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Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 00:55:40 +0100

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Xah Lee <address@hidden> wrote:
> yesterday, but didn't see any solution or conclusion. First, we
> presume that it is in fact necessary for the paper work, as FSF says
> so. Ok, then what can we do? I don't really know. If the paper work is
> necessary, and of course FSF is practically the only one to protect
> the GPL, in a sense allowing the thousands other open source or “free”
> software to progress freely without paperwork. It appears to me we hav
> run into a inherent “unsolvable” problem. I was thinking, perhaps GNU
> software can be considered as kinda sacrifice, by requiring the legal
> paper work in order to protect GPL for the whole open source
> community, but meanwhile sacrifice GNU software's progress due to the
> very paperwork bureaucracy... but this can't go on for long, because
> eventually GNU's software will become so bad that people all uses
> other's open source software, and if that is so, then FSF's GPL
> protection role will rot out too, because only a very small percentage
> of people is actually using FSF's “free” software...

I think that you are right when you assume that GPL actually protects
the other "free software" too. The key to understand this is that as
soon as the other "free software" gets under attach from copyright
holders then the GPL software will be much more important.

It is the dynamics that counts here.

However the main current problem in my opinion is the inability to
organize and fund ways to develop some of the main free software with
a mix of professional and "free time" developers. This could be done
if we can fight the new liberals oversimplified view of the economic
markets. However the politics are still much on their side so private
initiatives like Ubuntu is still the only way. (I am by the way very
glad for this initiative. It can perhaps serve as an example of what
governements can do - if they want to and are allowed to by the
strange economic laws we are under, the new liberal inspired laws.)

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