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Re: could matlab-mode be in ELPA or the GNU emacs tree (like auctex and

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: could matlab-mode be in ELPA or the GNU emacs tree (like auctex and org-mode)?
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 21:30:11 -0500

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  > I know that matlab is a commercial product and its license is not
  > compatible with the GPL, but the same could be said about MS Windows OS
  > and MacOS and yet GNU Emacs support these OSs.

The GNU Project has standard about what to do in situations like this.
Its conclusion in this case is that it is ok to include Matlab mode in
Emacs.  Likewise, ok to make Emacs run on Windows or MacOS.

See the GNU Coding Standards, node References, for the way we reason
about questions like this.  I urge everyone here to read it.

First, what are our goals?
We want to lead/help users of Matlab to try using Emacs.
We want NOT to lead/help users of Emacs to try using Matlab.

In practice, I think Matlab mode will not do the latter, not much.
It will mainly do the former.
Why so?

Because a tool like Matlab is more domain-specific than an editor.
Basically, most users would not find Matlab or Octave useful;
those who WOULD find them useful probably already know about them.
Thus, there is little chance that someone reading about Emacs's Matlab
mode would trigger per to use Matlab.  But it might lead a Matlab user
to try using Emacs with it.

It is good for Emacs to suggest to Matlab users that they use Emacs
with Matlab.  But we should be careful to avoid going the other way!

The node References explains more.

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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