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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:49:40 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Jorgen Schaefer <address@hidden> writes:

> On Mon, 17 Feb 2014 22:29:47 +0200
> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
>> > There are a few other minor problems for me. For example, my last
>> > foray in adding a patch to Emacs was so scary regarding the amount
>> > of red tape involved in the whole process that I am somewhat
>> > reluctant to commit to doing that regularly.
>> What red tape?  Emacs is about the most red-tape-less project as you
>> can find, as far as the procedure of admitting a patch is considered.
> If I want to contribute to Emacs, and I want to be good contributor, I
> have the following things to keep in mind:
> - Make sure I have done my copyright assignment, and for larger work,
>   do the same for all contributors.
> - Read etc/CONTRIBUTE and follow all the steps
> - Which asks me to read the GNU Coding Standards
> - Oh, and "Tips and Conventions" in the emacs Lisp Reference
>   appendix
> - Learn a new tool (bzr), for which I have to read

[... Lots of bullet points centered around bzr]

I've never learnt working with Bzr and never checked out the Emacs
repository with it.

That did not preclude me from sending the occasional patch to the list,
based on the Git mirror of the Emacs repository.

You are confusing "contributing to Emacs" with "being a core developer
of Emacs", one who is able and willing to make the decisions about what
to push where and when to ask back all on his own.

> Emacs just thinks it's more important to have those procedures than to
> have more contributors. Which is a perfectly valid decision to make.

That's a bad representation of the issue.  We are not talking about
"more important" but rather "prerequisites".  With regard to coding
styles, it's fine to submit a patch without heeding them but it does
cause more work for everybody involved than if you take a look at the
respective perfectly available information yourself at your own pace and

With regard to copyright assignments, you pretend that it is some magic
ritual of initiation.  There is nobody who'd be more glad than the FSF
if this kind of paperwork was without merit and unneeded.  Thank your
law makers for that.  Or better, tell them that you want them to work on
getting back the situation before the Berne convention where copyright
is only asserted when a copyright notice is placed in a document.

David Kastrup

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