GNE (previously known as GNUPedia) was[until when?] a project to create a free content encyclopedia (licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) under the auspices of the Free Software Foundation. The idea for the project was initially proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000 and officially started in January 2001, moderated by Héctor Facundo Arena, an Argentinian programmer and GNU activist.
Immediately upon its creation, GNUPedia was confronted by confusion with the similar-sounding Nupedia project led by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, and controversy over whether this constituted a fork of the efforts to produce a free encyclopedia. In addition, Wales already owned the gnupedia.org domain name.
The GNUPedia project changed its name to GNE (an abbreviation for "GNE is Not an Encyclopedia", a recursive acronym similar to that of the GNU Project) on February 2, 2001. Stallman has since lent his support to Wikipedia.
The only three known GNE articles (posted in the mailing list) were about the C programming language, Esperanto and Esperanto's creator, Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof (geocities.ws mirror from GeoCities closing).
- "It should be noted as a historical footnote that Richard Stallman who inspired the free software and free culture movement also proposed his own encyclopedia in 1999 and attempted to launch it in the same year that Wikipedia took off. Called Gnupedia it coexisted confusingly in the same space as Bomis's Nupedia, a completely separate product. Keeping with tradition Stallman renamed his project GNE - GNE's not an encyclopedia. But in the end Wikipedia's lead and enthusiastic community was already well established and Richard Stallman put the GNE project into inactive status and put his support behind Wikipedia."
- "Just as we were starting a project, GNUpedia, to develop a free encyclopedia, the Nupedia encyclopedia project adopted the GNU Free Documentation License and thus became a free commercial project. So we decided to merge GNUpedia project into Nupedia. Now, the Wikipedia encyclopedia project has adopted the philosophy of Nupedia and taken it even further. We encourage you to visit and contribute to the site."
See also 
- Stallman, Richard (December 18 2000). "The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource". Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- Hello, This is the project Bug-gnupedia mailing list, 17 January 2001 (Archived at WebCite)
- Former personal webpage of Hector Facundo Arena (archived)
- Jimbo Wales gnupedia.org resolves to nupedia // bug-gnupedia mailing list - 21 Jan 2001 (Archived at WebCite)
- The Hive The Atlantic magazine, September 2006 (Archived at WebCite)
- The Free Encyclopedia Project gnu.org (Archived at WebCite)
- the C programming language by Andrew Main (Zefram) - fysh.org (Archived at WebCite)
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