on it without paying a royalty to Newton's designated heirs.

-- The Independent, October 5, 1992

Project GNU Wish List

Wishes for this issue are for:

A Small Way to Help Free Software

If you find that GNU software has been helpful to you, and in particular if you have benefitted from having sources freely available, please help support the spread of free software by telling others. For example, you might say in published papers and internal project reports:

"We were able to modify the fubar utility to serve our particular needs because it is free software. As a result, we were able to finish the XYZ project thirty weeks earlier."

Let users, management, and friends know! And send us a copy. Thanks!

GNU Documentation

GNU manuals are intended to explain the underlying concepts, describe how to use all the features of each program, and give examples of command use. GNU documentation is distributed as Texinfo source files, which yield both typeset hardcopy and an on-line hypertext-like presentation via the menu-driven Info system. These manuals, provided with our software, are also available in hardcopy; see the "FSF Order Form" inside the back cover.

The Emacs Manual describes editing with GNU Emacs. It also explains advanced features, such as outline mode and regular expression search, and how to use special modes for programming in languages like C and Lisp.

The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual covers the GNU Emacs Lisp programming language in great depth, including data types, control structures, functions, macros, syntax tables, searching and matching, modes, windows, keymaps, byte compilation, markers, and the operating system interface.

The Texinfo Manual explains the markup language used to generate both the online Info documentation and typeset hardcopies. It tells you how to make tables, lists, chapters, nodes, indexes, cross references, how to use Texinfo mode in GNU Emacs, and how to catch mistakes.

The GAWK Manual describes how to use the GNU implementation of awk. It is written for someone who has never used awk and describes all the features of this powerful string manipulation language.

The Make Manual describes GNU make, a program used to rebuild parts of other programs. The manual tells how to write makefiles, which specify how a program is to be compiled and how its files depend on each other. The new edition of the manual describes the new features in version 3.63, and includes a new introductory chapter for novice users, as well as a new section on automatically generated dependencies.

Debugging with GDB explains how to use the GNU Debugger, including how to run your program under debugger control, how to examine and alter data, how to modify the flow of control within the program, and how to use GDB through GNU Emacs.

The Bison Manual teaches how to write context-free grammars for the Bison program that convert into C-coded parsers. You need no prior knowledge of parser generators.

The Flex Manual tells you how to write a lexical scanner definition for the flex program to create a C-coded scanner that will recognize the patterns described. You need no prior knowledge of scanner generators.

Using and Porting GNU CC explains how to run, install, and port the GNU C compiler. Currently, we are distributing two versions of GCC, version 1 and version 2, each documented by a different version of the manual.

The Termcap Manual, often described as "Twice as much as you ever wanted to know about Termcap," details the format of the Termcap database, the definitions of terminal capabilities, and the process of interrogating a terminal description. This manual is primarily for programmers.

The Emacs Calc Manual includes both a tutorial and a reference manual for Calc. It describes how to do ordinary arithmetic, how to use Calc for algebra, calculus, and other forms of mathematics, and how to extend Calc.

How to Get GNU Software

All the software and publications from the Free Software Foundation are distributed with permission to copy and redistribute. The easiest way to get GNU software is to copy it from someone else who has it.

You can get GNU software direct from the FSF by ordering a distribution tape or CD-ROM. Such orders provide most of the funds for the FSF staff, so please support us by ordering if you can. See the "FSF Order Form".

If you have Internet access, you can get the software via anonymous FTP from the host (the IP address is Get file `/pub/gnu/GETTING.GNU.SOFTWARE' for more information.

There are also third party groups who distribute our software; they do not work with us, but can provide our software in other forms. For your convenience we list some of them; see "Free Software for Microcomputers". Please note that the Free Software Foundation is not affiliated with them in any way and is responsible for neither the currency of their versions nor the swiftness of their responses.

These TCP/IP Internet sites provide GNU software via anonymous FTP (program: ftp, user: anonymous, password: your name, mode: binary):

Those on the SPAN network can ask rdss::corbet.

Those on JANET can look under

You can get some GNU programs via UUCP. Ohio State University posts their UUCP instructions regularly to newsgroup comp.sources.d on USENET. These people will send you UUCP instructions via electronic mail:

hao!scicom!qetzal!upba!ugn!nepa!denny, uunet!hutch!barber, (Europe),,
acornrc!bob,, and

For those without Internet access, see the section entitled "Free Software Support" for information on receiving electronic mail via UUCP.

