Subject: Re: "Well, I want to switch over to replace EMACS LISP with Guile."
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 15 Oct 2002 18:20:24 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
| The illusion of freedom with supposedly free software is blinding to
| people who have never tried to make use of it.

* Steven E. Harris
| Is "it" here referring to use of the software itself, or of the freedom
| this software promises?  You're hinting at some trouble here.

  The freedom.  If you think you can use the freedom to make changes that
  the owner of the sources does not like, you end up with a maintenance
  nightmare as long as you keep a separate branch version that you try to
  merge into the maintained version.  If you think that splitting off a new
  version is /not/ that kind of separate branch version, you have never
  tried.  Successful splits therefore means breaking away and taking with
  you a sizeable chunk of the developers and users.  Unsuccessful splits
  waste enormous amounts of effort in competing for voluntary effort,
  repetitive reimplementation of features from competitors simply to keep
  abreast of the development, and unhappy users who see that the total
  energy available for software development is sharply reduced by this
  warring between factions.  The Emacs/XEmacs split was very nasty, very
  messy, and very typical of splits, as it has turned out.

  I wonder if you have used the supposed freedom for anything and have a
  different view, or if you have never used it but think I exaggerate or
  even invent the negative aspects.  Others have argued against my use of
  "supposedly free" with what amounts to little more than ideology and how
  they feel, which I tend to discount as the byproducts of thought at best,
  so there is perhaps a dearth of actual information on how successful the
  supposed freedom has actually been.
Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.