[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Improving communication between GNU Emacs and XEmacs

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Improving communication between GNU Emacs and XEmacs
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 13:49:54 -0600 (MDT)

    This is an unsubstantiated claim, and it doesn't get better with
    repetition---many XEmacs maintainers have signed papers (including
    myself), and if you have questions about authorship, you need only

You proposed cooperation, so I thought we were having a civil
conversation, not an argument where people say "I dare you to prove
that!"  In the interests of cooperation I will explain the situation
in a little more detail--perhaps then you will see the difficulty we
are in.

Some XEmacs developers have signed papers, and some have not.  So we
can consider using a piece of code from XEmacs.  Sometimes the authors
are people who have signed papers (or will do so), and sometimes they
are not.

But the hardest problem is that in many cases we cannot reliably
identify all the authors of a substantial piece of code.  I wish it
were true that we could simply ask someone, but XEmacs has a history
of ten years, during which many different people maintained it, and
for much of that time without keeping records.  Even if all those
people wished to cooperate, with all the good will in the world their
memories are not up to it.  The task facing them would be to name
everyone that wrote more than 15 lines over the past N years.  The
unaided human memory can't do that task reliably.  That is why it is
important to keep records, and why we usually can't use code in XEmacs
unless its history was particularly short and simple.

There are cases, such as your package code, which are easier--where it
does seem that we can identify the authors and they have signed
papers.  For such code, we can cooperate.  I wish this were true for
all of XEmacs, but I know from various experiences over the last 6
years there are large parts for which it is not.

    RMS> I don't see sense in helping you design changes to code we can't
    RMS> use anyway.

    Well, as a sign of goodwill, many XEmacs developers have written and
    maintained code which are available for GNU Emacs as well---as vice
    versa.  If we adopted your viewpoint, then you're obviously saying we
    should stop doing this since this is really code we can't use anyway

If the XEmacs developers saw a legal difficulty in using code from
Emacs, then they would rationally reach such a conclusion.  However,
as far as I have heard, they regard all the code in Emacs as available
for their use.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]