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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2014 20:27:24 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> writes:

> Just in passing I'll mention that that was one of the main motivations
> for creating Clang. Some of today's Clang heavy contributors would
> have preferred to do that modularization on GCC instead of starting
> from scratch on a new project, but that was forbidden. Hence Clang is,
> in great part, a consequence of the GNU policies intended to avoid GCC
> usage by non-free software. Ironic, uh?

Not particularly.  The GPL has been crafted to use a subset of
restrictions created by copyright law for ensuring a corpus of software
that cannot be used to create software with other restrictions.

That's the core "irony" that the FSF has to deal with and that the GNU
project has been built upon.  Since it operates by balancing opposing
goals, self-defeating elements are an unavoidable part of the overall
strategy which has, overall, shown itself remarkably effective when
compared to the more straightforward non-copyleft approaches to creating
Free Software.

Since the copyleft approach is basically self-contradictory, the line of
contradiction has to be matched to reality in a manner maximizing user
freedom.  Reality is a moving target, and some manner in which one may
redraw the lines may be rather permanent.

So your observation that GCC did not cover every area that Clang is
currently popular for is not really more ironic as the necessity for
creating and maintaining a copyleft universe in the first place.

David Kastrup

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