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Re: elisp's cl package. Don't understand the notice about eval-when-comp

From: Kevin Rodgers
Subject: Re: elisp's cl package. Don't understand the notice about eval-when-compile
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 19:42:52 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20090302)

Leo wrote:
Emacs is resistant to innovations. This is going to kill it at some
point. But maybe it is good as it shows emacs is subject to 'survival of
the fittest' after all.

Or the converse: Emacs is the environment, and alleged innovations
survive or not if they are fit for Emacs.

Having used GNU/Linux for 7 years and windows for 9 months, I am getting
my first macbook. I think paying a price for a good service, a peace of
mind and most importantly, saving hours and hours of time is far more
important in life than having the feeling of 'I'm using 100% free/open
source software', and the mac world is full of innovations. In this
regard, it seems the free software movement is out of touch.

I used various proprietary Unix implementations (primarily Sun) for most
of my 24 years in the profession before being forced to Windows 3 or 4
years ago.  I only got a computer for home use a couple years ago, and
it is an Apple (Mac OS X).  But I am very aware of the enormous open
software and free software contributions to the technical success of
both commercial Unix and Mac OS X.  They are both far more useable in
the true sense than any Microsoft OS _because_ of open software and free
software.  And I've never felt like I've wasted time using or
contributing to the open and/or free software in those systems.

I learnt from #emacs on freenode the saying "Free software is free if
your time is useless", which wakes me up to the guilt of wasting time.

That saying is false on a couple levels:

1. The freedom granted by free software is what allows you to use your
   time as _you_ wish.

2. Using non-free software makes you guilty of wasting the time of the
   persons who designed, implemented, documented, and distributed it:
   because inevitably there will be bugs to fix or opportunities to
   enhance it that will go undone because *you and everybody else*

2. It reminds me of a _former_ CTO at my company who made this point
   when he introduced himself to the IT staff: We are not system
   integrators. He is long gone, because he didn't understand that
   _all_ software development is system integration.  And that depends
   on open and free software, which the present CIO of my company (who
   hired that CTO) still doesn't understand.

Kevin Rodgers
Denver, Colorado, USA

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