Subject: Re: improving project maintainership
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: 14 Feb 2002 01:07:34 +0900

>>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <> writes:

    rms> One is that I arbitrarily decided what non-free programs we
    rms> could use.  I explained the reasoning for this decision in a
    rms> previous message.

Yes, and it works fine for why you can't use SSH, and it still doesn't
work for why you can use Windows, the BIOS, Motif, etc.  I see no
evidence that using Windows to run Emacs is done only with the
intention of writing a replacement for Windows.  Furthermore, there
_is_ a replacement for Windows, and it runs conveniently on the same
hardware that Windows does.

Still looks arbitrary to me.

    rms> Another is the idea that supporting Emacs on non-free systems
    rms> represents endorsement of those systems; it does not.

Then how does supporting an interface that happens to be useful for
using SSH imply endorsement, let alone active support, of SSH?

    rms> A third is the idea that supporting Emacs on non-free systems
    rms> is a change in policy; that is not a change.

I didn't say that it was.  Supporting Emacs on this particular
non-free system is a change for that system, and I find it difficult
to reconcile with your "strictly for the purpose of replacing that
software with free software" statement of principle.

You said before that it seemed I want you to set aside your
principles, and that I should know better.  Both are inaccurate
assertions.  I know what I want, and I want to be tolerant.  As for
knowing better, while you are obviously one of the more principled men
I know, after years of (admittedly desultory) study I have identified
very few principles.  Lots of rules of thumb, but attempting to
abstract any Principles from them leaves me in Confusion and Error.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
              Don't ask how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.