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Re: Org schemas we talked to be non-free, was: [ELPA] New package: repol

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Org schemas we talked to be non-free, was: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 20:50:35 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> [2021-01-25 18:14]:
> > Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 23:47:42 +0300
> > From: Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support>
> > Cc: ulm@gentoo.org, rms@gnu.org, dgutov@yandex.ru, ams@gnu.org,
> >   arthur.miller@live.com, emacs-devel@gnu.org
> > 
> > I understand it. If that schema defines a document format and document
> > format cannot be modified then I do not see how software that handles
> > that document format is free. Programmers should be able to improve
> > the format or make it incompatible as it is part of the overall
> > document creation. It is not software but data used by software. Data
> > should be modifiable in my opinion.
> Modifications of a schema produce a file that can no longer be used
> with the same collection of documents and protocols.  So such
> modifications are not useful.  I very much hope that we as a movement
> will not insist on abstract "freedom" to make useless modifications
> just for the sake of modifications.  To me, Free Software movement is
> a pragmatic movement that picks up its fights wisely, and this
> particular fight isn't, it's a Quixotic fight for a useless goal.

That may be. I do not know.

I find it alright to fork various software and change the final format
of a document and produce new software with it. That is why also
schemas should be modifiable. Otherwise it could make all software
producing those documents non-free. I am just not sure if that schema
does what I think it does.

Of course people would not really make useless modifications. There
are reasons why and how modifications are made, why sometimes forks
are necessary.

Libreoffice is itself fork from Openoffice. I do not see it being
useless, now it is everywhere. I cannot even find Openoffice easy. It
is useful.

Then again without all the combinations of useless and useful things
we would not be able to distinguish between each other. Plethora of
people will make some useless things, but some of those useless will
incite other people to make useful things. Those are butterfly
effects, we better not underestimate it.

Some projects will stall. Why does Guile language support Emacs Lisp?
One could say it is useless to create new implementation of Emacs
Lisp. Or new implementation of Common Lisp.

In relation to formats, such should be free and modifiable, people
shall be able to build upon them and create new formats. Some will be
useless some will be useful. But without freedom, we will not even
know it.

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