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Re: [Proposal] New EUDC backend for macOS address book

From: Thomas Fitzsimmons
Subject: Re: [Proposal] New EUDC backend for macOS address book
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 10:46:54 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Hi Richard,

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:


> Which document is this patch for?


> It seems to say positive things about various MacOS applications.

OK, if you read something as positive there, then we can change or
remove it.  There was an earlier draft that was positive, but then I had
Alexander make it factual.

> Are those applications free software?


> If not, we should not suggesting that people use them.
> Please see the node References in the GNU Coding Standards for our
> general policy about references to nonfree programs.  Basically, it is
> ok to mention them only if the reader surely already knows about them,
> but don't encourage people to use them.

Yes, I thought the committed patch satisfied these requirements.

> For example, it is ok to mention MacOS because the reader surely has
> already heard of it, and ok to say how to make Emacs work with MacOS
> (for the sake of users who are already using MacOS and want to use
> Emacs).  But don't say anything that might encourage people to try
> MacOS if they don't already use it.  In particular, don't describe its
> functionalities or advantages.

OK, from my re-reading, the only sentence that is questionable is:

"macOS Contacts is the rolodex-like application that ships with the
macOS operating system."

How about we remove that sentence, and change that whole section to

"EUDC considers macOS Contacts as a directory server back end just like
LDAP, though the macOS Contacts application always resides locally on
your machine.  macOS used to be called Mac OS X, and the Contacts
application was previously called Address Book; the EUDC macOS Contacts
backend also works on those older versions."

That provides compatibility and other information about how existing
macOS Contacts users can switch to using it via EUDC.

If there's something else you consider positive, are you able to quote
it from the current (master tip) version of doc/misc/eudc.texi?

> The same questions apply to any nonfree program that runs on MacOS,
> but the anwers will be different.  Will Mac users who try EUDC
> generally already know about macOS Contacts?  I don't know.

Generally speaking, I don't know, and I don't feel qualified to comment
since I don't use Apple products.

However, I know of one specific example, the user who submitted the new
EUDC backend.  Alexander, a macOS user, was already using macOS Contacts
for his address book.  He wanted to use EUDC, so he extended EUDC to
interface with macOS Contacts.

One possibility this opens up for him and other EUDC/macOS Contacts
users is a workflow whereby one uses EUDC to complete email addresses
from macOS Contacts, then bbdb-snarf's them into BBDB, and so gradually
migrates to a Free Software address book solution.

> If so, you can talk about how to make EUDC work with macOS Contacts --
> but please don't say anything about how to use macOS Contacts itself,
> or what it can do.

Makes sense; that's what we attempted to do with the committed eudc.texi


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