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Re: Release plans

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 15:07:25 +0900

Alan Mackenzie writes:

 > Hey, I'm allowed to think, amn't I?  :-)

Of course, but when it comes to what I'm talking about, please think
what I tell you to.[1]  :-)

 > "When" XEmacs -> GPL3?  I take it you've settled this, then.

We really don't have much choice, since most Lisp is maintained by
third parties, and Emacs is just 'nano' on steroids without all the
Lisp.  We've got some legal i's to dot and t's to cross, and we need
to think about how to deal with backward compatibility, which we care
about even though GNU does not.  But it's definitely coming.

 > By the way, is there any way in the XEmacs website to get the
 > history of individual source files?  I couldn't find any when I
 > looked today.

Not at the website per se, but there's ViewCVS at
http://cvs.xemacs.org/ for the packages and 21.4, and there's probably
a Mercurial equivalent at http://hg.debian.org/xemacs/ for 21.5.

 > > With a binary module loader, we might be able to develop them faster
 > > and head off the proprietary versions---there might well be less.
 > Possibly.  But there's no way to test this safely.  It's got to be judged
 > by insight and guesswork.

I disagree.  Watch XEmacs and SXEmacs.  The flag-carrying battleship
is safe, but there are a few cruisers out there engaged with the

 > > Who's ignoring 6 billion people now?  Nothing in the GPL creates
 > > lock-in, no, but 99.9999% of humanity doesn't have the skills!  So
 > > they are locked in unless the market provides for them.
 > Look, Stephen, I've probably given you the impression over my last few
 > posts that I was merely winding you up, trolling you.

No, not at all.  And in any case it's surely mutual; at least on my
side there were quite incorrect expectations about what you know, and
have thought carefully about.

 > If so, I'm sorry about that; everything I've written was sincerely
 > meant.

No apology is needed.

 > > IMO, the free software distribution model offers very little to those
 > > people in the way of hope that their needs will be met.  Jury's still
 > > out, but I don't know any office-type users who prefer a working Ubuntu
 > > to a working Windows.  Windows has more of the apps they want.  Some
 > > still choose the reliability etc of a GNU/Linux distro, but they're
 > > painfully aware of being behind the curve in most application areas.
 > Yes.  Sadly.  At the moment.

Sadly, I think we are now at the point where we need to put a period.
We've come to agreement on the questions, but don't have answers that
satisfy all the relevant decision makers.

Yet.  See ya!

[1]  This is a reference to an actual response by a Japanese career
bureaucrat to a question at a press conference.  *I*'m not serious but
I couldn't resist, as I just arrived back here Through the Looking
Glass and am not *not* NOT enjoying the bureaucracy, although the food
is wonderful.

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