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Re: PL support

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: PL support
Date: Tue, 12 May 2020 23:53:53 -0400

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  > So I think deferring the step of asking for copyright assignment until 
  > we actually want to do the move to the core.

If getting copyright assignments were a matter of simply doing work,
this would make sense: don't do the work until we know we need it.
But that's not how it is.

The passage of years makes convincing contributors more difficult.
Occasionally even impossible, if the contributor is unreachable.
Therefore, postponing it is unwise.

Stefan responded:

  > I don't think we'd want to defer that late.  Instead, we should seek
  > assignments eagerly but in a non-blocking way.

That avoids substantial gratuitous delay on our part.  However, we would
give up an important way of convincing contributors: "Please do this
so we can put the package in GNU ELPA."

                                                    Also, we still wouldn't
  > give push rights to people who haven't signed the copyright paperwork.

That would help convince those who are still contributing, but would
not help with past contributors who have stopped.  Also, we would have
to verify that there are no significant unreachable contributors of
that we can delete or replace their code.

In some cases it could be ok to decide, finally, "We won't ever
particularly want to put this in core Emacs," and put it in GNU ELPA
labeled "Never core".  But that is not necessarily a solution.
What if some people start pressuring us to put it in the core,
demanding that we change our rules for the core, saying that
we don't care about making Emacs more powerful, etc?

Dr Richard Stallman
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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