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Re: EMACS=t Joy and Happiness

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: EMACS=t Joy and Happiness
Date: Fri, 25 May 2018 10:59:23 -0700
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On 05/24/2018 07:25 PM, Van L wrote:
Ask them for what Tesla or Uber or Facebook or Google use

I just checked the first company mentioned on your list (Tesla) and it is posting want-ads that ask for Red Hat expertise. Unfortunately I can't disclose what I privately know about Tesla, but suffice it to say that like most other successful companies they use a wide variety of systems in their work, and not all of these systems are the very latest version of everything.

I can understand the excuse for long-term-support system contracts but not for 
the poster’s student environment.

You refer to lazy privileged people

I'm afraid there's a misunderstanding here. At UCLA we have a wide variety of systems running many different OSes. Servers at UCLA run many operating systems; it's quite a gamut, as we have a lot of departments and research groups, most of which focus on areas other than computer science and who have a lot of software of varying quality that they don't necessarily have time or budget to upgrade or maintain extensively. The courses I teach are assigned to a batch of RHEL 7 servers that support many different courses, not just mine. I do not specify or maintain the server OSes; that's a responsibility of the operations staff of the School of Engineering, and they're busy people who do not report to me.

To help keep my course material up-to-date I install copies of the latest released versions of Emacs (currently 25.3), Bash (currently 4.4.19), and many other free software programs. (I don't overwrite /usr/bin of course; I install into a separate directory that students put into their PATH settings.) So it'll be little trouble to me or my students if Emacs requires Bash 4.4 or later. When I mentioned RHEL 7, I wasn't simply talking about my personal situation; I was observing that requiring Bash 4.4 would be a hassle for people installing newer Emacs versions onto Red Hat servers, as it would require these people to also install newer Bash versions. If it's important for Emacs to require Bash 4.4 of course Emacs can do so; still, I expect that the overall hassle to Emacs users of requiring Bash 4.4 still outweighs the relatively minor technical benefit in question. Sorry, but that's how things often work in production software.

With all this in mind you might want to rethink your comments that among other things seem to imply that the staff at UCLA consists of "lazy privileged people".

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