As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours.

                        --Benjamin Franklin

GNU Software Available Now

We offer Unix software source distribution tapes in tar format on the following media: 1600 bpi 9-track reel tape, 8mm Exabyte cartridges, Sun QIC-24 cartridges, Hewlett-Packard 16-track cartridges, and IBM RS/6000 QIC-150 cartridges (the RS/6000 Emacs tape has an Emacs binary as well). We also offer: a CD-ROM (see "GNU Source Code CD-ROM"); MS-DOS diskettes with some GNU software (see "MS-DOS Distribution"); and VMS tapes (which include sources and executables) for GNU Emacs and the GNU C compiler (see "VMS Emacs and Compiler Tapes").

The contents of the various 9-track and cartridge tapes for Unix systems are the same (except for the RS/6000 Emacs tape, which also has executables); only the media are different (see the "FSF Order Form"). Documentation comes in Texinfo format. We welcome any bug reports.

Some of the files on the tapes may be compressed to make them fit. Refer to the top-level `README' file at the beginning of the tapes for instructions on decompressing them. uncompress may not work!

Version numbers listed by program names were current at the time this Bulletin was published. When you order a distribution tape, some of the programs might be newer, and therefore the version number higher.

Contents of the Emacs Tape

Contents of the Languages Tape

This tape contains programming tools: compilers, interpreters, and related programs (parsers, conversion programs, debuggers, etc.).

Contents of the Utilities Tape

This tape consists mostly of smaller utilities and miscellaneous applications not available on the other GNU tapes.

Contents of the Experimental Tape

This tape includes software which is currently in beta test and is available for people who are feeling adventurous. Some of the software already has released versions on the distribution tapes. The contents of this tape are transient; as the programs become stable, they will replace older versions on other tapes. Please send bug reports to the appropriate addresses (listed on the tape in the notes for each program).

Contents of the X11 Tapes

The two X11 tapes contain Version 11, Release 5 of the MIT X Window System. The first FSF tape contains all of the core software, documentation, and some contributed clients. We call this the `required' X tape since it is necessary for running X or running GNU Emacs under X. The second, `optional,' FSF tape contains contributed libraries and other toolkits, the Andrew Toolkit, games, and other programs.

Berkeley Networking 2 Tape

The Berkeley "Net2" release contains the second 4.3 BSD distribution and is newer than both 4.3BSD-Tahoe and 4.3BSD-Reno. It includes most of the BSD software system except for a few utilities, some parts of the kernel, and some library routines which your own C library is likely to provide (we have replacements on other tapes for many of the missing programs). This release also contains third party software including Kerberos and some GNU software.

VMS Emacs and Compiler Tapes

We offer two VMS tapes. One has just the GNU Emacs editor. The second contains the GNU C compiler, Bison (needed to compile GCC), gas (needed to assemble GCC's output), and some library and include files. We are not aware of a GDB port for VMS. Both VMS tapes have executables from which you can bootstrap, since the DEC VMS C compiler cannot compile GCC. Please do not ask us to devote effort to VMS support, because it is peripheral to the GNU Project.

GNU Source Code CD-ROM

The Free Software Foundation has produced its first CD-ROM. This CD contains sources to the distribution of the GNU Project including: Emacs, GCC, G++, GDB, Bison, GAS, Make, GAWK, Texinfo, the GNU Utilities, RCS and CVS, f2c, gnuplot, Ghostscript, tar, diff, and BASH, as well as the MIT X Window System, and MIT Scheme. This CD included everything on our Emacs, Languages (except T), Utilities, Experimental, X11 Required and X11 Optional tapes as of October 1992. Note that the BSD-Net2 tape contents are not on this CD. Some of the versions are earlier then listed in "GNU Software Available Now". These programs are not on this CD: PCL, Clisp, Autoconf, Fax, wdiff, screen, Termcap, and Oleo.

The CD-ROM also contains some packages ported to Intel 80386 and 80486-based machines running MS-DOS: Demacs, DJGPP, and MIT Scheme 7.2. In addition, it contains Mtools, which is a public domain collection of programs to allow Unix systems to read, write, and manipulate files on an MS-DOS file system (typically a diskette).

The CD is in ISO 9660 format and can be mounted as a read-only file system on most operating systems. You can build most of this software without needing to copy the sources off the CD. It requires only enough free disk space for the object files and the intermediate build targets. Except for several of the MS-DOS packages, there are no precompiled programs on this CD. You will need a C compiler (programs which need some other interpreter or compiler normally provide the C source for a bootstrapping program).

