Commit 1bac2ebb authored by Dave Love's avatar Dave Love

*** empty log message ***

parent 4efd38a1
-*- text -*-
For an order form for all Emacs and FSF distributions deliverable from
the USA, see the file `ORDERS' in this directory (etc/ in the GNU
Emacs distribution or /pub/gnu/GNUinfo on ftp.gnu.org). For a
European order form, see `ORDERS.EUROPE'. For a Japan order form,
see `ORDERS.JAPAN'.
GNU Emacs availability information, April 1998
Copyright (C) 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998
Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to anyone to make or distribute
verbatim copies of this document provided that the
copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved.
GNU Emacs is legally owned by the Free Software Foundation, but we
regard the foundation more as its custodian on behalf of the public.
In the GNU project, when we speak of "free software", this refers to
liberty, not price. Specifically, it refers to the users' freedom to
study, copy, change and improve the software. Sometimes users pay
money for copies of GNU software, and sometimes they get copies at no
charge. But regardless of how they got the software, or whether it
was modified by anyone else along the way, they have the freedom to
copy and change it--those freedoms are what "free software" means.
The precise conditions for copying and modification are stated in the
document "GNU General Public License," a copy of which is required to
be distributed with every copy of GNU Emacs. It is usually in a file
named `COPYING' in the same directory as this file. These conditions
are designed to make sure that everyone who has a copy of GNU Emacs
(including modified versions) has the freedom to redistribute and
change it.
If you do not know anyone to get a copy of GNU Emacs from, you can
order a cd-rom from the Free Software Foundation. We distribute Emacs
versions 19 and 20. We also distribute nicely typeset copies of the
Emacs user manual, Emacs Lisp Reference Manual, the Emacs reference
card, etc. See file `ORDERS'.
If you have Internet access, you can copy the latest Emacs
distribution from hosts, such as ftp.gnu.org. There are several
ways to do this; see the file `FTP' for more information. Even
better, get the latest version of the file from `/pub/gnu/GNUinfo/FTP'
on ftp.gnu.org for the most current arrangements. It may also be
possible to copy Emacs via uucp; the file `FTP' contains information
on that too.
Emacs has been run on both Berkeley Unix and System V Unix, on a
variety of types of cpu. It also works on VMS and on Apollo
computers, though with some deficiencies that reflect problems in
these operating systems. See the file `MACHINES' in this directory
(see above) for a full list of machines that GNU Emacs has been tested
on, with machine-specific installation notes and warnings. There is
also Demacs that works on newer MS-DOS machines (see file `ORDERS').
Note that there is significant variation between Unix systems
supposedly running the same version of Unix; it is possible that what
works in GNU Emacs for me does not work on your system due to such an
incompatibility. Since I must avoid reading Unix source code, I
cannot even guess what such problems may exist.
GNU Emacs is distributed with no warranty (see the General Public
License for full details, in the file `COPYING' in this directory (see
above)), and neither I nor the Free Software Foundation promises any
kind of support or assistance to users. The foundation keeps a list
of people who are willing to offer support and assistance for hire.
See the file `SERVICE'. You can get the latest version from
ftp.gnu.org in file `/pub/gnu/GNUinfo/SERVICE'.
However, we plan to continue to improve GNU Emacs and keep it
reliable, so please send me any complaints and suggestions you have.
I will probably fix anything that I consider a malfunction. I may
make improvements that are suggested, but I may choose not to.
Improving Emacs is not my highest priority now.
If you are on the Internet, report bugs to bug-gnu-emacs@gnu.org.
Otherwise, phone or write the Foundation at:
Free Software Foundation
59 Temple Place - Suite 330
Boston, MA 02111-1307
Voice: +1-617-542-5942
Fax: +1-617-542-2652
General questions about the GNU Project can be asked of
gnu@gnu.org.
If you are a computer manufacturer, I encourage you to ship a copy of
GNU Emacs with every computer you deliver. The same copying
permission terms apply to computer manufacturers as to everyone else.
You should consider making a donation to help support the GNU project;
if you estimate what it would cost to distribute some commercial
product and divide it by five, that is a good amount.
