Free Software Directory:Participate

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The Free Software Directory is edited by a community of volunteers and FSF staff members.

Main volunteer categories

Software entries

Custom entries

Software entries that are not imported from Debian's meta-data, are added manually to the directory as custom entries

Meta-data import

You must either know or be willing to learn Haskell, or Python, since the source files are written in these programming languages.

See the Import page.


Our old backlog is a list with too many entries. So we need to solve the issues in the Free Software Directory Tracker (FSDT) so we can merge the backlog to it. If you want to help, you must either know or be willing to learn Semantic MediaWiki (see User Manual, since the source files are written in that programming language.

Administration work on this wiki is made the Backlog Admin Group that is making decisions together with the Free Software Foundation.

For pages that need to be maintained, see Special:SpecialPages#Maintenance reports.

Administration of MediaWiki

  • If you are an administrator looking for directions or scripts, check out the workflow page.
  • Website guidelines for people who want to make contributions to the layout and the design of the directory.
  • Special:Version is useful for MediaWiki, and Semantic Forms, and so on, when you need to evaluate version specific syntax.
  • Finally, if you have experience and a particular interest that you want to work on, you can start or join a team:

Project Teams

Client system requirements

See also: Stack

To edit our wiki, you must have an FSF account. If you don't already have a Free Software Foundation Central Login (member or non-member), create one, and then click Log In on the Directory.

A web browser with JavaScript enabled

  • The Free Software Foundation Central Login requires JavaScript.
  • The MediaWiki stack requires JavaScript. We use more than MediaWiki, including Semantic MediaWiki, as well as some other extensions such as the Semantic Forms (see Special:Version for more information). We once tried doing the form without JavaScript, but to do this we will have to change how the form is built, as well as other templates, and entire namespaces (many pages) that are shown, queried or transcluded by it. It can be done, but it is no trivial/simple task.

Edit the FSD with text editors/browsers

See our Collection:Text mode browsers, and IceCat WebExtensions for text editors.

Editing multiple pages

See the subpage of the same name for hints on how to do that, as well as a script to automate part of the process.


Besides this wiki itself, there are two main channels to follow as part of your participation:


directory-discuss mailing list

Friday IRC Meeting

For details and time of the meeting, check the home page.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) hosts the Friday IRC Meeting to help new volunteers get started working on the Directory, as well as to discuss ongoing or new Directory projects. See the Main Page for more details about the next meeting.


When you mention a user's profile or name, you must always sign. If you forget the signature (which must always be in the form --~~~~) make a minor change to add it.

In other words, please always make an internal link to the userpage of the person you are replying to with [[User:accountname]] and sign with --~~~~.ref Unsigned mentions will not produce a notification for the mentioned.

This is specially useful because, if you are commenting in a thread inside a talk page and if you follow this advice, you don't need to comment on the talk userpage of the person you are replying to.



Dispute resolution

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.