This site is cool. I intend to make it cooler. To do so, I could use a little help. I'm a writer, not a web-designer, and what you currently see on the site reflects the limit of my HTML-writing abilities.
The following is a list of production elements I would like to incorporate into the site. If you would like to help make these a reality, please contact me at email@example.com.
Editorial Wish List
- Line or paragraph numbers in the margins
- A clean, easy to use bug-report form
- Site Map page
- Threaded Slashdot-style discussion page[s]
- Free Web hosting to handle any of the above
- CVS-type version control management
In terms of editorial content, my plan is to overhaul the Free as in Freedom story over the next 18 months, folding in more historical material, more third party commentary and more technical information. To give readers an idea of where I see things heading, I've adopted the numeric naming convention used by most software projects. I'm designating the text copied directly from Free as in Freedom and posted on March 7, 2002, as FAIFzilla 1.0. Version 1.1 will incorporate all the feedback supplied by readers in the 90 days following the publication of Free as in Freedom. Future versions will be significant rewrites of version 1.1
The following is a list of editorial milestones. This list will probably change, depending on how things progress. If you would like to help out with the writing or research associated with any one of these milestones, let me know. The same goes if you have pertinent information to offer in the way of an interview.
1.2 -- New chapter on the Free Software Foundation and its history. I had to cut this from the book version because of deadline constraints.
1.3 -- New chapter discussing the LGPL, its significance as a rare compromise on Stallman's part and Stallman's subsequent attempts to reverse that compromise.
1.4 -- Rewrite historical chapters 6 ["Emacs Commune"], eliminating factual errors and beefing up the technical content. Emacs was and remains Stallman's signature work, and I admit I provided only the roughest outline sketch of what the software does and how it came to be. I would love it if somebody with an in depth working knowledge of the program could provide some pointers on how to get across the technical and conceptual ingenuity of Emacs. I'm also willing to accept submissions that would augment this chapter.
1.6 -- Rewrite Chapter 11 ["Open Source"]. Writing this chapter was difficult, because many of the events were recent or ongoing. This made it hard to separate the truly significant from the overblown. Like a lot of journalists covering the open source/free software "schism," I tended to emphasize personal rivalries and quotations over more subtle developments in the technical realm. I'm hoping that as the events of 1995-1999 fade into the background it will be easier put those events in historical context.
1.7 -- Rewrite Chapter 13. ["Continuing the Fight"]. This chapter was the last delivered, and it shows. My intention was to analyze Stallman's work from the historical perspective. Are the values of "freedom" and "neighborliness" in sync with the traditional values espoused by the Constitutional framers or are they simply one of many interpretations? I would like to fold in more of Eben Moglen's thoughts on the difficulty of software from a legal perspective, an examination of past examples -- eg. strikes, player piano roles, corporations -- that forced to courts to reshift their interpretation of the law. A lead-in chapter on the FSF would probably help set those thoughts up.
1.8 -- Rewrite or update remaining chapters.
1.9 -- Rewrite Introduction and Epilogue, discussing lessons learned from the GFDL/online publication process.
2.0 -- A full, ready-for-publication second version of Free as in Freedom. Current target date: January, 2004.
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