March 3, 1999

SAN JOSE, CA - The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the release of GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) 1.0 today at the Linux World Conference. GNOME is an integrated desktop environment designed to run on GNU/Linux systems.

The Free Software Foundation, a tax-exempt charity formed in 1985, is dedicated to eliminating restrictions of people's right to use, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. It does so by protecting these rights through the GNU General Public License. The aim is to give people the freedom to cooperate with other computer users.

"GNOME is a flexible GUI (Graphical User's Interface) that combines ease of use and the flexibility and reliability of GNU/Linux. We're very excited about GNOME and what it will mean for the future of GNU/Linux computing" Miguel de Icaza, chief designer of GNOME said earlier.

de Icaza, along with 250 other programmers around the world - most of them volunteers for FSF, have been working on GNOME for almost two years now. They have received additional help from Red Hat Software Inc's RHAD (Red Hat Advanced Development) labs. "The Free Software Movement is a very dynamic one. GNOME is not only providing a desktop for end-users: it is laying down a foundation for standardizing a number of issues that have been ignored for a long time by the Unix community." de Icaza said.

GNOME has features that will allow a user to assign an icon to a file or URL. It has a drag and drop enabled desktop, making use of the standard Xdnd and Motif protocols for maximum interoperability. It has been coded to make it easy for international users, with core components currently supporting more than 17 languages, with more on the way. It works well with other scripting and compiling languages, including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, TOM, Perl, Guile, etc.

"GNOME is a giant step towards achieving the Free Software Foundation's goals of providing a whole spectrum of software for everyone from experts to end-users. We're excited about the direction that GNOME will take us in." Richard Stallman, Founder and President of the Free Software Foundation said. " 'Free Software' is a matter of liberty not price. It includes the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve any software distributed under the FSF's General Public License. We hope that this will continue to create a vigorous environment for programmers and users to create and use GNU/Linux and GNOME programs. Very soon we'll see a wide range of GNOME-based applications, to answer the different needs of computer users."

RHAD Labs was established as an independent development group to work on the usability of the GNU/Linux operating system. RHAD Labs' charter is to work with the free software development community to develop a highly accessible graphical computer environment on GNU/Linux.

GNOME is available for free download at, and several other mirror sites. It will also be included in Red Hat Software, Inc.'s GNU/Linux distributions with other sources available later in the year.

CONTACT: Timothy Ney, The Free Software Foundation - (617)542-5942


Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU project, launched in 1984 to develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for Gnu's Not Unix), to thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost. GNU is free software: everyone is free to copy it and redistribute it, as well as make changes, either large or small.

Richard Stallman is the principal author of the GNU C Compiler, a portable optimizing compiler that was designed to support diverse architectures and multiple languages. The compiler now supports over 30 different architectures and 7 programming languages. Stallman also wrote the GNU symbolic debugger (GDB), Gnu Emacs and various other GNU programs.

Stallman received the Grace Hopper award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1991, for his development of the first Emacs editor in the 1970's. In 1990, he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and in 1996, an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. In 1998 he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, along with Linus Torvalds.

Miguel de Icaza, 26, was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied math at the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico. He started writing free software in 1994 and has been working on the GNOME project since 1997. He currently works as a Systems Administrator for the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico.

Timothy Ney is an officer of the Free Software Foundation and manages the organization's administration and distribution activities in Boston. He has an extensive background in media, on-line business and non-profit management. Mr. Ney was the Executive Director of the Independent Feature Project in New York, where he advised independent filmmakers on the financing and distribution of features films and documentaries and coordinated market research with the Sundance Institute. As Director of Business Development for Baseline in Los Angeles, he launched the on-line service for the entertainment industry into Europe and Japan. He was attracted to free software by the same passion he found in artists and filmmakers.

Michael Fulbright ("Dr. Mike") is currently the director of RHAD Labs (Red Hat Advanced Development) at Red Hat Software, Inc., and was one of its founding members. Michael did early work organizing and maintaining the GNOME web and ftp sites, as well as organizing GNOME releases with other GNOME project leaders. He is a North Carolina native who has been using computers since his youth in the late 70's. He received a B.S. in Physics at North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Arizona. After using GNU/Linux for several years while a graduate student, Michael fell in love and switched his career so he could spend full-time working on Free Software and GNU/Linux. He is happily married to his wife Lysa. They live not far from his childhood neighborhood, where he first learned to program.

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