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Re: [ELPA] New package xeft.el

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package xeft.el
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2023 23:51:30 -0500

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It appears we are discussing a proposal that we host compiled native
code for users to download.  We should not do that.

There is nothing wrong with distributing binaries of GNU packages
alongside their source code.  For instance, packaged GNU systems
usually offer binary downloads, and that includes approved free

However, the GNU Project's policy is that this is _not our job_.  We
try to avoid releasing binary forms of packages except when there is a
special need.  (For instance, a compiled GCC for platforms that have
no C compiler.)  This is for simple practical reasons that are very

* It would mean additional responsibility for the maintainers, who
generally have as much as they want to handle.

* It would take up maintainers' time, and the other contributors'
time.  Even supporting binaries build and uploaded by other volunteers
(assuming those were not halping the package's development in other
ways) would take work for the maintainers.

* It would be an opportunity for error.

* If we did it for one platform, we would face pressure to support
others.  "Please let me upload the code for XYZ!"

Thus. we do not (and should not) distribute the executable `emacs'
compiled for widely used platforms -- even though you can't run Emacs
at all without that.  We leave this helpful activity _to others_.

How does native-compiled Emacs Lisp code compare with native-compiled
src/*.c?  The main difference is that native-compiled Emacs Lisp code
is optional -- you don't _need_ it to run Emacs.  This means that the
upside of distributing that particular compiled code is less -- but
the downside is the same.

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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