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The Developers' Section

This section is for those interested in modifying or improving GNU.FREE, it also offers the detailed documentation necessary to really understand how it all works.

There is full documentation available here which always supersedes the version included with the downloads if there are any differences.


There are currently two sub-teams working on GNU.FREE, these teams offer vital help to the development effort but you don't need programming skills to contribute:

- Internationalisation Team. Transalating the client program for world cultures.
- Test Team. Pushing Release Candidates to the limits so that users get the best possible experience.

Documentation Links


For email discussions:
Free-dev for nitty gritty developer discussion.
Free-announce for low volume new release anouncements etc.

We also have dicussion forums on this site here >>> also host an e-democracy mailing list on which we sometimes discuss technical issues.

How to Submit Code

Jason Kitcat, that's me, currently holds the patch pumpkin. So if you want a change to go into the next official release, you send it to me and I'll usually put it in. Code should be well commented and the e-mail should explain how GNU.FREE will benefit from its inclusion.

If your code get's included then your name and e-mail will go into a file called AUTHORS [see latest version] which will be included with every official release.


  • Client Interface
    I'd like to see the voting screen to be more flexible, perhaps with rooms for logos from each party as on real ballot sheets.
  • Security
    In a never ending quest, we're always looking to make GNU.FREE more secure. Also voter authentication needs to be made more extensible to support biometrics, as in my original specs.
  • Performance
    Any bottlenecks (except your overused modem!), then they need fixing.
  • Additional election-types
    We now have the architecture to support multiple types of voting system, we just need to code each type. The European elections, local elections, national elections... they all use different systems such as STV, PR, first-past-the-post etc.
  • Improved Automated Setup
    An ongoing objective, trying to make it even easier to setup a democracy.
More ideas? Mail me.


We have migrated our bug system to SourceForge. BUG TRACKING >>>
  • 03-04-2000 Doubled DEV output [Fixed in 1.2.1]
    All DEV (DEBUG level) log outputs are written to the log file twice but are written to the screen normally (i.e. once).
  • 31-03-2000 DBase NULL field error [Fixed in 1.2]
    When ERServer.DBase.checkER( ) was called and the voted field was NULL then the voter authorisation process wouldn't follow the specification but would hang.
  • 22-03-2000 NullPointerException in TCPClient [Fixed in 1.1]
    Certain connection errors in FreeClient.TCPClient and RTServer.TCPClient are throwing exceptions that aren't correctly handled.
  • 20-03-2000 GUI in Solaris [Fixed when buggy JDK was replaced]
    We've encountered some strange Swing exceptions when running GNU.FREE in Solaris. The imminent rewrite of all the Swing code should fix this.

Contact - by Jason Kitcat - j-dom portal

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