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Re: New DFSG-compliant emacs packages

Jérôme Marant <jerome@marant.org> writes:

> Le jeudi 26 octobre 2006 19:10, vous avez écrit :
>> > Newbies don't use Emacs because it's not for them.
>> Of course, this is complete nonsense.  _Everybody_ who _ever_ uses
>> Emacs passes through a newbie phase.
> These days, I wouldn't encourage people to try Emacs.  It's not
> nonsense, it's my opinion.

There is no LaTeX editing environment with even half the functionality
of AUCTeX available, in particular if you develop .dtx files, write
math-heavy material or need to work with utf-8 texts.

> You don't share it. Fair enough.

I don't quite understand the rationale to include software into Debian
that you don't want people to use.

>> > Experienced users know Emacs enough to get along without its
>> > documentation,
>> Again, this is utter nonsense.  I am an active Emacs developer and
>> maintainer of AUCTeX, and such can hardly be called inexperienced,
>> and I frequently need the documentation.
> Currently the lisp reference is not even provided by Emacs.

As a developer, I use the developer version of Emacs which contains
the Elisp reference, and for good reason.  The only piece of the
documentation that I don't use regularly is the Elisp tutorial.  And
that is reasonably independent from Emacs that it would actually make
sense of its own in a separate, independent package.

> And I bet you can use Emacs for everyday's tasks without it's user
> guide.

Without knowing how to configure it?  Hardly.

>> > and when they need it they know where to find it.
>> And another piece of nonsense.  Being an experienced User of Emacs
>> does not imply being experienced with the Debian packaging system
>> and the outpours of the DFSG guidelines.
> Nothing to do with it. They can even read the manual from gnu.org.

Uh, no, they can't.  Because C-h K C-t will not lead to the "manual
from gnu.org".  Nor will using the hyperlinks spread throughout the
documentation, like

M-x customize-variable RET help-char RET

(or pretty much any variable) which starts off with two hyperlinks
explaining customization and customization files.

>> > Again, the split was made to make things clear toward licensing.
>> The purpose of Debian is to provide free software, not to provide a
>> lecture about it.  If Emacs (as created, provided and named by the
>> FSF) can't be provided in Debian main according to Debians
>> guidelines, it should get moved as whole to non-free.
> It _does_ provide a lecture of it: when people have to grab packages
> from non-free, they get de facto warned about what is problematic
> toward licensing.  Emacs is free software, it's documentation is
> not.

Sure, since the FSF uses different criteria for essential freedoms of
software and essential freedoms for documentation (the FSF public
licenses are a mixture of freedoms and restrictions, designed to
promulgate freedom overall, by putting restraints on what you can do
with the product).  Debian does not differentiate, in contrast.  But
the Emacs code and the Emacs documentation are not as separable as
this is the case with, say, gcc.  gcc does not have commands that
break when the documentation is not installed.

>> There is no sense in providing only a partly functional part in
>> main.  And it is misleading to not prominently point this out, in
>> startup message, and in the name of the package
>> (emacs21-without-docs or emacs21-only-dfsg or similar).  Otherwise,
>> people will reasonably expect that the package contains a
>> packaging/compilation of Emacs in the extent delivered by the FSF.
> No, they won't expect that because package descriptions as well as
> changelogs and copyright files are informative enough for them to
> understand.

Most people don't look at more than the package name when installing

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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