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Re: GNU Emacs release dates

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU Emacs release dates
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 12:44:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

"Ben Wing" <address@hidden> writes:

> Can anyone add to this?
> @node Through Version 18, Epoch, A History of Emacs, A History of Emacs
> @section Through Version 18
> @cindex version 18, through
> @cindex Gosling, James
> @cindex Great Usenet Renaming
> As described above, Emacs began life in the mid-1970's as a series of
> editor macros for TECO, an early editor on the PDP-10.  In the early
> 1980's it was rewritten in C as a collaboration between Richard
> M. Stallman (RMS) and James Gosling (the creator of Java); its extension
> language was known as @dfn{Mocklisp}.  This version of Emacs-in-C formed
> the basis for the early versions of GNU Emacs and also for Gosling's
> Unipress Emacs, a commercial product.  Because of bad blood between the
> two over the issue of commercialism, RMS pretty much disowned this
> collaboration, referring to it as "Gosling Emacs".

I guess you'll find that RMS' account of that will be very much
different.  AFAIK, there was no colloboration, but rather some code
borrowing (I should think in both directions, but the sources are not
really clear about that.  It could also be that Gosling Emacs was just
inspired by the earlier existing Emacs, and not actually be using code
from it.  Somebody acquainted with the actual code or history should
probably know better than I do).

However, Gosling later pulled the permission for his code parts, and
RMS had to replace everything in GNU Emacs that had been placed in
there (by himself, drawing on Gosling's work as far as I am able to
interpret the available docs).  This was pretty seminal, I believe,
both in inspiring creation of the GPL as well as the copyright
assignment policy.

You may find RMS' account of these events more or less at

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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