[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: PL support

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: PL support
Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 01:03:41 -0400

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

Stefan Monnier wrote:

> 3- It doesn't handle their OCaml code, doesn't give them any
>    completions while they type, nothing.
> 4- They search the web for an answer.
> 5- The answer tells them to install those things from MELPA.
> 6- They wonder why on earth it's not enabled by default since it's
>    a matter of a couple lines and you can't do anything without it.
> 7- Now it's enabled, so they have direct easy access to some packages
>    that recommend proprietary software.

This does happen, and it is a problem.  The question is, what should we
do about it?

Let's start by noting the overall situation.  Our mission is to lead
people away from the injustice of nonfree software.  That mainly means
the people who disagree with us, plus the larger number who have never
thought about the issue.  When they hear about our work, they are
usually told that it is "open source", which means that our message is
entirely edited out of what they see.

How can we make our message reach them?  One important method is to
draw a line against nonfree software.  Then we have to wave it in
front of Emacs users so that they notice it and think about it.

In other words, we have to put up an obstacle that will slow down people's
passage from Emacs to nonfree software.  If it doesn't slow them down,
they won't notice it.

When we have such an obstacle, in a world where most people would like
to make the passage from Emacs to nonfree programs as smooth as
possible, some of them will "help" others do that by posting pages
that lead people to nonfree software.  That weakens the effect; it
undermines the obstacle.

This unfortunate effect will happen no matter where we put the
obstacle.  When someone argues for moving the obstacle further out
because it is being undermined, we must keep in mind that an obstacle
further out will be undermined too.

Meanwhile, moving the obstacle further out has the effect of increasing
our visible toleration of nonfree software, and that weakens our
message.  People could see it and not realize that we call nonfree
software an injustice.

We have to consider carefully the best place to put the obstacle,
keeping in mind that the place that offers the most convenience
is surely too far out.

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)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]