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Uploaded a Week Ago: Richard Stallman Responds to Questions at EmacsConf 2022

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Videos at 3:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Also (very recent): New Talk by Richard Stallman About GNU Emacs and Its Purpose

Older: Sacha Chua on What’s New in Emacs

Video download link

Summary: The following questions and answers session is new (Invidious link); towards the end Richard Stallman speaks about Gemini (at the end of last year he said they’d consider it for GNU and the FSF)

Outline (text) reproduced below:

00:56 Pragmatically, how are people that buy into these ideals, and especially those that build the software, meant to live/thrive, short of renouncing many of the luxuries of modern life, as many have been struggling to reconcile both, it appears? Wouldn’t it be smarter and more productive longer-term to solve that problem too?
03:24 I have been admiring your work for free software for many years now. I am a bit concerned about what will happen to the GNU project when you retire (not soon, I hope!!). Have you planned how to manage the GNU project in the long run?
04:52 In response to your aversion to JavaScript support in Emacs: In the same way that to revolt against the nonfree spirit in software development one has to develop software, and that to fight nonfree compilers one has to write a free compiler – can you fairly consider rejection of JavaScript as a tool conducive to improving the state of free JavaScript? A server can send back any MIME type to execute on your machine, JS was just the most convenient.
07:27 With all the recent additions and optimizations to Emacs Lisp (lexical scoping, native compilation etc.) would you deem Emacs Lisp suitable for general purpose programming outside Emacs (i.e. scripting, running web servers). If not, why?
08:44 Could you give a few examples of the medium-sized jobs necessary for WYSIWYG-editor support in Emacs?
09:33 Should GNU (or someone else) define a safe-subset of HTML/CSS/JS to make web browsers simpler and safer (e.g. by preventing JS from contacting servers)?
10:57 How can we ensure the continuity of an understanding of the more arcane parts of the [Emacs] source code, and increase their evolvability, notably with regards to display, single-threading limitations, etc.?
13:50 Are there any problems or disadvantages using the GNU AGPL for non-networked software like Emacs packages?
14:50 Is there a list of Emacs issues which can be solved by programmers with different levels? For example my level is A, I know basic elisp and C. How can I help?
16:36 What roadblocks kept some of the other efforts from being used with Emacs?
17:36 What do you use emacs for beyond editing?
17:55 Song about e-mail
18:49 Emacs is used by a small population relative to the population that could benefit from it. Do you have any thoughts on how to expand the user base more broadly even among software developers?
20:05 Would a namespace system similar to Common Lisp packages but without :USE work in Emacs? Modern CL implementations have package local nicknames to create package local prefixes.
22:42 With Emacs 29 adding more (awesome) features into vanilla Emacs, how should we ensure vanilla Emacs does not get bloated with many similar features? (example: ido/icomplete, vc/magit)
24:26 Do you recommend reaching out in [high] schools for volunteers instead of universities because they are more prone to value the objectives of freedom?
25:35 What was the thought process behind making Emacs Lisp dynamically scoped when you first created it? What advantages did it provide over the alternative?
27:18 It’s hard to pick up Emacs if you do not speak English. Can something be done to address that?
29:28 Do you use Org or Org mode, and if so, to what extent?
33:54 What do you have in mind for more modular Emacs development?
35:19 Reframing the school question
36:18 In light of that critique of JavaScript not being about the language per se but rather the “culture of blindly getting and running packages/libraries”, what’s so different with what’s currently done by the vast majority of Emacs/Elisp users to just install packages blindly?
37:48 Do you still intend to merge your patch to the “shorthands” feature to the master branch?
38:54 Do you think the freedom e.g., we have in Emacs, becomes a hurdle for some people to pursue more important things in the world? I used to do a lot of Emacs programming, but I recently try to stay away from tinkering on Emacs.
40:27 Question about software freedom: how does it apply to software that are art/media experiences, like videogames? In your view, Is the creator of a videogame obliged to release it under a free license?
43:35 Have you seen Haketilo? It seems similar to LibreJS.
45:45 Do you have any suggestions for helping propective contributers streamline
47:09 Can complexity induced by company-funded free/libre code become a problem, when the company pulls out, leaving the code potentially unmaintainable?
49:31 What do you think of Hyperbole or EEV instead of org mode, or other things for the stuff that org mode does “second brain / knowledge base”, or GTD ‘getting things done’ etc… among other things in Emacs or other Emacs packages
52:06 Are there plans to bring modal editing (eg. evil-mode, viper) to Emacs core and did your opinion on modal editing change over the years?
53:03 What is your opinion on the current state of large machine
54:14 I thought it was a virtue to separate the content from the style orappearance of information. Part of being free is also to view information in the format that you want. Does your WYSIWYG idea erode this virtue and lead to more thinking — perhaps undue thinking about style over substance?
55:38 Do you ever dabble in retro-computing, e.g. logging into TOPS10/20 systems SDF, etc?
56:38 Do you know Gemini?
58:04 stallmansupport.org

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