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Re: Elisp LSP Server

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Elisp LSP Server
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2021 16:57:08 -0400

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  > > Isn't the code behind that particular feature proprietary?

  > In what sense?

The definition of "free software" and its antonym, "proprietary software",
are in https://gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html.  When we speak of
whether certain code is proprietary, that's the sense we mean.

What is not necessarily so clear is this other question: which code
are we asking about?  Which code should we ask about?

We should ask about all the code that you need to install onto a
free GNU/Linux system installation, so as to make the feature work.
Everything needed to make the feature work is crucial, because all of
that needs to be free in order to have this in Emacs.

                   GitHub is inherently proprietary, so yes, but what
  > about this specific feature is different.

GitHub has grave moral faults and has done great harm to the free
software community, but saying it is "proprietary" is not well
defined.  That is because GitHub is not a program -- it is a service.
The distinction of free vs proprietary is defined for programs, but it
is not defined for services.

For more explanation, see

Because of GitHub's moral faults, GNU software should never presume
use of GitHub.  It is ok to support use of GitHub _or_ some
freedom-respecting alternatives.  However, a feature that works _only_
with GitHib (or other bad alternatives) must not be supported by

However, I think we're talking about a different kind of feature here.

  >   I would love to be able to
  > >> comfortably browse through elisp code without having to clone it
  > >> locally, but none of the existing VSCode Lisp plugins are any good.

You perceive a similarity between this and the GitHub example, and
maybe you're right, but I don't follow.  Would you please describe the
similarity you perceive?  Does this propose integrating Emacs somehow
with some nonfree software?  If so, please state the details: what
nonfree software is it, what does it do, and how would Emacs interact
with it?

We need to analyze this clearly to determine what our moral goal

Dr Richard Stallman (https://stallman.org)
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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