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Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?

From: George Plymale II
Subject: Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2018 02:24:53 -0500

> I'm responding to the points you raised so as to educate you and
> others about what we do and where we stand.  You don't have to agree,
> but I want incorrect statements about us to be corrected.

I don't agree on some of your points and I would like to respond to some
of those points to clarify to you where I stand and others who share
similar opinions. I don't want to respond to all of them since I do not
desire a flame war. But I will respond to some which I feel will not
incite ill feelings.

> Yes, but that doesn't imply that any given lawsuit is wrong.

You are correct. Yet I find that most lawsuits regarding software are
frivolous and ultimately a waste of time for everyone involved
(including society at large). There are much more serious crimes and
problems in the world today and wasting a court's time on stuff
involving electrical pulses in metal boxes just seems totally silly, at
best. No matter if it's about copyright or copyleft.

> No, it's the other way around.  We use the GNU GPL to STOP those who
> redistribute our code from placing restrictions on subsequent users of
> it.

I understand the enforcing nature of the GPL. What I meant is that there
is no fruit for the project in terms of new manpower or technical

Honestly, though, the GPL is just a different set of restrictions. And,
contrary to popular belief, it restricts users as well as
developers. Users are restricted from sharing or modifying this program,
except under certain conditions, by the barrier of copyright
issues. These restrictions are supposed to prevent other restrictions,
but honestly you could say the same thing about some proprietary
software licenses.

> Yes we are.  There are several Emacs contributors that weren't
> involved a few years ago.

I would like to see Emacs get more recruitment which is more appreciable
in terms of numbers, though. The excitement around Emacs is surprisingly
growing. I believe it is in large part due to Spacemacs (
http://spacemacs.org/ ) and similar projects which appeal to those who
are used to modern text editors. I also believe that Emacs would see
significantly more contributors improving the project if they weren't
scared off by murmurs of copyright issues and philosophical

> However, Emacs would fail to give people freedom if we gave up on
> defending it.

Emacs has suffered from this defense, though. lldb still hasn't gotten
proper support in Emacs because of Apple's mere association with its
parent project. Eli went on their mailing list some months ago and tried
to resolve some technical disagreements with the project, but lldb
probably would have been supported in Emacs a long time ago were it not
for the political brouhaha surrounding it.

People have tried to make improvements to GCC to allow the creation of
development modes in Emacs which are now supported by Clang
instead. E.g. https://github.com/Sarcasm/irony-mode

Those improvements to GCC were denied also in the name of defending freedom.

Sometimes it seems that in the free software world, you have to fly the
GNU banner or else you're an enemy.

> Open source is a different idea; the term was coined specifically to
> reject our views.  They disagree with us, and we disagree with them.

This division is unproductive at best.

> See https://gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
> for more explanation of the difference between free software and open
> source.  See also https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-meme-hustler for
> Evgeny Morozov's article on the same point.

Thank you, I'm aware of the philosophy of the GNU project.

In any case, the copyright issues which I was worried about do not seem
as bad as they did to me initially. It seems that there is more
flexibility than I thought so that is good. I just hope that perhaps we
can get to a point someday where Emacs (and other GNU programs) will be
able to exist without the burdens of copyright worries. I know that
those worries seem helpful to some, but it's hard to believe that when
looking at things as a whole.

- George Plymale II

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