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Re: python.el changes in emacs-24

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: python.el changes in emacs-24
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:58:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4.50 (gnu/linux)

Tim Visher <address@hidden> writes:

> Since my terse statement earlier has already been explained quite well
> by Stephen, I'll simply say that I agree with what he said. I think
> the best way to gain support for the Free Software Movement is by
> making Free Software the best software,

You will not gain support for the Free Software Movement this way.  You
will get support for particular software that happens to be free.

> a goal which, I believe (and I would hope everyone here would agree),
> is actually _aided_ by the software itself being Free.

That's putting the cart before the horse.  It's like trying to get rich
in order to gain friends.  The problem is that your actual need for
friends will kick in when you are _not_ financially successful, and the
need for actual free software enthusiasts will kick in when the Free
Software is in sore need of improvement.

> So when I hear things like "We're not in the business of competing",
> it translates in my head to "We're not in the business of showing
> people why Free Software matters and how it can help them."

But you _exactly_ state that you do _not_ want to show people why Free
Software matters, instead trying to make it advertisable as "the best

> It's no skin off my back; I'll continue to use and love Emacs and
> other GNU software. But it'll continue to make it harder to 'sell' it
> to my friends, who think Sublime Text is _so_ much better because it
> comes with saner defaults, more features (out of the box and visible
> to the eye), and a prettier ui.

If that is what your friends want and that is the only thing you
consider able to sell them, they are a lost cause for Free Software.

Naturally, we want to have sane defaults and useful features for Emacs
and its ilk.  But the reason is not to have more users who could not
care less about Software Freedom.  They'll move on when the software
they use has problems rather than try help with fixing the problems.

All else being equal, there is nothing wrong with having a larger number
of don't-really-care users.  But it's not the primary goal.  It's merely
a metric for doing something well that's nice to have.

David Kastrup

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