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OK, so pick one: http://directory.fsf.org/GNU/

Where the hell is this meme coming from that the FSF just talks the talk? Sure, that list contains a lot of incidental stuff too, but in order as they strike me, I see aspell, autoconf/autogen/automake (for better or for worse), bash, bazaar, ddd, dia, djgpp, ed (ed is the standard text editor), emacs, g++, gawk, gcc!!! (worthy of an exclamation point or three), gdb!!, gettext, gimp, glib, gmp, gnome, GNU fdisk, grub, gnumeric, gtk+... and I'm getting tired now so I'm going to stop. Except to honorably mention the last line in my browser as it now shows, the critically-important GNU Hello World.

I suppose the natural next objection is that it isn't people in the employ of the FSF who wrote every line of code of all of those programs, but I'd submit that that would be a very silly accusation to level against an aggressively-open-source organization.

You're sort of ambiguous whether "Joe Sixpack" in your post is a programmer or not, but if so, gcc and if not, Gnome are certainly in the running. FSF has more backend than frontend stuff but "Gnome" encompasses rather a lot in one word.

Those are all nice things and represent countless man hours or work and dedication however none of them are a good flagship. Firefox is a flagship. Gimp is close but somehow took a wrong turn. The FSF needs something to say "use this it's awesome! btw free software is why it's awesome!" And they need to be able to convince at least the average power user.


Gnome is the primary interface of Ubuntu, the flagship Linux distribution and frequent choice of power users. How much more flagshippy do you need?


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