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Re: AW: Fwd: CEDET sync

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: AW: Fwd: CEDET sync
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2010 03:37:51 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:
 >     That's only part of it.  It has also been heavily motivated by the
 >     desire to ostracize those with different beliefs, even if they are
 >     compatible with freedom.  Specifically, the BSDs have shown that it is
 >     possible to maintain freedom of the whole for those who want it with
 >     important parts of the system (eg, the OS kernel) licensed under less
 >     restrictive conditions.
 > Stop these false accusations!

Read what others write!

 > We do not reject developers for disagreeing with us on
 > philosophical questions, as long as they are willing to participate
 > in the project under the rules and policies it has.

But you do reject them if they are not so willing.  What good is their
moral position if they do not act on it, merely so they can have the
benefit of using a piece of software?  I believe the word you normally
apply to such behavior is "backsliding", is it not?  And you write
your licenses to apply to developers working outside of the project,
and to ensure that those who act on different beliefs cannot use your
software.  That may be necessary, but it surely is ostracism,
exclusion from the community.

 > There is plenty of experience showing the danger that free programs
 > under lax licenses will have proprietary improvements.

Sure.  Nevertheless, the whole of the unextended program or system,
that was written by the person(s) who gave it a free license, remains
free (which is almost definitional), not obsolete, and available to
those who want it (which is the practically important observation).
As I stated and you quoted.  You don't have to think that outcome is
sufficient for the cause of freedom, but it is not false.

 > Whatever has happened with the BSD systems cannot disprove these
 > facts.

There was no attempt to disprove the fact that permissive licenses are
used as intended, which includes both free and proprietary extensions.
I'm amazed that you think the implication that I would try to prove
otherwise could pass for truth.

 > You are welcome to participate in this discussion to help improve
 > Emacs.  You are not welcome to use the list to post accusations or
 > spread falsehoods about us.

But you are welcome to spread falsehoods and misinterpretations of my
posts, is that it?  You don't like what I post, so you label it
"accusation" and "falsehood", and attribute statements to me which I
did not intend and are hardly supportable in the light of a careful

And at the same time you post that the Emacs 19 debacle was due to
having your maintainer hired away.  Of course that's a big problem,
but surely anybody who's worked professionally will realize that that
can be at most half the story.

I don't think my posts suffer by comparison with yours, which is very

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