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Re: Release plans

From: joakim
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 23:25:40 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"Richard M. Stallman" <address@hidden> writes:

> The decision on whether to include a dynamic linker in Emacs
> does not directly affect users' freedom.  (It doesn't change the license.)
> What is affects is which changes we facilitate and which changes we don't.
> The case of XRefactory and its harmful effects on CEDET illustrate the
> kind of harm I'm trying to avoid.  It also shows that we cannot
> totally avoid such problems.  But opening a convenient door for making
> them is likely to mean more of them.  I want to have less of them.

I would like to add two things I find missing from this discussion.

- Things can change over time
- People can change over time with helpful education

I had trouble understanding the dynamic linker ban ten years ago, but I
now understand the relevance of it at the time. I've learned something
from this.

Today I would claim that limiting Emacs technical abilities hurts Emacs
ability to be used as an educational tool for the value of software
freedom. I claim this because I belive people need somewhere acessible
to start learning.

When I started using Emacs it was because of its technical merits. It
was available on all the proprietary platforms I used. Only later did I
discover the value of freedom, and Emacs helped me with this.

Emacs still has great technical merit of course, but its not imediately
obvious to newcommers. In order to make it more obvious, heres a short
list of things I think would help:

- Merge CEDET, and improve it so great IDE functionality can be had
  fairly easily
- Merge ECB so IDE like code browsing tools becomes available
- Make it possible to write more beautiful elisp. I'm not a lisp expert
  but even I find it painful that writing recursive functions is made
  hard due to the lack of tail-optimization. It should be fun to code
- provide different levels of chrome out of the box. One skin would be
  bling-bling with all facilities enabled, transparent windows etc, and
  another one would be monk mode with nearly nothing.

Joakim Verona

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