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Re: Release plans

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 19:37:24 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060808)

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
 You aren't
considering the effect on everybody else.

That is the main thing that I *am* considering.

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.

It is defeatism if you think that Emacs maintainers can't easily hack their
way out of such a situation or even if you think that that's a likely outcome.


Now I'm not saying this is an overwhelming argument. 

I'm saying it's completely underwhelming.

 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

Stephen said it a different way.  I said it already.   There is no
"must be weighed and balanced" here.  Yes, that's what RMS would
have us believe -- that it is a judgment call and one that has to be
made centrally and who better to make it....

I argued that no judgment call is needed.   By generic reasoning --
just general common sense principles -- that feature X enables
non-free hacks is neutral: never an argument against feature X.  
That feature X enables many free software hacks is an argument
for X.

RMS has been exercising an authority for which there is no need
in deciding these "hard" cases.

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.

How did you become persuaded of the supposed "dangers" in the
first place?

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


Stephen's reply answered that bit well.




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