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Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: usability problem of emacs describe-mode
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 01:58:15 +0100

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 12:55 AM, Lennart Borgman
<address@hidden> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Xah Lee <address@hidden> wrote:
>> yesterday, but didn't see any solution or conclusion. First, we
>> presume that it is in fact necessary for the paper work, as FSF says
>> so. Ok, then what can we do? I don't really know. If the paper work is
>> necessary, and of course FSF is practically the only one to protect
>> the GPL, in a sense allowing the thousands other open source or “free”
>> software to progress freely without paperwork. It appears to me we hav
>> run into a inherent “unsolvable” problem. I was thinking, perhaps GNU
>> software can be considered as kinda sacrifice, by requiring the legal
>> paper work in order to protect GPL for the whole open source
>> community, but meanwhile sacrifice GNU software's progress due to the
>> very paperwork bureaucracy... but this can't go on for long, because
>> eventually GNU's software will become so bad that people all uses
>> other's open source software, and if that is so, then FSF's GPL
>> protection role will rot out too, because only a very small percentage
>> of people is actually using FSF's “free” software...
> I think that you are right when you assume that GPL actually protects
> the other "free software" too. The key to understand this is that as
> soon as the other "free software" gets under attach from copyright
> holders then the GPL software will be much more important.
> It is the dynamics that counts here.
> However the main current problem in my opinion is the inability to
> organize and fund ways to develop some of the main free software with
> a mix of professional and "free time" developers. This could be done
> if we can fight the new liberals oversimplified view of the economic
> markets. However the politics are still much on their side so private
> initiatives like Ubuntu is still the only way. (I am by the way very
> glad for this initiative. It can perhaps serve as an example of what
> governements can do - if they want to and are allowed to by the
> strange economic laws we are under, the new liberal inspired laws.)

I got a private note that my use of "new liberals" may be
misunderstood. I use it in the European sense, as those who
aggressively fight for a laissez-fair economy without ever thinking
very much about the actual consequencies, but merely assume that
laissez-fair policy fixes everything.

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