Commit 00156f95 authored by Glenn Morris's avatar Glenn Morris
Browse files

Make some files in etc obsolete

These are old copies of online information that is not Emacs-specific.

Replace contents with pointers to or, mark obsolete.

* src/callproc.c (init_callproc): In etc, look for NEWS rather than GNU.

* lisp/startup.el (fancy-startup-text):
* lisp/help.el (describe-gnu-project): Visit online info about GNU project.

* doc/emacs/help.texi (Help Files): Update C-h g description.

* doc/misc/efaq.texi (Informational files for Emacs): Do not mention etc/GNU.

* admin/notes/copyright: Remove references to these files.

* etc/MACHINES, etc/NEWS.19: Replace references to these files.
parent 10211d43
......@@ -161,13 +161,6 @@ etc/letter.pbm,letter.xpm
- trivial (at time of writing), no license needed
rms: "These are statements of opinion or testimony. Their licenses
should permit verbatim copying only. Please don't change the
licenses that they have. They are distributed with Emacs but they
are not part of Emacs."
standard notices. Just a note that although the file itself is not
really copyrightable, in the wider context of it being part of
2014-03-22 Glenn Morris <>
* help.texi (Help Files): Update C-h g description.
2014-03-16 Dmitry Gutov <>
* programs.texi (Matching): Update the missed spot. (Bug#17008)
......@@ -605,7 +605,8 @@ Display information about where to get external packages
@item C-h C-f
Display the Emacs frequently-answered-questions list (@code{view-emacs-FAQ}).
@item C-h g
Display information about the GNU Project (@code{describe-gnu-project}).
Visit a @uref{} page with information about the GNU
Project (@code{describe-gnu-project}).
@item C-h C-m
Display information about ordering printed copies of Emacs manuals
2014-03-22 Glenn Morris <>
* efaq.texi (Informational files for Emacs): Do not mention etc/GNU.
2014-03-21 Glenn Morris <>
* ede.texi (ede-linux):
......@@ -883,9 +883,6 @@ GNU General Public License
Emacs Availability Information
@item GNU
The GNU Manifesto
Status of Emacs on Various Machines and Systems
Censoring my Software
Richard Stallman
[From Datamation, 1 March 1996]
Censoring my Software
Note added March 2014:
Last summer, a few clever legislators proposed a bill to "prohibit
pornography" on the Internet. Last fall, right-wing Christians made
this cause their own. Last week, President Clinton signed the bill,
and we lost the freedom of the press for the public library of the
future. This week, I'm censoring GNU Emacs.
This file is obsolete and will be removed in future.
Please update any references to use
No, GNU Emacs does not contain pornography. It is a software package,
an award-winning extensible and programmable text editor. But the law
that was passed applies to far more than pornography. It prohibits
"indecent" speech, which can include anything from famous poems, to
masterpieces hanging in the Louvre, to advice about safe
Naturally, there was a lot of opposition to this bill. Not only from
people who use the Internet, and people who appreciate erotica, but
from everyone who cares about freedom of the press.
But every time we tried to tell the public what was at stake, the
forces of censorship responded with a lie: they told the public that
the issue was simply pornography. By embedding this lie as a
presupposition in their statements about the issue, they succeeded in
misinforming the public. So here I am, censoring my software.
You see, Emacs contains a version of the famous "doctor program",
a.k.a. Eliza, originally developed by Professor Weizenbaum at MIT.
This is the program that imitates a Rogerian psychotherapist. The
user talks to the program, and the program responds--by playing back
the user's own statements, and by recognizing a long list of
particular words.
The Emacs doctor program was set up to recognize many common curse
words, and respond with an appropriately cute message such as, "Would
you please watch your tongue?" or "Let's not be vulgar." In order to
do this, it had to have a list of curse words. That means the source
code for the program was indecent.
Because of the censorship law, I had to remove this feature. (I
replaced it with a message announcing that the program has been
censored for your protection.) The new version of the doctor doesn't
recognize the indecent words. If you curse at it, it curses right
back to you--for lack of knowing better.
Now that people are facing the threat of two years in prison for
indecent network postings, it would be helpful if they could access
precise rules via the Internet for how to avoid imprisonment.
However, this is impossible. The rules would have to mention the
forbidden words, so posting them on the Internet would be against the
Of course, I'm making an assumption about just what "indecent" means.
I have to do this, because nobody knows for sure. The most obvious
possible meaning is the meaning it has for television, so I'm using
that as a tentative assumption. However, there is a good chance that
our courts will reject that interpretation of the law as
We can hope that the courts will recognize the Internet as a medium of
publication like books and magazines. If they do, they will entirely
reject any law prohibiting "indecent" publications on the Internet.
What really worries me is that the courts might take a muddled
in-between escape route--by choosing another interpretation of
"indecent", one that permits the doctor program or a statement of the
decency rules, but prohibits some of the books that children can
browse through in the public library and the bookstore. Over the
years, as the Internet replaces the public library and the bookstore,
