was a large collection of free software
for Microsoft Windows
created by the Linux User Group
of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
(EPFL). It was intended at easing the transition from proprietary applications and operation systems to free ones, by acclimating the user to widely used and cross-platform software.
The GNUWin project started in spring 2001 in the EPFL to respond to the need of a means of distributing LaTeX
packages for MS Windows. The logical extension was to include LaTeX documentation, customised hints in form of HTML pages, and other software packages such as gnuplot
(which was not exactly Free Software, a special license from Sun Microsystems
was obtained for the occasion). GNUWin was only available in French, and was mainly distributed within the EPFL.
Due to the success of GNUWin, it was decided to build a second edition the year after. The main feature was that the CD was multilingual: the three main official languages of Switzerland (German, French and Italian) were included, as well as English; software was updated (notably, StarOffice was replaced by the Free OpenOffice.org
); and a server script was written to ease addition. The EPFL itself sponsored the printing of 1000 CDs.
GNUWin II immediately met broad success outside the EPFL, due to its translation into German. Free software is more commonly accepted in Germany and German Switzerland, which led to... Read More