The CD costs $400 if you are buying it for a business or other organization, or $100 if you are buying it for yourself.

MS-DOS Distribution

The FSF is now distributing some of the GNU software that has been ported to MS-DOS on 3.5 inch, 1.44MB diskettes. The disks contain both source and executables.

Contents of the Demacs diskettes

Demacs is a version of Emacs 18.55 ported to MS-DOS, with some changes from Emacs 18.57. Two versions are actually included--one which handles 8-bit character sets, and one, based on Nemacs, which handles 16-bit character sets, including Kanji. We distribute it on five 3.5 inch diskettes, containing both source and executables.

Demacs runs on Intel 80386 and 80486--based machines running MS-DOS. It is compatible with XMS memory managers and VCPI, but not with Microsoft Windows extended mode or other DPMI managers.

Contents of the DJGPP diskettes

DJGPP is a complete port of GCC, libraries, development utilities, and a symbolic debugger, for Intel 80386 and 80486--based machines running MS-DOS. We distribute it on four 3.5 inch diskettes, containing both source and executables.

DJGPP requires at least 5MB of hard disk space to install, and 512K of RAM to use. It is compatible with XMS memory managers and VCPI, but not with Microsoft Windows extended mode or other DPMI managers. It cannot emulate multitasking (e.g. fork(2)) or signals.

Contents of the Selected Utilities diskettes

The GNUish MS-DOS Project releases versions of GNU software ported to PC compatibles. In general, this software will run on 8086 and 80286--based machines; it does not require an 80386. Some of these utilities are necessarily missing features.

We are distributing these utilities, both source and executables: Bison, RCS, flex, GAWK, cpio, diff, MicroEmacs, find, some file utilities, gdbm, grep, libc, ptx, indent, less, m4, make, sed, shar, sort, and Texinfo.

Contents of the Windows diskette

We are distributing versions of GNU Chess and gnuplot ported to Microsoft Windows, on a single diskette, containing both source and executables.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.

                        --Isaac Newton

The Deluxe Distribution

The Free Software Foundation has been repeatedly asked to create a package that provides executables for all of our software. Usually we offer only sources. In addition to providing binaries with the source code, the Deluxe Distribution includes copies of all our printed manuals.

The FSF Deluxe Distribution contains the binaries and sources to hundreds of different programs including GNU Emacs, the GNU C Compiler, the GNU Debugger, the complete MIT X Window System, and the GNU utilities.

You may choose one of the following machines and operating systems: HP 9000 series 200, 300, 700, or 800 (4.3 BSD or HP-UX); RS/6000 (AIX); Sony NEWS 68k (4.3 BSD or NewsOS 4); Sun 3, 4, or SPARC (SunOS 4 or Solaris). If your machine or system is not listed, or if a specific program has not been ported to that machine, please call the FSF office.

We will supply the software on one of the following media in Unix tar format: 1600 or 6250 bpi, 1/2 inch, reel to reel tape; Sun DC300XLP 1/4 inch cartridge, QIC-24; HP 16 track DC600HC 1/4 inch cartridge; IBM RS/6000 1/4 inch cartridge, QIC-150; and Exabyte 8mm tape. If your computer cannot read any of these, please call us.

The manuals included are one each of the Bison, Calc, Gawk, GNU C Compiler, GNU Debugger, Flex, GNU Emacs Lisp Reference, Make, Texinfo, and Termcap manuals; six copies of the GNU Emacs manual; and a packet of reference cards for GNU Emacs, Calc, the GNU Debugger, Bison, and Flex.

In addition to the printed and on-line documentation, every Deluxe Distribution includes an ISO 9660 CD-ROM that contains sources of our software.

The Deluxe Distribution costs $5000. This package is for people who want to get everything compiled for them or who want to make a purchase that helps the FSF in a large way.

Tape Subscription Service

The FSF is starting a tape subscription service. If you do not have net access, the subscription service enables you to stay current with the latest FSF developments. For the one-time cost equivalent to three tapes, we will mail you four new versions of the tape of your choice over the course of the next year.

Every quarter, we will send you a new version of a Languages, Utilities, Experimental, or MIT X Windows Required tape. The Emacs, BSD Net-2, and the MIT X Windows Optional tapes are not changed often enough to warrant quarterly updates.

