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Re: [OT] Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: [OT] Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 16:12:33 +1000
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Lucas Bonnet <address@hidden> writes:

> Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:
>>     You're wrong, EMMS is indeed a GNU project.
>> It seems that EMMS is a GNU package--a separate one.
>> I will look at the situation with EMMS and mplayer.
> What do you mean by "situation"? EMMS supports several command-line
> players; by default they are, in this order :
>  - mpg321
>  - ogg123
>  - mplayer
> Which means that EMMS tries mpg321 (for mp3s), ogg123 (for ogg vorbis)
> and then mplayer (for pretty much everything else). EMMS does not
> recommend the use of mplayer.
> Does the simple fact of allowing users to use mplayer means "encouraging"?

No, I don't beleive that is what Richard or anyone else is arguing. 

I think there are two issues that Richard is concerned about. 

1. Free software that actively encourages the use of non-free software/codecs
etc. (I don't believe mplayer does this).

2. Free software which, through the way it is configured/setup implicitly
encourages the use of non-free software. This one is possibly the more common
and perhaps incidious of the two because people may not realise what they are
doing. An example would be if mplayer had a button that allowed you to "easily"
download and install non-free codecs by simply clicking on that button. I've
not seen this, but I've not looked at mplayer very closely or even read its

The fact a piece of free software allows you to use non-free software/codecs in
itself is not an issue. Rather its the extent to which it facilitates doing so
that is of concern. the FSF isn't so ideological as to try and ban the use of
free software - if they were, you wouldn't have distributions like Red Hat or
companies like Oracle doing a GNu Linux distribution and the ability to run
non-free packages. Rather, they don't want to implicitly or explicitly
encourage the use of non-free software and they want people to be aware they
are using non-free softtware when they do. 

this original debate started when Richard asked that an elisp package not
encourage the use of realplayer by promoting as one of its benefits that it
provided an easy interface to that bit of non-free software. He didn't say it
couldn't do that or in any way indicate that it was or should be barred from
doing so. I suspect he would prefer that the package promoted itself as 
providing a
convenient interface to other free software and left the fact that it could be
used to interface to realplayer as an available option for those wanting it bad
enough (assuming there isn't a free alternative of course). 


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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