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Re: Elisp LSP Server

From: Ag Ibragimov
Subject: Re: Elisp LSP Server
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:14:54 -0500

Po Lu <luangruo@yahoo.com> writes:

> But if nobody has made such an alternative, it would be bad to simply
> encourage people to use the proprietary software.

You keep saying that we must avoid integrating Emacs with proprietary software. 
In a general sense, I agree. But I'm not sure I can completely agree with the 
reasons you're stating: "Doing otherwise would encourage people to use non-free 
software". There's also the other side of that coin: If Emacs doesn't work well 
in some environments - users simply may stop using Emacs.

But I think that's just two opposite opinions, nothing more. I don't think 
there's any data to support either of these claims.

I, for one, would love to see Emacs working nicely on everything - in every 
operating system, any browser, on a toaster, on embedded systems, on every 
earth-orbiting satellite, on my TV, on my watch, on my phone, in my car, 
everything. Excuse me, but I can't see how this would be "isn't progress for 
Emacs and very damaging to free software in general". But again, it's just an 
opinion. I don't have any proof to support the claim opposite to yours that 
enhancing the compatibility of Emacs (regardless of platform's nature) is 
better for the future of Emacs; I'm just speculating.

But, yes, I would love to see Emacs spreading far and wide, and sadly, this is 
not happening. And maybe it has something to do with this (irrational in my 
opinion) fear that we should hold it back and prevent any attempts to integrate 
it or make it work nicely with non-free software. I firmly support your 
beliefs, and I always try to advocate for free and open-source software myself, 
but I don't think anything in this world is black and white (otherwise, it's 
just a borderline religious fanatism), and sometimes making compromises do 
wonderful things.

Look around, and maybe I hope you'd see the fantastic success of Vim, shortly 
after its maintainers decided to host the source code on a popular, albeit 
proprietary platform. Incredible Emacs-powered projects launched: Spacemacs, 
Doom, Org-roam, et al.; See the abundance of truly amazing Emacs packages: 
completion frameworks, editing tools, spellcheckers, themes, version control 
integrations, chatting apps, etc. Most of them are hosted on GitHub, not 
because it has first-class support for Elisp, but despite its nearly complete 
absence. Frankly, I don't like the fact that they are on GitHub, but I think if 
someone advocates for moving their projects anywhere else (and the choices 
aren't unequivocally better alternatives), the authors would be like: "Here's 
the blowtorch. Blow me. Or torch me. I don't care. I'm not moving my stuff 
over. That thing over there, it sucks."

Check out the phenomenal rise of VSCode. In only five years, they've succeeded 
in achieving more than twenty years of Emacs evolution. And honestly, VSCode's 
enormous pace of spreading is very alarming. It feels like in a few years we'd 
be living in an xkcd comic where one NASA console operator talks to another: 
"Damn it, Steve. You forgot to send the licensing fee acknowledgment signal 
yesterday, and I think now we've lost control of one of the rovers on Mars. 
VSCode remote daemon has died."

I don't want to live in a world dominated by proprietary software because it 
integrates better with FOSS, and Emacs gets abandoned because it just can't be 
integrated with non-free soft. Thanks to the ingenious and tireless Emacs fans 
who are willing to make compromises and keep finding creative ways to overcome 
Emacs limitations, we're not there yet. And I hope we never will be.

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