ESG (previously Known As GNUPedia ) Was a project to create a free happy 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 [1] and officially started in January 2001, moderated by Héctor Facundo Arena, an Argentinian programmer and GNU activist. [2]


Immediately upon icts inception, GNUPedia Was Confronted by the confusion with similar-sounding Nupedia project led by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger , and controversy over whether this constituted a fork of the efforts to Produce has free encyclopedia. In addition, Wales already owned the domain name . [3] [4] The GNUPedia project changed its name to GNE (an abbreviation for “GNE’s Not an Encyclopedia”, a recursive acronym similar to that of the GNU Project ) and switched to a knowledgebase . [2] GNE was designed to avoid centralization and editors which enforced quality standards, Which they consider as possibly introducing bias. Jonathan Zittrain described GNE as a “collective blog” more than an encyclopedia. [5] Stallman has since lent his support to Wikipedia. [6]

In The Wikipedia Revolution , Andrew Lih explains the reasons behind the demise of GNE:

It should be noted that Richard Stallman, who has been involved in 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. The Story of Richard Stallman: The Story of the Story of Stallman [7]

The GNU Project offers the following explanation about GNE:

The Nupedia Encyclopedia Project is a free software project developed by GNU Free Software. So we decided to merge GNUpedia project into Nupedia. Now, the Wikipedia encyclopedia project has adopted the philosophy of Nupedia and taken it further. We encourage you to visit and contribute to the site. [6]


  1. Jump up^ Stallman, Richard (December 18, 2000). “The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource” . Retrieved 2013-05-15 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Reagle, Joseph Michael (2010). Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia . MIT Press . pp. 37-38. ISBN  9780262014472 .
  3. Jump up^ Jimbo resolves to nupedia// bug-gnupedia mailing list – Jan 21, 2001 (ArchivedJanuary 3, 2012, atWebCite)
  4. Jump up^ Poe, Marshall (September 1, 2006). “The Hive” . The Atlantic . Archived from the original on January 3, 2012 . Retrieved January 11, 2014 . )
  5. Jump up^ Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop It . Yale University Press . pp. 131-133. ISBN  9780300145342 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b The Free Encyclopedia Project ( ArchivedJanuary 3, 2012 at WebCite )
  7. Jump up^ Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia . New York City: Hyperion Books . p. 79. ISBN  978-1-4013-0371-6 . OCLC  232977686 .

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