[LWN Logo]
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 08:19:00 -0700 (MST)
From: Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>
To: lwn@lwn.net
Subject: Some corrections about Savannah

Dear Editors of LWN,

I would like to correct a few points in the recent article that
mentioned Savannah, the GNU Project's package hosting site.

Savannah is still in development, and at present it is open only to
GNU packages.  We are thinking of opening it to other free software
packages in the future, but it isn't ready.  The text you found by
digging deeply, which invited other free software projects to use
Savannah, was (alas) not true yet--its text was one of the aspects of
the site that needed further work ;-).

We have made some changes in the Sourceforge software (and offered the
changes back to the developers); but there remain some changes to make
to get certain facilities working.  We will also need to recruit
additional manpower before we can host a large number of projects.
(Please write to savannah-hackers@gnu.org if you want to volunteer.)

Savannah is at present limited to GNU packages, but this does not mean
that authors must assign the copyright to the FSF.  Being a GNU
package means that the program is a part of the GNU Project, released
under the auspices of GNU.  This entails an agreement between
developers and the GNU Project--but assigning the copyright is
optional; many developers of GNU programs choose to keep the
copyright.  This has been true ever since we started dealing with the
issue, early in the development of the GNU operating system.  (If
you're interested in making your program a GNU package, please write
to gnu@gnu.org.)

The name "Savannah" was chosen because the terrain where gnus live is
savannah.  The name is actually an alias (for www purposes) of
subversions.gnu.org, the GNU CVS server site where the various
versions and subversions of packages are stored in repositories.

Finally, it is not accurate to describe Savannah as a site for
"open-source project hosting", because its purpose is hosting free
software projects.  Whether a program is open source is simply beside
the point for Savannah, because Savannah, like all of the GNU Project,
is part of the free software movement.  Our goal is to give users
the freedom they deserve--the freedom to study, change and share the
software that they use.  For more explanation of the difference
between the free software movement and the open source movement, see

Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance