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Re: Release plans

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 21:48:31 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060808)

Richard M. Stallman wrote:
I did not "set any standard" just now.  I am simply restating, and
applying, the goals of the GNU Project which I set in 1983.

Our goal is not "helping users" (i.e., giving them whatever they
happen to want).  Our goal is establishing freedom for computer users.

Leading people to escape from Windows is a positive result.
Making use of Windows more convenient is not.

Windows hardly matters anymore.

Windows is not growing much in functionality.  Meanwhile,
what functionality is so often "tied" to it is being whittled away
by programs that run on *any* operating system by sticking to
W3C standards (and closely related de facto standards).

In a sense, the writing is on the wall and the Emacs
*architecture* will inevitably win (although, probably not GNU Emacs itself, on the current trajectory): Javascript
instead of Emacs lisp;  an in-memory, editable DOM object
instead of buffers;  mostly HTTP as the "universal system

Eclipse has attracted a lot of users who, in its absence, would
likely have chosen Emacs.  It is a safe bet, in my opinion, that
what comes next that will "eclipse" Eclipse, will be a Javascript
program that can run in some "A-list browsers".

In this brave new world of W3C standards (and de facto standards
around those) -- the traditional operating system is all but irrelevant.
New programs (of the sort that typical "end-users" run) increasingly
tend to not depend at all on the underlying OS.   The traditional
OS is dead -- irrelevant.

Windows has peaked in terms of its strategic advantages.  It is
doomed to be (slowly) whittled away by new Emacs-architecture / web-
implementation applications.   Supporting or not supporting Windows
in a package like GNU Emacs makes nearly no difference in this
larger trend.   There's a lot of fretting over low stakes here, on this

The more urgent issue concerns the emerging W3C-based world:
what will GNU have to offer there?


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