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Re: [elpa] Excorporate: Exchange integration package

From: Thomas Fitzsimmons
Subject: Re: [elpa] Excorporate: Exchange integration package
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:24:52 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:

>> I wrote a library called Excorporate that allows Emacs to talk to an
>> Exchange server over the Exchange Web Services API.  I would like to
>> release it as a GNU ELPA package.  In the meantime, you can try it out
>> like this:
> I think I'm going to turn this one down, sorry.
> We generally don't want packages that offer support for
> proprietary programs.  It's OK for packages to support proprietary
> programs "as a side-effect" of supporting something else, but packages
> that only support proprietary programs are usually undesirable since
> they end up promoting those proprietary programs, which is counter to
> the goals of Free Software.

OK, I'm definitely sympathetic to this view.  In this regard, my main
concern is that it's currently impossible for other Emacs developers to
test Excorporate using/against only Free Software.  One idea is if
OpenChange could grow EWS support in tandem with the features that
Excorporate actually uses, then there would be a Free Software option
for full Excorporate testing at all times (note: I'm not necessarily
signing up for this work).  Would that improve the appeal of Excorporate
for ELPA?

> There can be exceptions (typically support for using Emacs on Windows
> and Mac OS X platforms), when we consider that such support will
> encourage people to rely on Free Software (e.g. Emacs) more than
> it will encourage them to rely on proprietary programs.
> In this case, I think this argument doesn't work, since you can already
> use Emacs to access an Exchange server via IMAP (tho that admittedly
> only covers some part of the functionality;and I don't know if other
> parts can be similarly accessed via other standard protocols or not).

The counter-argument here is that Exchange Web Services is essentially
just providing a network service.  From following emacs-devel I was
under the impression that Free Software that talks to a network service
over a protocol was OK, regardless of what was implementing the protocol
on the other end.


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