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Plans for NonGNU ELPA
Plans for NonGNU ELPA
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 22:02:15 -0400
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Announcing the plan for NonGNU ELPA
We're going to set up another Emacs Lisp package archive, NonGNU ELPA,
which has less requirements than GNU ELPA. In particular, it won't
require a copyright assignment, and probably most of the packages in
it will not be copyright FSF. We may decide to directly include a package
published elsewhere, after checking that it does not't do anything
gravely unacceptable. When we include a package, we may have to
change its code, but we don't promise to maintain these packages -- if
a package becomes unmaintained and stays that way, we might have to
NonGNU ELPA will need a repository system, so we need to figure out
how that should work, then set it up. Please email me if you would
like to join a discussion about how to do this.
Here are the rules we have decided on for including
packages in NonGNU ELPA.
* We don't ask for copyright assignments to include packages in NonGNU ELPA.
* The Emacs maintainers will decide what packages to put in NonGNU
* If a free Emacs Lisp package follows the practical criteria below,
we can add it to NonGNU ELPA if we want to. If the code doesn't
follow them, we can change the code to follow them. We may also
change the code in NonGNU ELPA for other reasons, technical or not.
After all, it is free software.
* The package's developers don't have an obligation to maintain the
NonGNU ELPA version, but we would like to invite them to do that, or
to cooperate and coordinate with us in doing that. If you are the
developer of a NonGNU ELPA package, or a package that might be added
to NonGNU ELPA, and you're interested in maintaining it there, let's
* A NonGNU ELPA package must display its copyright notices and license
notices clearly on each nontrivial file. The notices do not have to
follow the FSF conventions about their presentation.
Software files need to carry a free license that is compatible with the
GNU GPL version 3-or-later. Which licenses qualify is stated in
Manuals need to be under a free license that is compatible
with the GNU FDL version 1.4-or-later. Which licenses qualify is
stated in https://gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html.
All other documentation files, for users (manuals, help files, man
pages, and so on), and for developers (program logic, change logs,
and so on), can be under a license acceptable for manuals or a
license acceptable for software files (see above). We can agree
with the package developers to include documentation published under
other free licenses.
Trivial files of just a few lines don't need to state a copyright or
Normally we don't include material other than software or
documentation, but we can agree with the developers to include
specific material. If the material in question is an educational
resource, then it can have a license compatible with GNU FDL version
1.4 or one of the free Creative Commons licenses (CC-BY-SA, CC-BY or
CC-0), or another free license at our discretion. If the material is
not an educational resource, it can instead be licensed under
* The package need not follow the GNU Coding Standards or the GNU
Maintainers Guide, except for a few specific points as stated below.
* The package must follow the rules in
https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/, node References. This means it
may not refer users to any nonfree software or nonfree
documentation, except as stated there. Leading users to run a
program, and suggesting they run it, or depending on it to be
installed, are forms of referring users to it.
* The package may install other packages in GNU ELPA and NonGNU ELPA,
but not any other software.
We will consider exceptions to that rule, but we will need to
consider them carefully, to make sure that the practices are
safe for Emacs users, not just in one package but when used in
many prackages. Each time we approve such an exception, we will
say so in comments in the package, with an explanation of our reasoning.
* Aside from packages obtained from GNU ELPA and NonGNU ELPA,
a package may not run code that it has fetched over the internet.
* The package must deliver its full functionality and convenience on a
completely free platform based on the GNU operating system (in
practice, GNU/Linux), working exclusively with other free software.
Otherwise, it would act as an inducement to install nonfree systems
or other nonfree software, and that would work against our cause.
However, as an exception it is ok for a package to provide, on some
non-GNU operating systems, features that the rest of Emacs (plus GNU
ELPA and NonGNU ELPA) already supports on GNU.
This is a moral issue. See https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/,
node System Portability. The reason for this rule is that at no
time, in no way, should a NonGNU ELPA package put users who defend
their freedom at a disadvantage compared with those who surrender
* The package may communicate with a class of remote services, either
using a standard interface or using an ad-hoc interface for each
service, or a combination, *provided* that these services' jobs
consist of either communication or lookup of published data.
* The package may not use remote services to do the user's own
computational processing. "Your own computational processing" means
anything you could _in principle_ do in your own computers by
installing and running suitable software, without communicating with
any other computers.
* A general Savannah rule about advertisements
In general, you may not advertise anything commercial with material
in the NonGNU ELPA package or this repositor. However, as
exceptions, you can point people to commercial support offerings for
the package, and you can mention fan items that you sell directly to
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)
- Plans for NonGNU ELPA,
Richard Stallman <=