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Free Software Directory:Participate

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User account

If you don't already have a Software Foundation Central Login (member or non-member) you need to create one: It is mandatory to allow this wiki software to allow you to edit on it.

Approval System

Anybody can update or submit new entries to the Directory. Please review the Requirements. However, updates and new submissions need approval by an administrator before they will appear publicly. Logged-in users can tell if they are seeing the latest version of the page, or if there are newer versions of the page waiting for approval by a message at the top of the page.

  • Not the latest version message: This is the approved revision of this page; it is not the most recent. View the most recent revision.
  • Latest version message: This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

You can see a list of approved pages or pages waiting for approval.

How to fill the fields in an entry

Each entry for a package in the Directory has information structured in quite a number of fields, some of which are obvious, some less so. Please check out the documentation for an entry, to assist you with relevant information on the requirements, meaning, or expectations for the content.


These tools are auxiliary, they do not replace this guide or the requirements.

Submit new entries

To submit a new entry to the directory:

  1. Login to the directory.
  2. Head to our entry page.
  3. Enter the name of the package or software program.
  4. You will be brought to a multi-part form -- don't panic! Only the first few fields are required.
  5. The final step is to go to the last tab and press the save button at the bottom.

Please note that when you save, your submission won't appear. Don't Panic! The reason it is not appearing is because it has been marked as "unapproved". After our team has reviewed your submission thoroughly, completed adding as much data as possible, and ensured it meets all of our guidelines, your submission will be published on the Directory. Until approved you can review or improve your submission by editing it as outlined below.

Update an entry

To update an entry:

  1. Login to the directory.
  2. Click "Edit With Form" at the top of the page you'd like to update.

When you update an entry, you edit the latest version of the page, approved or not.

To find entries that haven't been updated in a while, check the Free Software Directory:Participate/oldies page and Free Software Directory:Broken links

Deleting an entry

If a submission doesn't meet criteria for inclusion in the directory, it can be proposed for deletion, and deleted by an administrator from the drop-down menu. To propose an entry for deletion, edit it's description to start with:

[[Category:Candidates for deletion]] This is a candidate for deletion: (describe why here) ~~~~

Then it will show up in Category:Candidates for deletion.

Check on if a package's homepage is gone.

When an entry is deleted, also search for references to it by other entries. For example, it may be listed as a "related project" for some other entries. These references need to be edited out manually; deleting an entry does not automatically remove them. The What links here tool comes handy when hunting down the links.

If the package is a particularly popular or well-known proprietary package, it might make more sense to have the page redirect to free alternatives already listed on the directory. That way, if a person searches the directory for the proprietary program, they can be directed to free equivalents.

When a page is deleted, it will show up in the deletion log with a stated reason for its rejection, so users trying to submit a project can know how to correct any errors (if possible)

Guidelines for choosing Version Status of an entry

  • Stable: If it has a release and no indication of the type, choose stable.
  • Historical means no longer works on any currently supported free software distribution. Since that is hard to determine, some hints are:
    • The last release or source code change is probably older than 2007.
    • It's not being maintained by Debian (it's not a package in wheezy).
    • If you are using a Gnu/Linux distro, it doesn't compile or run for you.

You can always revive historical free software to run again.

Help us maintain and improve the Directory

Want to join others in the community and help curate and build the Free Software Directory?

  • Join the directory-discuss list and send an email asking us how you can help!
  • If you are an administrator looking for directions, check out the workflow page.
  • Join us each week for the Friday Free Software Directory IRC meeting! For details and time, check the FSF blog.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.

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