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Re: concensus on removing TeX and Emacs from standard

On Fri, Dec 31, 1999 at 06:09:09PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 31, 1999 at 12:03:02AM -0800, Robert Woodcock wrote:
> > Hello, I think TeX and Emacs should no longer be standard. 
> What would you say has changed since this was put in policy initially?

Well, to be honest, I wasn't a developer when it was put into policy
initially, but for the sake of conversation I'll assume before 1997-ish.

Many people use TeX's typesetting as a stopgap word processor. Now that
there are other very usable DFSG-free word processors around, the number
of people using them is dwarfing the TeX userbase.

The text editor scene really hasn't changed much since then. People who
used emacs in 1997 are still using emacs, people who used vi in 1997 are
still using vi, and new users are slowly aligning themselves one way or the

If we assume policy is infallable, then there is little case for removing
emacs from standard. However, I'm rather biased against bloat, so I'm
forced to conclude policy is fallable :)

My argument is that the number of emacs users who would be annoyed to
specifically select an emacs to install are outnumbered by the number of
non-emacs users who would be annoyed to specifically select emacs to
remove. (whew!)

> Emacs is a pretty important part of the GNU system (as far as the FSF
> goes), and TeX is a fairly useful thing to have around too. People who
> don't want it are, of course, free to not have them.

*cowers at the thought of being *ZOT*'d by RMS* :>

> Personally, I'd be inclined to upgrade X11 to Standard. What's changed
> since it was put in policy originally? Computers have become a lot faster
> and larger, and a lot more GNU/Linux users expect to have a GUI available.

Yes, and a lot of users get confused when installing X on Debian - 'what
packages do I need?'.

Perhaps it would be better to do this after XFree 4.0 arrives, when we won't
have to worry about standardizing an X server package for users? (Then again
we could just make xserver-vga16 standard.)
Robert Woodcock - rcw@debian.org
"Anybody else wanna negotiate?" -- The Fifth Element

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