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Re: [ELPA] New package: kixtart-mode

From: Morgan Willcock
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: kixtart-mode
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 01:20:29 +0100
User-agent: SOGoMail 5.5.0

On Wednesday, November 09, 2022 23:58 GMT, Stefan Monnier 
<monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:

> Morgan Willcock [2022-11-09 23:48:25] wrote:
> > On Wednesday, November 09, 2022 22:04 GMT, Stefan Monnier 
> > <monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:
> >> > Would there be any issues in adding the package?
> >>
> >> There is one issue, yes: is KiXtart Free Software?
> >> According to Wikipedia, the license is "Closed source Careware".
> >> And indeed, I can't find any source code on http://www.kixtart.org/.
> >> If that's indeed proprietary code, then I think we probably wouldn't
> >> want to host `kixtart-mode` on (Non)GNU ELPA.
> >
> > There is no dependency or inter-op with the interpreter, and the package
> > was developed independently - since the source code is not available it
> > is also impossible for me to create any link to it.
> Yes, I understand this.  The question is rather one of policy/strategy
> than one of copyright.
> > But if this is the final decision I'll live with it.
> I can never remember exactly what is the policy in such cases, so I'm
> hoping Richard will chime in.  AFAIK the general rule is that we don't
> want to distribute packages which are only meaningful when you use
> proprietary software, but the details matter (e.g. is it likely that
> someone will choose to use another editor to edit their KiXtart code, is
> it likely that someone will start to use KiXtart because it has a nice
> Emacs mode, ...).

If I were to argue the case I would state that:

1. There aren't actually many alternatives to this package for
   up-to-date language support in any editor, so the chances of someone
   using Emacs specifically to use the package is not zero.

2. Emacs already contains bat-mode.el which explicitly states that it is
   for editing Windows specific scripts and also includes functionality
   to execute those scripts using the proprietary interpreter:

   ;;; Commentary:
   ;; Major mode for editing DOS/Windows scripts (batch files).  Provides syntax
   ;; highlighting, a basic template, access to DOS help pages, imenu/outline
   ;; navigation, and the ability to run scripts from within Emacs.

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