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New Mailing List for Free Software Technical Reports

From: Brian Gough
Subject: New Mailing List for Free Software Technical Reports
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 20:59:32 +0000 (GMT)

                   Free Software Technical Reports
                             Mailing List

This mailing list is for announcements of technical reports about free
software.  If you have written a report, article or paper about a free
software project, and the report is freely redistributable, you can
announce it here.

The aim of the list is to alert people to new articles, and to build
up a bibliography of freely redistributable technical reports on free
software.  The list is hosted by GNU and will cover software under
GPL-compatible free software licenses.  This includes GNU, Perl,
Mozilla, the kernel named Linux, X11, GNOME and KDE, among others.

The types of articles that are suitable include (but are not limited to):

   * design documents and project proposals

   * conference talks and proceedings

   * project reports, describing practice and experience, successes 
     and failures

   * articles on techniques and algorithms used in a project 

   * papers on other aspects of free software, such as development
     processes, history, or legal matters

Articles announced on the list should be freely redistributable, so that
anyone may download and distribute them along with the software itself.

To subscribe to the announcement list send email to
<address@hidden> with 'subscribe' in the body, or visit  The list is
moderated and available as a digest.

See below for information on submitting an announcement.

Announcements of unrefereed/unpublished articles are welcomed, in the
tradition of self-published technical reports in Computer Science.  If there
are enough high-quality articles, it may be possible to start a "Journal of
Free Software Development" where papers can be submitted for peer-review.
If you would like your article to be considered for this you can send a note
to <address@hidden> after announcing it on the list.

We encourage the community to submit entries for existing, older articles,
so that they can be included in the bibliography.  Please mention the
original date of the article in the announcement to avoid confusion.



The submission procedure has two steps,

1. First make your article available online somewhere (on a web site or 
   ftp site) in source format, under a license which allows it to be
   freely redistributed.

   For generally useful technical documents (such as design documents), you
   can use some free documentation license, such as the GNU Free
   Documentation License (, that
   permits copying, modification, and redistribution of modified and
   unmodified versions of your document, both commercially and
   non-commercially.  This license preserves for the author a way to 
   get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for 
   modifications made by others.

   For position papers that express your personal opinions about an issue,
   you can use a license that prohibits modification, but permits copying
   and redistribution both commercially and non-commercially.  An example of
   such a license is:

         Copyright (C) YEAR AUTHOR.

         Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is
        permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

   Please store the sources (Texinfo, DocBook, TeX, troff, etc.)  in a
   gzipped tar file which unpacks into a subdirectory of the name and
   version number of the document.

   If you'd like, you can also provide printable versions in gzipped
   Postscript, PDF or HTML.

   Please include a BibTeX .bib entry if you want your article to be
   included in the master bibliography.

   (Finally, please note if you are not able to put your article on an FTP
    or web site, please simply contact <address@hidden> and
    ask for other arrangements.)

2. Fill out the template below and email it to the announcement address,
     To: <address@hidden>
     Subject: [title of the paper]

     Title: [the title of the paper, indent continuation lines with
       2 spaces]
     Author: [author's name, or Authors: list of authors, separated 
       by commas, indent continuation lines with 2 spaces]
     Comments: [e.g. number of pages, mention original publication 
       date if this is an old article being submitted. Indent 
       continuation lines with 2 spaces]
      [An abstract of the article briefly summarizing its contents
     in one or two paragraphs should be written in this section, so 
     that someone reading it can easily grasp what full article is 
     [URL for web page about the article, e.g. author's web site]
     [URL for a .tar.gz of the source files (e.g. TeX), required]
     [URL for the gzipped postscript version of the paper, optional]
     [URL for a pdf version of the paper, optional]
     [URL for an html version of the paper, optional]
     [URL for a BibTeX .bib file for the paper]

   Omit the headings and URLs for any formats that you don't provide.
   The URLs can be followed by the approximate file size in
   parentheses if desired.  An example submission is shown in the next

   The list is moderated so the announcement will appear when it has
   been checked.  The list charter is given below.

If you have any questions send them to <address@hidden>.

We will set up an ftp site and keep mirrored copies of the files there, so
they will be accessible if the original URLs stop working.



Here is a fictitious example which has a web page and supplies TeX
source, Postscript and a BibTeX file,

    To: <address@hidden>
    Subject: The design and implementation of an improved module system for GNU 

    Title: The design and implementation of an improved module system 
      for GNU Foo
    Authors: J. Doe, J. Smith
    Comments: 12 pages. Presented at the Libre Software Meeting, July 2000, 
      We describe the design of an improved module system for GNU Foo.
    The new system uses self-optimizing hash functions to achieve greater
    performance in symbol lookups.  We report benchmarks for both
    single-threaded and multi-threaded implementations which show a 75%
    improvement over our original system in GNU Foo 1.0.
    Source: (150k)
    Postscript: (400k)

A suitable .bib file for this article would be,

    author = "J. Doe and J. Smith",
    title = "The design and implementation of an improved module system 
     for GNU Foo",
    type = "{Talk presented at the Libre Software Meeting, Bordeaux}",
    year = "2000",
    month = "July",
    institution = "Foo Research Institute",
    address = "Berkeley, CA~94720, USA"

Further details could be provided by additional fields.  Please see the
BibTeX documentation for more information.



1. The list covers articles and technical documents about software will be
   released under GPL-compatible free software licenses (for a list of
   GPL-compatible licenses, see

2. Articles announced on the list should be freely redistributable (both
   commercially and non-commercially) in source format as well as printable

3. Articles should be in formats which can be read and printed using free

4. The list is hosted by GNU and exists to promote the freedom to share
   software.  It should not be used to promote or recommend non-free
   software or documentation.

5. The moderators will reject postings that do not fit with this charter.


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