Richard Stallman Pushing for GPL3, Kicked Out Free Software from Free Software Platform

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

here's a quick story.

  1. rms wanted all packages on MELPA to be GPL3, and actually wants GPL3+, meaning, GPL3 or later. GPL2 isn't good enough for him.
  2. rms sends people to ask package authors to change license.
  3. MELPA, decided to go alone, and remove all packages that's not GPL3 or GPL3+. As of 2017-08-19, all packages not GPL3 are removed. (including all mine on GPL2)

This is a sinister move, because:

  1. In the past 5 years, it is mostly MELPA's thousand packages and authors, that keeps emacs relevant in software industry.
  2. MELPA is not rms's project.
  3. GPL2 is open source and “FSF sactioned Free Software” by rms's standards.

When you look from this perspective, something is wrong. FSF-free software are being kicked out from free software platform the MELPA.

why? because they want to conform to rms's idiosyncrasy, so that, perhaps, the whole emacs community will grow and benefit. That is, packages on MELPA could potentially more easily move into GNU emacs (the reality is more complicated, because FSF still requires you to sign papers to transfer the ownership of your software to FSF)

but rms is the single most damage to emacs in the past 5 years, not just political issues, but purely technical issues, because he's totally out of touch.

what should have been done is to get rid of rms.


Note: MELPA is a emacs package repository. [https://melpa.org/] It is started in 2013 by Donald Ephraim Curtis (aka milkypostman. website at http://milkbox.net/)

MELPA is not Richard Stallman's project. It is not part of FSF/GNU.

emacs packages growth 2015-07-28
emacs packages growth . by Artur Malabarba. 〔image source http://malabarba.github.io/emacs-archive-tracker/

As for my packages, i decided to yield and switch from GPL2 to GPL3. Thanks to Jean-Christophe Helary (brandelune) and George Jones @eludom for the chat. https://github.com/xahlee/xah-math-input/issues/1#issuecomment-323527370

Reference

rms's passive dictatorship: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2017-07/msg01069.html

melpa decision to remove non-GPL3 packages https://github.com/melpa/melpa/commit/c3366117f3399660509f62849a88dc8be56a1fef

See also: Richard Stallman: What's magit? Emacs Dev Condition 2015

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