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Re: Another iteration on the Emacs website

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Another iteration on the Emacs website
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2015 10:55:47 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> From: Random832 <address@hidden>
>> Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 20:14:18 -0500
>> Xue Fuqiao <address@hidden> writes:
>> > On Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 8:15 AM, Gregor Zattler <address@hidden> wrote:
>> >
>> >> [2] The only other projects of similar age which come to
>> >>     (my) mind are the X Window System and the TeX familiy of
>> >>     programs.
>> >
>> > Maybe you forgot some GNU projects, like Hurd, glibc, Bash, GCC, GDB,
>> > Octave, and Texinfo.
>> Depends on what you mean by similar age.
>> 1978 TeX
>> 1983 AMS-TeX
>> 1984 X
>> 1984 Emacs
>> 1985 LaTeX
>> 1986 GDB
>> 1987 GCC
>> 1988 glibc
>> 1989 Bash
>> 1990 Hurd
>> 1992 Octave ("conceived" 1988)
> Emacs started the GNU project,

"Emacs" preceded the GNU project.  The Gosling Emacs rat-out prompted
Richard to write the GPL and sketch out the definition and needs for
GNU.  The Emacs code base was rewritten to be free of third-party
copyrights and then restarted as GNU Emacs.

> so it's a small wonder it predates any other GNU package.  Also, first
> versions of GCC and GDB were written by Richard, which is another
> reason why they came after Emacs.

The main reason is that they were written as components for the GNU
project whereas Emacs was written as a tool for editing.  The original
Emacs was free software but not copylefted, and that backfired.  Once
copyleft was created and there was a formal definition of free software,
there was an incentive for creating a whole cohesive system relying on
copyleft protection for seminal parts and assembled with outside
components also providing the four software freedoms even if not the
copyleft's mechanism protecting them.

David Kastrup

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