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Re: Release plans

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 21:35:08 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

'Evening, Thomas!

On Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 02:04:11PM -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> Richard M. Stallman wrote:
> >    How does not providing dynamic loading maximize what users can
> >    do while remaining free?

> >It protects against the danger of non-free C-level add-ons to Emacs.
> >It's the same principle as the GPL itself.

> That doesn't answer the question.   You said something odd:
> that not having a dynamic loading feature helps to maximize
> what users can do in freedom.   That's false, though.   Having
> a dynamic loading feature would let users do more, in freedom.

[ .... ]

> When people have cause to *exercise* their software freedoms
> they come to understand those freedoms better.   They are more
> likely to come to regard those freedoms as simply "natural" --
> as a basic right.   If more people are busy exercising their software
> freedoms, more people will be prepared to defend those freedoms.

Yes, but.  I think you understand Richard's argument but are glossing
over it.  We're not just individuals - we live in a community, and our
exercise of our freedoms affects everybody else.  (If you're a political
libertarian, you probably need read no further. ;-)  You aren't
considering the effect on everybody else.

The ability to link binary libraries into Emacs means the ability to link
non-free binaries in (think Linux modules here), possibly with _very_
useful functionality, whose inclusion could screw up Emacs's freedom in a
significant way.  Five years from now, lots of people could be "freely"
chosing this "non-free" version.  This would be damaging to the aims of
the FSF.

Now I'm not saying this is an overwhelming argument.  I'm saying that
it must be weighed and balanced against the (substantial) benefits of
binary libraries.  Just as individual people's freedom to own guns must
be weighed against the right of the community not to have its members

My opinion on allowing binary libraries into Emacs is that its dangers
would be greater than the benefits it would allow.  I'm willing to be
persuaded I'm mistaken.

You should address this, instead of evading it as you have done up to

> -t

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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