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Re: Release plans

From: Tassilo Horn
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 09:19:33 +0200
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On Monday 18 August 2008 08:14:45 Richard M. Stallman wrote:

Hi Richard,

>     The Linux kernel doesn't refuse to boot when it recognizes a non
>     GPL module being loaded. It justs informs you its "tainted".
>     Emacs should of course just refuse to use functions in modules
>     that are not GPL compliant, not just inform the user that the
>     moral integrity of Emacs has been corrupted.
> I don't think this is a solution, because it would be easy to patch
> out the code that enforces that restriction.

But that register_me_i_am_gpl() function would be in emacs core.  As far
as I understand, if someone patches that function out, the resulting
emacs derivate would have to be GPLv3 as well.

Do you think that someone who would like to distribute non-free emacs
modules would really fork emacs, throw that mechanism out, release it as
GPLv3 and then provide his non-free modules for that fork?

I don't see how that would be much more convenient than forking the
current emacs without module loading support, apply the existing patch
for module loading, release this fork as GPLv3, and then provide the
non-free modules.

In any way, if someone wants to provide non-free modules, he has to fork
emacs.  But if we had support for loading modules, writing free modules
would be as simple as writing elisp extensions.  In my opinion that's a
win for emacs and the free software movement.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.


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