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Re: FFI in Emacs

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: FFI in Emacs
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:21:43 +0900

Óscar Fuentes writes:
 > Sam Steingold <address@hidden> writes:
 > > I can load any elisp into my emacs.
 > > Why shouldn't I be able to interact with any shared library?
 > A more correct analogy is: "I can load any elisp *bytecode* in my
 > emacs." ...

No, Sam S's analogy is as correct as it gets.  The technical issues of
obfuscation and maintainability of the DLL aren't relevant here.

Sam B's point also is as correct as it gets: technologically, this is
the same as a certain license enforcement device.

In both cases, the answer to the question of "why can't I" is:

    *You* may, distributors *must not*.

And *you* *can*, too.  It's a simple matter of changing your Emacs --
but it would be considered a disservice to the community for you to
distribute that Emacs.  (I don't see how it would be a license
violation, though FSF legal may have some reasoning to that effect.)

Note that Linux does something similar for modules that use "internal"
APIs.  The motivation and so the specification is somewhat different
(there's a command-line option to disable the check), but it's not
like this isn't an OSS-useful, as well as FS-useful, feature.

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