some of our freedom of the press will be lost.
Just a few weeks ago, another country imposed censorship on the
Internet. That was China. We don't think well of China in this
country--its government doesn't respect basic freedoms. But how well
does our government respect them? And do you care enough to preserve
them here?
If you care, stay in touch with the Voters Telecommunications Watch.
Look in their Web site for background information
and political action recommendations. Censorship won in February, but
we can beat it in November.
Copyright 1996 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium
provided this notice is preserved.
2014-03-22 Glenn Morris <>
contents with pointers to or, mark obsolete.
2014-03-14 Rüdiger Sonderfeld <>
* tutorials/ Adapt to recent changes in TUTORIAL.
This diff is collapsed.
Linux and the GNU system
Linux and the GNU system
The GNU project started in 1984 with the goal of developing a complete
free Unix-like operating system: GNU. "Free" refers to freedom, not
price; it means you are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change,
and improve the software.
Note added March 2014:
A Unix-like system consists of many different programs. We found some
components already available as free software--for example, X Windows
and TeX. We obtained other components by helping to convince their
developers to make them free--for example, the Berkeley network
utilities. This left many missing components that we had to write in
order to produce GNU--for example, GNU Emacs, the GNU C compiler, the
GNU C library, Bash, and Ghostscript. The GNU system consists of all
these components together.
The GNU project is not just about developing and distributing some
useful free software. The heart of the GNU project is an idea: that
software should be free, that software users should have freedom to
participate in a community. To run your computer, you need an
operating system; if it is not free, your freedom has been denied. To
have freedom, you need a free operating system. We therefore set out
to write one.
In the long run, though, we cannot expect to keep the free operating
system free unless the users are aware of the freedom it gives them,
and value that freedom. People who do not appreciate their freedom
will not keep it long. If we want to make freedom last, we need to
spread awareness of the freedoms they have in free software.
The GNU project's method is that free software and the idea of users'
freedom support each other. We develop GNU software, and as people
encounter GNU programs or the GNU system and start to use them, they
also think about the GNU idea. The software shows that the idea can
work in practice. Some of these people come to agree with the idea,
and then they are more likely to write additional free software.
Thus, the software embodies the idea, spreads the idea, and grows from
the idea.
Early on in the development of GNU, various parts of it became popular
even though users needed proprietary systems to run them on. Porting
the system to many systems and maintaining them required a lot of
work. After that work, most GNU software is easily configured for a
variety of different platforms.
By 1991, we had found or written all of the essential major components
of the system except the kernel, which we were writing. (This kernel
consists of the Mach microkernel plus the GNU HURD. The first test
release was made in 1996. Now, in 2002, it is running well, and
Hurd-based GNU systems are starting to be used.)
That was the situation when Linux came into being. Linux is a kernel,
like the kernel of Unix; it was written by Linus Torvalds, who
released it under the GNU General Public License. He did not write
this kernel for GNU, but it fit into the gap in GNU. The combination
of GNU and Linux included all the major essential components of a
Unix-compatible operating system. Other people, with some work made
the combination into a usable system. The principal use of Linux, the
kernel, is as part of this combination.
The popularity of the GNU/Linux combination is success, in the sense
of popularity, for GNU. Ironically, the popularity of GNU/Linux
undermines our method of communicating the ideas of GNU to people who
use GNU.
When GNU programs were only usable individually on top of another
operating system, installing and using them meant knowing and
appreciating these programs, and thus being aware of GNU, which led
people to think about the philosophical base of GNU. Now users can
install a unified operating system which is basically GNU, but they
usually think these are "Linux systems". At first impression, a
"Linux system" sounds like something completely distinct from the "GNU
system," and that is what most users think.
This leads many users to identify themselves as a separate community
of "Linux users", distinct from the GNU user community. They use more
than just some GNU programs, they use almost all of the GNU system,
but they don't think of themselves as GNU users. Often they never
hear about the GNU idea; if they do, they may not think it relates to
Most introductions to the "Linux system" acknowledge that GNU software
components play a role in it, but they don't say that the system as a
whole is a modified version of the GNU system that the GNU project has
been developing and compiling since Linus Torvalds was in junior high
school. They don't say that the main reason this free operating
exists is that the GNU Project worked persistently to achieve its goal
of freedom.
As a result, most users don't know these things. They believe that
the "Linux system" was developed by Linus Torvalds "just for fun", and
that their freedom is a matter of good fortune rather than the
