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On the 12 April 2001, GNA turned into the French chapter of Free Software Foundation (FSF).
At the end of 2003, the GNU Savannah server was replaced by FSF after a security compromise. A dispute broke out between FSF, who owned Savannah, and Savannah's maintainers, including developers of the Savannah software over the levels of administration the FSF should be given. FSF announced that it was going to switch to GForge, leaving frayed tempers among the developers, as result of a conflict about Savannah maintainers' role.
Loïc Dachary (who also started GNU Savannah) and several former GNU Savannah maintainers set up "Gna!" as a continuation of the Savannah project, but hosted on servers owned by the Free Software Foundation France. Gna! stands for "Gna's Not an Acronym". It is managed by a self-organized team, supported by Free Software Foundation France.
A notable exception to other free software community portals is Gna's strict licensing restrictions: only GNU General Public License compatible projects may be developed on the server. This is one of the reasons why it is significantly smaller than other portals. Its small userbase is advertised as a positive because it generally aids in the quick resolution of problems; a process which can take weeks on the larger sites.
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