If you like GNU Emacs, please express your satisfaction with a
donation: send me or the Foundation what you feel Emacs has been worth
to you. If you are glad that I developed GNU Emacs and distribute it
as freeware, rather than following the obstructive and antisocial
practices typical of software developers, reward me. If you would
like the Foundation to develop more free software, contribute.
Your donations will help to support the development of additional GNU
software. GNU/Linux systems (variants of GNU, based on the kernel
Linux) have millions of users, but there is still much to be done.
For more information on GNU, see the file `GNU' in this directory (see
above).
Richard M Stallman
Chief GNUisance,
President of the Free Software Foundation
-*- text -*-
How to get GNU Software by Internet FTP or by UUCP. Last updated 1999-01-20
* Please send improvements to this file to gnu@gnu.org.
* No Warranties
We distribute software in the hope that it will be useful, but without
any warranty. No author or distributor of this software accepts
responsibility to anyone for the consequences of using it or for
whether it serves any particular purpose or works at all, unless he
says so in writing. This is exactly the same warranty that the commercial
software companies offer: None. If the distribution is incomplete or the
media fails, you can always download a replacement from any of the GNU
mirrors, free of charge.
* Updates
A possibly more up-to-date list of GNU FTP sites is at
http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html
* How to FTP
Use the ftp program on your system (ask locally if you can't find it)
to connect to the host you are ftping from. Unless indicated
otherwise, login in as user "anonymous", with password: "your e-mail
address" and set "binary" mode (to transfer all eight bits in each
byte).
ALWAYS USE BINARY/IMAGE MODE TO TRANSFER THESE FILES!
Text mode does not work for tar files or compressed files.
* GNU Software and How To FTP It
GNU software is available on ftp.gnu.org under the directory /gnu.
diff files to convert between versions exist for some of these
programs. Some programs have misc support files as well. Have a look
on ftp.gnu.org to see which ones. In most cases, the tar or diff
files are compressed with the `gzip' program; this is indicated with
the .gz suffix.
Descriptions of GNU software are available at
http://www.gnu.org/software/software.html
* Alternative Internet FTP Sources
Please do NOT use a site outside your country, until you have checked
all sites inside your country, and then your continent. Trans-ocean
TCP/IP links are very expensive and usually very low speed.
The canonical GNU ftp site is located at ftp.gnu.org/gnu.
You should probably use one of the many mirrors of that site - the
mirrors will be less busy, and you can find one closer to your site.
* GNU FTP Site Mirror List
United States:
California - labrea.stanford.edu/pub/gnu, gatekeeper.dec.com/pub/GNU
Hawaii - ftp.hawaii.edu/mirrors/gnu
Illinois - uiarchive.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/gnu (Internet address 128.174.5.14)
Kentucky - ftp.ms.uky.edu/pub/gnu
Maryland - ftp.digex.net/pub/gnu (Internet address 164.109.10.23)
Massachusetts - aeneas.mit.edu/pub/gnu
Michigan - gnu.egr.msu.edu/pub/gnu
Missouri - wuarchive.wustl.edu/systems/gnu
New Mexico - ftp.cs.unm.edu/mirrors/gnu
New York - ftp.cs.columbia.edu/archives/gnu/prep
