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Re: Release plans

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 02:13:47 +0900

Richard M. Stallman writes:

 >     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.

I will remind you that that was good enough for XEmacs and Qt in your
opinion.  Circumstances may be different, but you should explain how.

If it's distributed only as a patch, who cares?  The patch that allows
dynamic loading is already available and quite self-contained IIRC,
we're in the same place already.

If it's a separate distribution with the patch preapplied and maybe
Emacs prebuilt, that is a fork.  The whole world knows what you think
of forks of Emacs, and how you treat the forkers.  I think that's
sufficient deterrent, and if it isn't enough, we can assume there's a
lot of value in the dynamic loader that people want pretty badly --
specifically, enough to overcome the inconvenience of patching in the
loader feature.

I really don't get this.  You are basically taking the open source
route here.  "People don't like to be free, so let's not tell them
about freedom -- let's make it relatively inconvenient to use
proprietary code."  Why not wait for the non-free modules, and then
publish a boycott list of such modules, give them a public dressing-
down, and in that way draw attention to the issue of freedom?

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