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Re: New maintainer

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: New maintainer
Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:04:16 -0400

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   > Emacs is being used to keep people within the free software agenda,

Since people are free to change a free program, our decisions of what
to include or not include can't "keep" people anywhere.  The most we
can do is decide in which direction to lead people, where to
help/encourage them to go.

Of course we should develop GNU Emacs so as to support the free
software agenda.  That's been its purpose since I started it in 1984.
That's the purpose of the GNU system as a whole, too.

  > This troubles me. I can see that for you, the freedom idea is much more
  > important than the technical idea. You'd rather we stick with GCC until the
  > cows come home, so long as it leads to a freer world.

Naturally -- because I think freedom is more important than technical
progress.  Proprietary software offers plenty of technical "progress",
but since I won't surrender my freedom to use it, as far as I'm
concerned it is no progress at all.

If I had valued technical advances over freedom in 1984, instead of
developing GNU Emacs and GCC and GDB I would have gone to work for
AT&T and improved its nonfree software.  What a big head start I could
have got!

If we subordinate our freedom to technical advance, companies will
easily be able to lead us away from freedom.  Companies make
multi-year plans to part users from their freedom.  (Clang has
benefited from such a plan.)  We can't carry out plans the way
companies can, but we do need to think about where we want to end up.

  > avoid progress to further non-technical agendas, I think it will drive 
  > AWAY from the GNU project, not bind them more tightly to it.

I don't think we can enable the GNU system to succeed more by
declaring "Each package for itself!"  To stand against capable rivals
-- some of which are not merely competitors, but intentional
opposition -- GNU packages need to work and stand together.

We also need that cooperation in order to give the GNU system a better

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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