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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:07:24 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Perry E. Metzger" <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sun, 18 Jan 2015 23:35:26 -0500 Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> wrote:
>> The GCC developers told me Dragon Egg is not practical for real use.
> It is no longer practical for real use because of bitrot. It was the
> preferred C++ front end for LLVM before Clang matured and was quite
> usable at that time.
>> But it is indeed an example of the danger that concerns me.
> Your concern about people mixing and matching parts of software is
> not crazy. As many of us have acknowledged in the course of these
> discussions, that can indeed happen. The question is whether it is
> worth making lots of important things impossible to do in the FSF's
> free software ecosystem in order to prevent bad things from
> happening here and there. (There are also those like me who argue
> that, because of LLVM, it is already more or less no longer possible
> to prevent the bad things from happening anyway.)

I think it is worth pointing out that DragonEgg was basically the
full-extent danger that the strategies concerning GCC plugin
philosophies was supposed to avoid.

It is both important to note that the restrictions placed on plugin
development were not successful in blocking DragonEgg, and that
DragonEgg nevertheless did not manage to be of permanent relevance.

Now part of the reason is that the active driving forces behind LLVM
object to the GPL for both practical as well as philosophical reasons
and consider the requirement to use GPLed components a blemish rather
than a convenience.  We cannot rely on the creators of proprietary
(rather than permissively licensed) software solutions being driven by
the same motivations that caused DragonEgg to fizzle.

But at least those large companies which can easily be classified as
mostly adverse to free software tend to avoid touching GPLed software,
particularly GPLv3.  So we have to worry more about the business friends
of the GPL (like the Android universe) than the enemies.  And those tend
to prefer developing their own replacements over getting bad press.

While the overall situation leading to DragonEgg's demise is not
guaranteed to stay the same forever, it is one relevant data point.

>> To read all the mail that people sent about this, and think about
>> it, I need a block of time.
> That is understandable. I think the only concern is that it would be
> better that this not be put off indefinitely.


David Kastrup

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