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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2014 12:42:21 -0500

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[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

By mentioning just part of the situation, you've created the appearace
that my decision backfired.  Looking at the real goal we see it was

    LLVM got off the ground because GCC, by policy, refused to provide
    interfaces that some toolmakers wanted.

True.  Note that I set this policy because the other choice would have
immediately opened the door to nonfree compilers based on GCC.

      Consequently, those hackers
    exercised their freedom by going around GCC rather than through it.

Yes, they did, and brought about part of the bad results I tried to
avoid -- around 15 years later.  We delayed them for 15 years!

Not only that, but since Clang only handles C and C++, we have also
reduced the scope of the bad results.  We are still succeeding in
preventing them for other languages.

This was not a permanent total victory, sad to say, but it was a
victory.  It shows that my decision was right.

Furthermore, they did not HAVE to release their program under a
pushover license.  Thus, there was a chance for an even greater
partial victory.

Over all, I made the right decision.  Perhaps it could have been
a little better.

    Generally, if you use the term "foolish" for people who are acting
    intelligently to pursue their own objectives rather than yours, you
    will mislead yourself and not affect them at all.

If "people who" refers to the LLVM developers, it makes no difference
since I'm not addressing them anyway.  I'm talking to people working
on the GNU Project about our goals.

When I say that releasing LLVM in these circumstances was foolish, I
mean that in terms of freedom as a goal.  Of course there are people
with other views.  There may be some who think computers are satanic
and programmers should be burned at the stake.  But since we're
talking about a GNU Project decision, what other views might imply is
beside the point.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

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