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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:53:15 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Juanma Barranquero <address@hidden> writes:

> On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 5:57 PM, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>> In this case, the line is between using Emacs' leverage for preserving
>> GCC's importance over betting the horse on a product with an ultimate
>> fate out of the GNU project's control, and out of its original authors'
>> and current community's control.
> It would be interesting to measure (somehow ;-) whether that "Emacs
> leverage" is enough to preserve GCC's importance.

Shrug.  GNU Emacs is the application for which the GPL was written and
which started the GNU project.  Sometimes you just have to do your best
and be prepared for success as well as for failure.

> I mean, if using the clang libraries allows much powerful,
> developer-friendly environments for C/C++ programmers, do we think
> that a significant number of them will still choose GCC because of
> Emacs?

That's not the interesting question.  Do we think that a relevant number
of people will choose to work on GCC until it works for that purpose in
stock Emacs rather than just install another compiler?

The history of several Windows-only features that were only admitted
into Emacs proper once they were supported reasonably well under other
platforms would suggest that the answer to this kind of question may
very well be "yes".

> If the answer is "yes", Richard's position strenghtens GCC without
> prejudice for Emacs. If the answer is "not", that position hurts Emacs
> without helping GCC.

You are trying to view Emacs and GCC in isolation.  Both are core parts
of the GNU system and we don't want the GNU system to become one where
working with one GNU program would be a reason to prefer using a non-GNU
program over another GNU program.

Emacs and GCC are the oldest central components and cornerstones of the
GNU project.  If any two applications have reason to stick up for each
other, it are those.

We don't want Emacs to become more useful to the detriment of GCC.  Of
course, this is the Emacs developer list so it is to be expected that
some list members are less than enthused about the principle underlying
this kind of decision.  But not taking the underlying principle into
account when dissenting means that the dissent is only relevant to a
part of the decisionmaking, and the decisionmaking is exactly about
finding a _balance_.

David Kastrup

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