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Re: Emacs packages, GitHub and software freedom

From: Akib Azmain Turja
Subject: Re: Emacs packages, GitHub and software freedom
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2022 22:17:37 +0600

"Bozhidar Batsov" <bozhidar@batsov.dev> writes:

> I think that's a very binary view of GitHub - it might be non-free,
> but given the huge community it has amassed, it's almost suicidal for
> projects to leave it, as they'd be reducing their contributor-base
> significantly.  Projects that are hosted outside of GitHub get way
> less contributions and I don't think the Emacs users would benefit
> from this. I know that the people in FSF care a lot about freedom, but
> I care more about building the best Emacs packages possible, even I
> have to make some ideological compromises from time to time.

This looks similar to saying, "It's suicidal to not use Copilot, because
without it you have to do the programming yourself and decrease your

Emacs, GCC, Guix, EMMS and many other projects use Savannah, and there's
thousands of other popular projects, including some of the most
successful ones, that are not using GitHub.  Are they falling behind?

Your statement is contradicting your own blog post: "Firefox is the Only

However, I must agree that projects on GitHub gets more activity.  But
that's because most of the developers use (i.e. used by) that.  And
that's why more people join GitHub, they are forced.  We must break this

> Love it or hate it, GitHub helped a lot for the revival of the Emacs
> package ecosystem. Especially when you compare this to the days of
> EmacsWiki and SourceForge.

Just like saying, "Windows has made using a computer easy, so I won't
discourage people from using it."

> I wouldn't take any steps to discourage package maintainers  from
> using it.

This way you are just worsening the situation.  (But you obviously have
the freedom to do that.)  To increase the "contributor-base" outside
GitHub, we have to convince maintainers to move away from GitHub.

[1]  https://batsov.com/articles/2021/11/28/firefox-is-the-only-alternative/

Akib Azmain Turja

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