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Re: In support of Jonas Bernoulli's Magit

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: In support of Jonas Bernoulli's Magit
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2017 05:26:42 -0400

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  > Almost everybody I asked about copyright assignment said yes. Those who
  > did not just did not reply and have disappeared from the web.

It is much better to ask people for papers when they make their
contributions.  At that time, it is not hard to find them,
and there is a natural way to persuade them.

When people develop a package and only much later think about
getting legal papers for it, the job becomes a more difficult,
and that is what we see in the case of Magit.

  > As it stood, I think, dash.el took 4 months, because of the necessity
  > for the to-ing and fro-ing. dash.el in ELPA is now several versions
  > behind, because it's has some new contributors since,

The way to avoid this is for the developers of dash.el to ask new
contributors "please sign papers", as we do.

Why is that not happening?

  > The FSF has a donations drive every year. Can you not spend some of that
  > on making the process easier?

We do.  That is one of the things that some of our staff work on.
Alas, there are many other tasks waiting for them.

The best solution for this hassle is to avoid it -- by collecting
legal papers as the package is developed.

  > Even a public website showing people with
  > assignment (who are willing to be public) would help.

That sounds like something feasible to do.  I think we could
easily find 100 Emacs developers who would be happy to agree
to this.

Can you make the idea more precise?  What should this look like?
Also, how would it help?

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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