dedicated pursuit of freedom. This creates a danger that they will
leave the survival of free software to fortune as well.
Since human beings tend to correct their first impressions less than
called for by additional information they learn later, these users
will tend to continue to underestimate their connection to GNU even if
they do learn the facts.
When we began trying to support the GNU/Linux system, we found this
widespread misinformation led to a practical problem--it hampered
cooperation on software maintenance. Normally when users change a GNU
program to make it work better on a particular system, they send the
change to the maintainer of that program; then they work with the
maintainer, explaining the change, arguing for it, and sometimes
rewriting it for the sake of the overall coherence and maintainability
of the package, to get the patch installed. But people who thought of
themselves as "Linux users" showed a tendency to release a forked
"Linux-only" version of the GNU program and consider the job done. In
some cases we had to redo their work in order to make GNU programs run
as released in GNU/Linux systems.
How should the GNU project encourage its users to cooperate? How
should we spread the idea that freedom for computer users is
We must continue to talk about the freedom to share and change
software--and to teach other users to value these freedoms. If we
value having a free operating system, it makes sense to think about
preserving those freedoms for the long term. If we value having a
variety of free software, it makes sense to think about encouraging
others to write free software, instead of proprietary software.
However, it is not enough just to talk about freedom; we must also
make sure people know the reasons it is worth listening to what we
Long explanations such as our philosophical articles are one way of
informing the public, but you may not want to spend so much time on
the matter. The most effective way you can help with a small amount
of work is simply by using the terms "Linux-based GNU system" or
"GNU/Linux system", instead of "Linux system," when you write about or
mention such a system. Seeing these terms will show many people the
reason to pay attention to our philosophical articles.
The system as a whole is more GNU than Linux; the name "GNU/Linux" is
fair. When you are choosing the name of a distribution or a user
group, a name with "GNU/Linux" will reflect both roots of the combined
system, and will bring users into connection with both--including the
spirit of freedom and community that is the basis and purpose of GNU.
Copyright 1996, 2002 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution is permitted
without royalty as long as this notice is preserved.
This file is obsolete and will be removed in future.
Please update any references to use
......@@ -39,8 +39,8 @@ the list at the end of this file.
The GNU project wants users of GNU/Linux systems to be aware of how
these systems relate to the GNU project, because that will help
spread the GNU idea that software should be free--and thus encourage
people to write more free software. See the file LINUX-GNU in this
directory for more explanation.
people to write more free software. For more information, see
*** 64-bit GNU/Linux
......@@ -614,7 +614,7 @@ be different.
It is generally recommended to use `system-configuration' rather
than `system-type'.
See the file LINUX-GNU in this directory for more about this.
See <> for more about this.
** The functions shell-command and dired-call-process
now run file name handlers for default-directory, if it has them.
This diff is collapsed.
Why Software Should Not Have Owners
Why Software Should Not Have Owners
by Richard Stallman
Note added March 2014:
Digital information technology contributes to the world by making it
easier to copy and modify information. Computers promise to make this
easier for all of us.
This file is obsolete and will be removed in future.
Please update any references to use
Not everyone wants it to be easier. The system of copyright gives
software programs "owners", most of whom aim to withhold software's
potential benefit from the rest of the public. They would like to be
the only ones who can copy and modify the software that we use.
The copyright system grew up with printing--a technology for mass
production copying. Copyright fit in well with this technology
because it restricted only the mass producers of copies. It did not
take freedom away from readers of books. An ordinary reader, who did
not own a printing press, could copy books only with pen and ink, and
few readers were sued for that.
Digital technology is more flexible than the printing press: when
information has digital form, you can easily copy it to share it with
others. This very flexibility makes a bad fit with a system like
copyright. That's the reason for the increasingly nasty and draconian
measures now used to enforce software copyright. Consider these four
practices of the Software Publishers Association (SPA):
* Massive propaganda saying it is wrong to disobey the owners
to help your friend.
* Solicitation for stool pigeons to inform on their coworkers and
* Raids (with police help) on offices and schools, in which people are
told they must prove they are innocent of illegal copying.
* Prosecution (by the US government, at the SPA's request) of people
such as MIT's David LaMacchia, not for copying software (he is not
accused of copying any), but merely for leaving copying facilities
unguarded and failing to censor their use.
All four practices resemble those used in the former Soviet Union,
