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Re: Release plans

From: Johannes Weiner
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 00:58:57 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)


address@hidden (Robert J. Chassell) writes:

>     address@hidden (Robert J. Chassell) writes:
>     >     > Whether one loads proprietary modules into the kernel is a 
> personal
>     >     > decision and I don't like deciding for other people.
>     >
>     > No; it is not a personal decision.  When you load proprietary modules,
>     > you are telling those who pay attention that you do not mind restricting
>     > yourself.
>     What has sentence a to do with sentence b?
> You are not being personal when you make a decision involving others --
> perhaps you are thinking, `I am the one making the decision'.  That is
> true.  But the consequences don't involve you alone.  You are telling
> others that you accept this sort of restriction.  That is critical and
> what I was trying to say.

Okay, if you make such a decision, you are automatically a role model
for others.

But whether you take that decision away from others is a philosophical
attitude.  I wouldn't choose to do so but I would also not trade
software power for potential harm the law already protects against, as
Stephen Turnbull explained it does.

IMHO, the better approach is a psychological one.  Yes, explain to
people why you consider it bad for them and their environment to do
certain things.  Education is good.  Spreading the understanding that it
is stupid and self- and others-harming to use proprietary software if
you think that this is the case and I am fine with that.  I share this
opinion, by the way, just to be clear, and I also explain this to people
using non-free software.

But I think leaving useful features (that are not restricting the user
in any way) out of the software is a bad decision.  Even worse when the
law would already protect from abuse.

And just to not go into a loop here again, I am aware that I could
theoretically fork GNU Emacs and implement the feature I want.  But I
care about GNU Emacs itself and I wouldn't spend so much time to explain
my standpoint if I didn't.


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