See the section entitled "Subscriptions" in the "FSF Order Form".

Free Software for Microcomputers

We do not provide support for GNU software on microcomputers because it is peripheral to the GNU Project. However, we are distributing a few such programs on tape, CD-ROM, and diskette. We are also willing to publish information about groups who do support and maintain them. If you are aware of any such efforts, please send the details, including postal addresses, archive sites, and mailing lists, to either address on the front cover.

See "MS-DOS Distribution" for more information about microcomputer software available from the FSF. Please do not ask us about any other software. The FSF does not maintain any of it and has no additional information.

Announcing FSF T-shirts

Free Software Foundation T-shirts are now available, designed by local artist Jamal Hannah. The front of the t-shirt has an image of a GNU hacking at a workstation with the text "GNU's Not Unix" above and the text "Free Software Foundation below. They are available in two colors, Natural and Black. Natural is an off-white, unbleached, undyed, environmentally friendly cotton, printed with black ink. Great for tye-dyeing, or displaying as is. Black is printed with white ink and is perfect for late night hacking. All shirts are thick 100% cotton, and are available in sizes M, L, XL, and XXL.

Use the "FSF Order Form" to order your shirt, and consider getting one as a present for your favorite hacker!

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

                        --Vaclav Havel

Thank GNUs

Thanks to all those mentioned above in "GNUs Flashes", "Project GNU Status Report", "GNU in Japan", and "GNU Software Available Now".

Our undying gratitude to Carl W. Hoffman for all of his help.

Thanks to the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT for their invaluable assistance of many kinds.

Thanks are due to the following people for their assistance in the recent Japan activities: Nobuyuki & Mieko Hikichi, Dr. Ken'ichi Handa, Dr. Ikuo Takeuchi, Bob Myers, David Littleboy, Mike Kandall, Prof. Masayuki Ida, JUS & SEA, Michio Nagashima and Paul Abramson. Thanks to Village Center, Inc., ASCII Corporation, the Japan Unix Society, A.I. Soft, and many others in Japan, for their continued donations and support.

Thanks to the USENIX Association for letting us have a table at their conference. Thanks again to the Open Software Foundation for their continued support. Thanks to Cygnus Support for assisting Project GNU in many ways.

Thanks to the University of Massachusetts at Boston (especially Rick Martin) for letting Karl Berry and Kathryn Hargreaves use their computers.

Thanks to Jim Morris of Carnegie-Mellon University for supporting Tom Lord. Brian Fox says "domo arigato gozaimashita" to Dr. Ed Gamble and ATR Japan for hosting him for 6 weeks in Kyoto, Japan. Joseph Arceneaux thanks Richard Karpinkski of UCSF and Paul Hilfinger of UCB, as well as Paul's students Luigi, Ed, Alan, and Kinson, for their kind assistance.

Thanks to Lucid, Inc. for the loan of an X terminal and for their support of Joe Arceneaux. Thanks to Chet Ramey for his continuing work on improving BASH. Thanks to Carol Botteron for proofreading and other assistance.

Thanks go out to all those who have either lent or donated machines, including Cygnus Support for a Sun SPARCstation; Hewlett-Packard for two 80486, six 68030, and four Spectrum computers; Brewster Kahle of Thinking Machines Corp. for a Sun-4/110; Doug Blewett of AT&T Bell Labs for two Convergent Miniframes; CMU's Mach Project for a Sun-3/60; Intel Corp. for their 386 machine; NeXT for their workstation; the MIT Media Laboratory for a Hewlett-Packard 68020; SONY Corp. and Software Research Associates, Inc., both of Tokyo, for three SONY News workstations; IBM Corp. for an RS/6000; the MIT Laboratory of Computer Science for the DEC MicroVAX; the Open Software Foundation for the Compaq 386; Delta Microsystems for an Exabyte tape drive; an anonymous donor for 5 IBM RT/PCs; Liant Software Corp. for five VT100s; Jerry Peek for a 386 machine; NCD Corporation for an X terminal; and Interleaf, Inc., Veronika Caslavsky, Paul English, Cindy Woolworth, and Lisa Bergen for the loan of a scanner.

Thanks to all those who have contributed ports and extensions, as well as those who have contributed other source code, documentation, and good bug reports. Thanks to those who sent money and offered help. Thanks also to those who support us by ordering manuals and distribution tapes. The creation of this bulletin is our way of thanking all who have expressed interest in what we are doing.

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