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anyone else find irony in RMS being adament about requiring the GFDL (prohibiting it's use by other projects) and Debian deciding that anything uder this license needs to be removed?
GFDL does not...
Posted Mar 3, 2005 12:03 UTC (Thu) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Mar 3, 2005 17:51 UTC (Thu) by TxtEdMacs (guest, #5983)
Freedom to RMS is more akin to his being dictator and definer of the work "freedom" and in this case not even being a benign dictator.
I still hold RMS in high regard for the essence of his work creating the FSF, but his disdain for all other avenues toward the same goal grates on me. [I am NOT including the "Open Source Software" as one of the parallel movements.]
Posted Mar 4, 2005 5:34 UTC (Fri) by komarek (guest, #7295)
That the fellow from XEmacs asked RMS to "reconsider" his enforcement or selection of this license is interesting, and gutsy. But the tone of that fellow's post was "maybe you can compromise, and hence mend some fences". This seems a bit unlikely:
1) RMS doesn't compromise on his projects. He decides. He seems to care little or nothing for convenience, and principal is everything.
2) Attempts to mend fences in the past have never made any headway. Unless the XEmacs team has something to offer (perhaps soliciting the approval of some XEmacs copyright holders, in order to adjust the licensing), then XEmacs has nothing.
3) And let's not forget: GNU Emacs was the first Emacs. Derivitive works of Emacs that hid their modifications are *the motivation* for the creation of the GPL. RMS discovered that not everyone believed in the golden rule, and some who did would still sign NDA's that prevented them from following it. After being taken advantage of, RMS found a way to defend himself and his work: copyleft. XEmacs is one of these derivatives, one with a long history.
As I understand it, licensing issues prevent XEmacs from contributing improvements back to Emacs. That XEmacs is open at all is nice, but that doesn't help the mother of XEmacs (which is Emacs, before GNU Emacs, iirc). RMS is upset that anyone would ever violate the golden rule, and treat their neighbors poorly. Maybe that's life, but that doesn't mean RMS has to accept the status quo.
I really don't understand the dictator argument. It seems similar to those arguments that compare Red Hat to Microsoft. RMS is not trying to take over the world. He isn't trying to take over anything. He is trying to defend his work, and the work entrusted to the FSF. He also tries to help those who share his priorities and morals (through FSF legal support, for example).
The GNU/Linux debacle is unfortunate. I wish RMS would have said "I will call it GNU/Linux, because it appears to me as the GNU system plus Linus Torvald's excellent kernel." But he didn't. And doesn't. In trying to make his point about the GNU project remaining relevant, and in trying to keep the name of GNU alive where GNU software is used, he has said some strange things. But his actions have *never* been dictatorial, as far as I recall. And his actions are worth far more than his words.
Posted Mar 4, 2005 19:35 UTC (Fri) by Ross (subscriber, #4065)
But I don't see how _not_ "sharing the software" is really part of his
principals. The GFDL is obviously not Free the same as the GPL. RMS has
said this is because documentation is different than software and the rights
which empower software users are not the same for documentation. I have
never found that to be a convincing argument.
And to the best of my knowledge XEmacs is under the GPL just like Emacs.
The reason that GNU won't take patches from it is because they want copyright
assignments which is of course their perogative but it is unfair to act as
if XEmacs is withholding improvements from others.
Posted Mar 4, 2005 20:13 UTC (Fri) by komarek (guest, #7295)
Back to the original reason I posted, sp_ware's comment that RMS wants to be a dictator still seems wrong and ignorant. That he set up the FSF and GNU projects, and gave up his copyrights to the FSF, suggests strongly that he does not want to be a dictator. Any disdain he shows for competing Free software could easily come from disliking the waste of effort of duplication (that xemacs link above quotes him on this, w/r/t XEmacs).
Thank-you for pointing out my mistake.
Posted Mar 4, 2005 20:45 UTC (Fri) by TxtEdMacs (guest, #5983)
I have NO problem with that, however, RMS has problems with other people making control decisions with software (and perhaps even documentation) which he was neither the creator nor the maintainer.
That smacks of a dictatorial temperament, regardless of the fact of whether he lacks the power of enforcement of his decrees.
I have instances in mind, but too many details can lead to a nasty tenor so it is better to cease here.
Posted Mar 4, 2005 0:16 UTC (Fri) by dvdeug (subscriber, #10998)
Posted Mar 5, 2005 18:46 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
When one assigns blame for a failure to cooperate, it's all about perception of fairness. RMS clearly believes that, over the past 10 years, FSF has contributed enough to the cooperation (the Emacs code and license, I presume) that it's only fair for Xemacs folks to contribute copyright assignments. Apparently he also believes that such copyright assignments would be fair exchange for the documentation license Xemacs is requesting now.
So refusing the documentation license isn't hypocritical; it's all part of the same failure to cooperate, and the fact that RMS isn't willing to contribute even more to the cooperation doesn't mean Xemacs is any less at fault for the lack of cooperation.
Posted Mar 7, 2005 6:19 UTC (Mon) by dvdeug (subscriber, #10998)
Xemacs pulled out because RMS wanted to be lead dictator in Emacs. Efforts at reconciliation have failed because RMS wants the successor to be 100% compatible with Emacs, even though it's not possible to be 100% compatible with both and XEmacs is better designed in some of those places.
Copyright assignment is a pain in the ass, but there's no evidence that if FSF asked for something specific from XEmacs, like XEmacs people have done here, that they wouldn't assign the rights. The FSF certainly has the right to use the code without an assignment. Honestly, the FSF has provided code under the GPL, and so have the XEmacs people; why are the XEmacs people not cooperating because they aren't copyright assigning their work to the FSF, when the reverse isn't happening?
the fact that RMS isn't willing to contribute even more to the cooperation doesn't mean Xemacs is any less at fault for the lack of cooperation.
I find the concept that it's all XEmacs fault for not cooperating to be nonsense. The XEmacs people have a number of complaints about when RMS wouldn't cooperate.
Posted Mar 9, 2005 11:42 UTC (Wed) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
Speaking of him, if you want to read an additional (very strongly biased) view of the Emacs/XEmacs chism, you can also check out Jamie Zawinsky's Web Site http://www.jwz.org/doc/lemacs.html where you can even read the emails of RMS and of Richard Gabriel. IMHO it clearly shows that it's both sides faults.
Posted Mar 10, 2005 7:13 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
All I see is a statement by RMS that Xemacs refused to cooperate. As I pointed out above, that's a nonsense statement -- cooperation isn't something that one party does. So he's probably talking about fairness. But even then, it's a leap from believing the Xemacs people are being unfair to believing that they are 100% at fault for there being two versions of Emacs (assuming that's a fault at all).
Posted Mar 10, 2005 8:21 UTC (Thu) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
``any less at fault'' as an answer to ``all failures ... have been XEmacs's fault'' is quite clearly a position, isn't it? And I reacted exactly to that position.
Posted Mar 10, 2005 21:23 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
dvdeug said something else besides that he looks askance at this claim by RMS; he gave the reason -- that RMS is today doing the same thing he accuses Xemacs of doing in the past.
All I said is that the reason is wrong -- RMS's refusal to give the documentation license doesn't absolve Xemacs of any fault it might have.
dvdeug then added some different reasons to point the finger away from Xemacs and at RMS.
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