FSF Honors Emacs Co-Maintainer, ‘Replicant’ Developer, and Videoconferencing Tool Jami
The Free Software Foundation held their annual LibrePlanet conference last week — and announced that Eli Zaretskii, co-maintainer of GNU Emacs, won their “Advancement of Free Software” award. “He has been a contributor to Emacs for more than thirty years,” notes the FSF announcement, “and as co-maintainer, coordinates the work of more than two hundred active contributors. During Zaretskii’s tenure as co-maintainer, the Emacs development community has implemented several important new features, including native compilation of the editor’s Emacs Lisp backbone into machine code.”

Zaretskii was honored with a recorded message from the original author/principal maintainer of GNU Emacs back in 1985, Richard Stallman:
“For many years, I was the principal maintainer of GNU Emacs, but then others came along to do the work, and I haven’t been heavily involved in Emacs development for many, many years. Nowadays, our principal maintainer of Emacs is extremely diligent and conscientious and has brought about a renaissance in new features and new packages added to Emacs, and the result is very impressive. So I’m happy to give the Free Software Award to Eli Zaretskii, principal maintainer of GNU Emacs. Thank you for your work.”

In his recorded acceptance of the award, Zaretskii said, “The truth is my contribution to free software in general and to Emacs development in particular is quite modest, certainly compared to those who won this award before me…. And even my modest achievement as the Emacs developer and lately the co-maintainer would have been impossible without all the other contributors and the Emacs community as a whole. No significant free software project can be developed, maintained, and led forward without participation and support of its members. And Emacs is no exception.”

Their award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor went to Tad (SkewedZeppelin), the chief developer of DivestOS, a fork of Android which removes many proprietary binaries “and which puts freedom, security, and device longevity as its main concerns,” according to the FSF’s announcement. “Tad has also contributed to the Replicant distribution of Android, a project fiscally sponsored by the FSF.”

And their award for Project of Social Benefit went to GNU Jami, a free software videoconferencing tool “that is fully decentralized and encrypted, allowing thousands around the world to communicate in both freedom and security. In contrast to proprietary conferencing programs like Zoom, which are nonfree software, Jami is an official GNU package licensed under the GNU GPLv3+.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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