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From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: MAINTAINERS file
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 13:16:38 -0400

    >  If the Hurd were ready for general use, then I would ask everyone
    >  to try it, for that reason.

    So technical reasons are relevant there...

Indeed they are.  My decision is based on the technical circumstances
and the overall goals of the GNU Project.

When there are several comparable, workable packages that do similar
jobs, we should use the one that is a GNU package.  That is the
situation here.

    >  So what?  The decision I've made is for the real situation.

    What is the real situation? Do we have data about the number of users
    of Bazaar vs. git or mercurial?

The real situation is that these programs are still developing, and
their competition is still developing too.  Whatever the current usage
figures are, they are liable to change.  So if, hypothetically,
Bzr is behind in the race at present, that is no reason to fail
to support it.

    >  You argument seems to say that the GNU Project should never
    >  establish a new convention and ask projects to follow it,
    >  because no package should ever be asked first.

    I thought you were opposed to straw man arguments... That's
    overgeneralizing what I said to the extreme.

That generalization comes from you.  It is the implicit premise of
what you said, so your argument rests on assuming it in full generality.

At least, that's how I understand what you said.  Here are your words:

    That would be more convincing if every GNU package except by Emacs
    were using Bazaar. Is that so?

They are rather vague and terse, so anyone trying to refute it has to
fill in what you left out.  I did my best.  If I did not fill it in
quite as you had in mind, you should have spoken more clearly.

    >  We already know the most important thing about what we will find from
    >  a careful study of git, mercurial and Bzr.  We will find that each has
    >  its advantages and disadvantages -- but none of them conclusive.  Each
    >  will be preferred by some people, but any one of them would work out
    >  well enough.

    We know we will find that, when there's been no unbiased comparison.

Yes, we know that much.  It is already clear that all three programs
are basically workable.

An "unbiased comparison" would show us detailed advantages of each.  I
don't know what they are, but I know they are not important enough to
override the GNU-level reason to choose the GNU package.  So I have
made the decision that way.

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