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Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Ema

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Emacs?
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2020 23:24:53 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> It doesn't seem much more random to say "we're adding your repo URL to
> our list of approved ELPA pull-sources" than to say "you're now free to
> push whatever you like", does it? An ELPA administrator still has to
> make that explicit decision to add the URL, so there's still a level of
> approval?

I think there's a fairly large difference:

- When we pull from an external repository, every person who has write
  access to that repository is now in charge of thinking "does this fit
  the copyright requirements?", whereas only the original official
  maintainer has been explicitly informed about those requirements.
- The set of such people can be changed completely outside of our control,
  whereas we always make sure that people have signed the proper
  copyright paperwork before they get push access.
- After the initial setup, everything else would be transparent, so it'd
  be easy for the developers to forget or be unaware that it's published
  in GNU ELPA.
  The mindset on github is one that doesn't encourage careful
  consideration of licensing and authorship but instead encourages
  "happy sharing" [ Paradoxically, the FSF's insistence on tracking
  copyright assignments makes this very problematic (even tho, "happy
  sharing" is really what we all want to do) unless it's between people
  who we know have signed the copyright paperwork.  ]
  So psychologically, I think there is a big difference between
  "everything takes place on github" and "an explicit step is needed
  every time you want to get the code to the gnu.org side".


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