where every copying machine had a guard to prevent forbidden copying,
and where individuals had to copy information secretly and pass it
from hand to hand as "samizdat". There is of course a difference: the
motive for information control in the Soviet Union was political; in
the US the motive is profit. But it is the actions that affect us,
not the motive. Any attempt to block the sharing of information, no
matter why, leads to the same methods and the same harshness.
Owners make several kinds of arguments for giving them the power
to control how we use information:
* Name calling.
Owners use smear words such as "piracy" and "theft", as well as expert
terminology such as "intellectual property" and "damage", to suggest a
certain line of thinking to the public--a simplistic analogy between
programs and physical objects.
Our ideas and intuitions about property for material objects are about
whether it is right to *take an object away* from someone else. They
don't directly apply to *making a copy* of something. But the owners
ask us to apply them anyway.
* Exaggeration.
Owners say that they suffer "harm" or "economic loss" when users copy
programs themselves. But the copying has no direct effect on the
owner, and it harms no one. The owner can lose only if the person who
made the copy would otherwise have paid for one from the owner.
A little thought shows that most such people would not have bought
copies. Yet the owners compute their "losses" as if each and every
one would have bought a copy. That is exaggeration--to put it kindly.
* The law.
Owners often describe the current state of the law, and the harsh
penalties they can threaten us with. Implicit in this approach is the
suggestion that today's law reflects an unquestionable view of
morality--yet at the same time, we are urged to regard these penalties
as facts of nature that can't be blamed on anyone.
This line of persuasion isn't designed to stand up to critical
thinking; it's intended to reinforce a habitual mental pathway.
It's elemental that laws don't decide right and wrong. Every American
should know that, forty years ago, it was against the law in many
states for a black person to sit in the front of a bus; but only
racists would say sitting there was wrong.
* Natural rights.
Authors often claim a special connection with programs they have
written, and go on to assert that, as a result, their desires and
interests concerning the program simply outweigh those of anyone
else--or even those of the whole rest of the world. (Typically
companies, not authors, hold the copyrights on software, but we are
expected to ignore this discrepancy.)
To those who propose this as an ethical axiom--the author is more
important than you--I can only say that I, a notable software author
myself, call it bunk.
But people in general are only likely to feel any sympathy with the
natural rights claims for two reasons.
One reason is an overstretched analogy with material objects. When I
cook spaghetti, I do object if someone else takes it and stops me from
eating it. In this case, that person and I have the same material
interests at stake, and it's a zero-sum game. The smallest
distinction between us is enough to tip the ethical balance.
But whether you run or change a program I wrote affects you directly
and me only indirectly. Whether you give a copy to your friend
affects you and your friend much more than it affects me. I shouldn't
have the power to tell you not to do these things. No one should.
The second reason is that people have been told that natural rights
for authors is the accepted and unquestioned tradition of our society.
As a matter of history, the opposite is true. The idea of natural
rights of authors was proposed and decisively rejected when the US
Constitution was drawn up. That's why the Constitution only *permits*
a system of copyright and does not *require* one; that's why it says
that copyright must be temporary. It also states that the purpose of
copyright is to promote progress--not to reward authors. Copyright
does reward authors somewhat, and publishers more, but that is
intended as a means of modifying their behavior.
The real established tradition of our society is that copyright cuts
into the natural rights of the public--and that this can only be
justified for the public's sake.
* Economics.
The final argument made for having owners of software is that this
leads to production of more software.
Unlike the others, this argument at least takes a legitimate approach
to the subject. It is based on a valid goal--satisfying the users of
software. And it is empirically clear that people will produce more of
something if they are well paid for doing so.
But the economic argument has a flaw: it is based on the assumption
that the difference is only a matter of how much money we have to pay.
It assumes that "production of software" is what we want, whether the
software has owners or not.
People readily accept this assumption because it accords with our
experiences with material objects. Consider a sandwich, for instance.
You might well be able to get an equivalent sandwich either free or
for a price. If so, the amount you pay is the only difference.
Whether or not you have to buy it, the sandwich has the same taste,
the same nutritional value, and in either case you can only eat it
once. Whether you get the sandwich from an owner or not cannot
directly affect anything but the amount of money you have afterwards.
This is true for any kind of material object--whether or not it has an
owner does not directly affect what it *is*, or what you can do with
it if you acquire it.
But if a program has an owner, this very much affects what it is, and
