High Priority Free Software Projects
These are the projects considered most important by the Free Software Foundation, listed at http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority.html.
There is a vital need to draw the free software community's attention to the ongoing development work on these particular projects.
These projects are important because computer users are continually being seduced into using non-free software, because there is no adequate free replacement. Please support these projects:
Ubuntu can support these projects by providing an user-base, by providing as packages the tools needed to develop these projects, ... (add proposals here). The Ubuntu documentation should cite these projects and their software where appropriate.
Free software 3D video drivers
There is Nouveau: an open source 3D acceleration for nVidia cards. Currently (2007), there is 2D-support, and a very limited 3D support for extremely lucky developers. See http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/. The users that have installed the proprietary driver can help the development of Nouveau, by sending information about their cards, see http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/REnouveauDumps. There should be a package that enables the user to do that automatically.
The "nv" driver for nVidia cards is obfuscated (see http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/NVIDIA or http://www.manchicken.com/2007/ranting/on-ubuntu.html#comment-294) and thus is de facto proprietary, even if it is formally free and open source, and should hence be replaced.
Ubuntu could detect a supported motherboard or chipset, and say that an expert user should consider to switch to LinuxBios.
Gnash. GPL Flash movie player
Ubuntu could include Gnash by default, thus surpassing Windows in supporting Flash without installing anything else.
A free software replacement for Microsoft's .NET
The GNU PDF project
It is developing a free, high-quality and fully functional set of libraries and programs that implement the PDF file format and associated technologies to the coming ISO standard, ISO 32000.
Develop a free compatible client for Google Earth
(The Google Earth client is non-free specifically in order to impose Digital Restrictions Management.) This project requires reverse engineering, talk with FSF (http://www.fsf.org/about/contact.html) for advice before you start.
Xiph.org and free Internet protocols
See the project to-do list http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/Todo for more information about how to contribute.
Add reversible debugging to GDB
Reversible debugging (the ability to "step backwards" through a program) is an obviously powerful tool. GDB does not support it today, but the foundations have been laid, and the GDB maintainers are looking for contributors interested in expanding those foundations.
If you have a suggestion for a project that should be included on this list, please send your reasoning and the address of the project's home page to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
It should be investigated which are the non-free software most used in Ubuntu that could be replaced, and apposite projects should be launched.