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Re: [PATCH] Remove special requirement to disable startup message.

From: John Wiegley
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Remove special requirement to disable startup message.
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 11:39:02 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.130014 (Ma Gnus v0.14) Emacs/24.5 (darwin)

>>>>> Mark Oteiza <address@hidden> writes:

> I have yet to see a good explanation for the weird treatment of this
> variable. "Preventing site from disabling the message" is silly because you
> cannot prevent it. "thoughtless copying of init files" is another silly
> reason because the init file can contain elisp that unconditionally disables
> the message.

I'm not sure how to reach a "good" level in explaining this, but here is the
main idea: Emacs is a flagship of the GNU project, whose primary goal is to
ensure software freedom for users, rather than merely to provide software to

Thus, when Emacs starts up, one of its goals, as a GNU project, is not only to
edit files, but to make people aware of the issues of software freedom. (This
is also why Nicolas is currently having discussions with Richard about text to
be added to the Emacs web page that ostensibly has little to do with Emacs as
a software project.)

If you think in terms of technical merit alone, there are more than a few
things about this project, and participating in its development, that do not
make complete sense, nor have "good" explanations. You have to broaden the
scope to include the issue of promoting software freedom, and how Emacs is
used to help achieve that task, for all the pieces to fall into place.

Note that this is free software after all: You could fork Emacs and remove
this code. But that wouldn't be GNU Emacs; and GNU Emacs strives very hard to
ensure that the question of software freedom is never buried or side-lined.

John Wiegley                  GPG fingerprint = 4710 CF98 AF9B 327B B80F
http://newartisans.com                          60E1 46C4 BD1A 7AC1 4BA2

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