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Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers

Thomas Schoepf <schoepf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> writes:

> > > To summary: you're an exception. Most free software authors practice
> > > what they preach and they let other people do what they want with
> > > the free software.
> > 
> > And when have I done different?
> You at least proposed to stop distributing "enhanced versions".

I have suggested that people voluntarily stop forking projects, unless
there are severe problems with them, by appealing to their sense of
community.  I believe this one of the reasons free software actually

> > I use "mangling" because the actual practice is harmful, in that it
> > hinders the development of the project.  There are plenty of ways to
> > modify the code without harming the project, some of which in fact
> > contributes.
> For example?

Use the code in another project (neutral).

Improve the code and merge it back to the original, _instead_ of
distributing your modified version (a contribution).

> > > I have the feeling that nothing Debian can do will please you,
> > > because you reject the whole idea of a distribution, anyway.
> > 
> > That would be convenient, wouldn't it?
> Yeah, abolish distributions, let's fall back into the stone age of Linux...
> You must be kidding.

What would be convenient would to be dismiss my critique like that.

I believe distributions are necessary, _and_ that there are inherent
problems with them, _and_ that it is possible to solve or soften some
of these problems.

> > > > "Oh, you need a 64bit clean version.  Just use Debian."
> > > 
> > > "Oh, you need a 64bit clean version. Just ask the maintainer of your
> > > current distribution to use Debian patches. Or ask the upstream
> > > author to integrate them - or equivalent. These patches are free."
> > 
> > Which one is shortest?
> I don't understand this argument. Is the validity reciprocal proprotional
> to the number of words in the statement?

The shortest and easy answer is the one most likely to be given to
someone asking for the functrionality, thus lessening the chance of
him actually working with the developer to move the functrionality
back into the mainline code.

> What about the development model of the Linux kernel? 

I work on < 10k lines of code project, whose potential users must both
use Emacs and LaTeX.  The problems I face doesn't bear much
resemblence to the problems Linus faces.

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