what you can do with a copy if you buy one. The difference is not
just a matter of money. The system of owners of software encourages
software owners to produce something--but not what society really
needs. And it causes intangible ethical pollution that affects us
What does society need? It needs information that is truly available
to its citizens--for example, programs that people can read, fix,
adapt, and improve, not just operate. But what software owners
typically deliver is a black box that we can't study or change.
Society also needs freedom. When a program has an owner, the users
lose freedom to control part of their own lives.
And above all society needs to encourage the spirit of voluntary
cooperation in its citizens. When software owners tell us that
helping our neighbors in a natural way is "piracy", they pollute our
society's civic spirit.
This is why we say that free software is a matter of freedom, not
The economic argument for owners is erroneous, but the economic issue
is real. Some people write useful software for the pleasure of
writing it or for admiration and love; but if we want more software
than those people write, we need to raise funds.
For ten years now, free software developers have tried various methods
of finding funds, with some success. There's no need to make anyone
rich; the median US family income, around $35k, proves to be enough
incentive for many jobs that are less satisfying than programming.
For years, until a fellowship made it unnecessary, I made a living
from custom enhancements of the free software I had written. Each
enhancement was added to the standard released version and thus
eventually became available to the general public. Clients paid me so
that I would work on the enhancements they wanted, rather than on the
features I would otherwise have considered highest priority.
The Free Software Foundation, a tax-exempt charity for free software
development, raises funds by selling CD-ROMs, tapes and manuals (all
of which users are free to copy and change), as well as from
donations. It now has a staff of five programmers, plus three
employees who handle mail orders.
Some free software developers make money by selling support services.
Cygnus Support, with around 50 employees, estimates that about 15 per
cent of its staff activity is free software development--a respectable
percentage for a software company.
Companies including Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments and Analog
Devices have combined to fund the continued development of the free
GNU compiler for the language C. Meanwhile, the GNU compiler for the
Ada language is being funded by the US Air Force, which believes this
is the most cost-effective way to get a high quality compiler.
All these examples are small; the free software movement is still
small, and still young. But the example of listener-supported radio
in this country shows it's possible to support a large activity
without forcing each user to pay.
As a computer user today, you may find yourself using a proprietary
program. If your friend asks to make a copy, it would be wrong to
refuse. Cooperation is more important than copyright. But
underground, closet cooperation does not make for a good society. A
person should aspire to live an upright life openly with pride, and
this means saying "No" to proprietary software.
You deserve to be able to cooperate openly and freely with other
people who use software. You deserve to be able to learn how the
software works, and to teach your students with it. You deserve to be
able to hire your favorite programmer to fix it when it breaks.
You deserve free software.
Copyright 1994 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution is permitted
without royalty as long as this notice is preserved;
alteration is not permitted.
2014-03-22 Glenn Morris <>
* startup.el (fancy-startup-text):
* help.el (describe-gnu-project): Visit online info about GNU project.
* help-fns.el (help-fns--interactive-only): New function.
(help-fns-describe-function-functions): Add the above function.
* simple.el (beginning-of-buffer, end-of-buffer, insert-buffer)
;;; help.el --- help commands for Emacs
;; Copyright (C) 1985-1986, 1993-1994, 1998-2014 Free Software
;; Foundation, Inc.
;; Copyright (C) 1985-1986, 1993-1994, 1998-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
;; Maintainer:
;; Keywords: help, internal
......@@ -293,10 +292,11 @@ If that doesn't give a function, return nil."
(view-help-file "COPYING"))
;; Maybe this command should just be removed.
(defun describe-gnu-project ()
"Display info on the GNU project."
"Browse online information on the GNU project."
(view-help-file "THE-GNU-PROJECT"))
(browse-url ""))
(define-obsolete-function-alias 'describe-project 'describe-gnu-project "22.2")
......@@ -1400,8 +1400,9 @@ If this is nil, no message will be displayed."
,(lambda (_button) (browse-url ""))
`("GNU" ,(lambda (_button) (describe-gnu-project))
"Display info on the GNU project")))
`("GNU" ,(lambda (_button)
(browse-url ""))
" operating system.\n\n"
:face variable-pitch
:link ("Emacs Tutorial" ,(lambda (_button) (help-with-tutorial)))
2014-03-22 Glenn Morris <>
* callproc.c (init_callproc): In etc, look for NEWS rather than GNU.
2014-03-22 Daniel Colascione <>
* process.c (conv_sockaddr_to_lisp): When extracting the string
names of AF_LOCAL sockets, stop before reading uninitialized
names of AF_LOCAL sockets, stop before reading uninitialized memory.
2014-03-21 YAMAMOTO Mitsuharu <>
......@@ -1617,13 +1617,13 @@ init_callproc (void)
srcdir = Fexpand_file_name (build_string ("../src/"), lispdir);
tem = Fexpand_file_name (build_string ("GNU"), Vdata_directory);