Ohio - ftp.cis.ohio-state.edu/mirror/gnu
Tennessee - ftp.skyfire.net/pub/gnu
Virginia - ftp.uu.net/archive/systems/gnu
Washington - ftp.nodomainname.net/pub/mirrors/gnu
Africa:
South Africa - ftp.sun.ac.za/gnu
The Americas:
Brazil - ftp.unicamp.br/pub/gnu
Brazil - master.softaplic.com.br/pub/gnu
Brazil - linuxlabs.lci.ufrj.br/gnu
Canada - ftp.cs.ubc.ca/mirror2/gnu
Chile - ftp.inf.utfsm.cl/pub/gnu (Internet address 146.83.198.3)
Costa Rica - sunsite.ulatina.ac.cr/GNU
Mexico - ftp.uaem.mx/pub/gnu
Australia:
Australia - archie.au/gnu (archie.oz or archie.oz.au for ACSnet)
Australia - ftp.progsoc.uts.edu.au/pub/gnu
Australia - mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/gnu
Asia:
Japan - tron.um.u-tokyo.ac.jp/pub/GNU/prep
Japan - ftp.cs.titech.ac.jp/pub/gnu
Korea - cair-archive.kaist.ac.kr/pub/gnu (Internet address 143.248.186.3)
Saudi Arabia - ftp.isu.net.sa/pub/mirrors/prep.ai.mit.edu/
Taiwan - ftp.edu.tw/UNIX/gnu/
Taiwan - ftp.nctu.edu.tw/UNIX/gnu/
Taiwan - ftp1.sinica.edu.tw/pub3/GNU/gnu/
Thailand - ftp.nectec.or.th/pub/mirrors/gnu (Internet address - 192.150.251.32)
Europe:
Austria - ftp.univie.ac.at/packages/gnu
Austria - gd.tuwien.ac.at/gnu/gnusrc
Belgium - ftp.be.gnu.org/
Austria - http://gd.tuwien.ac.at/gnu/gnusrc/
Czech Republic - ftp.fi.muni.cz/pub/gnu/
Denmark - ftp.denet.dk/mirror/ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu
Denmark - ftp.dkuug.dk/pub/gnu/
Finland - ftp.funet.fi/pub/gnu
France - ftp.univ-lyon1.fr/pub/gnu
France - ftp.irisa.fr/pub/gnu
Germany - ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de/pub/comp/os/unix/gnu/
Germany - ftp.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/pub/gnu
Germany - ftp.de.uu.net/pub/gnu
Greece - ftp.forthnet.gr/pub/gnu
Greece - ftp.ntua.gr/pub/gnu
Greece - ftp.aua.gr/pub/mirrors/GNU (Internet address 143.233.187.61)
Hungary - ftp.kfki.hu/pub/gnu
Ireland - ftp.esat.net/pub/gnu (Internet address 193.120.14.241)
Italy - ftp.oasi.gpa.it/pub/gnu
Netherlands - ftp.eu.net/gnu (Internet address 192.16.202.1)
Netherlands - ftp.nluug.nl/pub/gnu
Netherlands - ftp.win.tue.nl/pub/gnu (Internet address 131.155.70.19)
Norway - ftp.ntnu.no/pub/gnu (Internet address 129.241.11.142)
Poland - ftp.task.gda.pl/pub/gnu
Portugal - ftp.ci.uminho.pt/pub/mirrors/gnu
Portugal - http://ciumix.ci.uminho.pt/mirrors/gnu/
Portugal - ftp.ist.utl.pt/pub/gnu
Russia - ftp.chg.ru/pub/gnu/
Slovenia - ftp.arnes.si/pub/software/gnu
Spain - ftp.etsimo.uniovi.es/pub/gnu
Sweden - ftp.isy.liu.se/pub/gnu
Sweden - ftp.stacken.kth.se
Sweden - ftp.luth.se/pub/unix/gnu
Sweden - ftp.sunet.se/pub/gnu (Internet address 130.238.127.3)
Also mirrors the Mailing List Archives.
Sweden - swamp.ios.chalmers.se/pub/gnu/
Switzerland - ftp.eunet.ch/mirrors4/gnu
Switzerland - sunsite.cnlab-switch.ch/mirror/gnu (Internet address 193.5.24.1)
United Kingdom - ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/gnu (Internet address 130.88.203.12)
United Kingdom - unix.hensa.ac.uk/mirrors/gnu
United Kingdom - ftp.warwick.ac.uk (Internet address 137.205.192.14)
United Kingdom - SunSITE.doc.ic.ac.uk/gnu (Internet address 193.63.255.4)
* How to FTP GNU Emacs
Emacs is in the directory /gnu/emacs on ftp.gnu.org. The emacs
distribution itself has a filename in the form emacs-M.N.tar.gz, where
M and N stand for the version numbers; the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual
is in a separate file, named elisp-manual-NN.tar.gz.
* Scheme and How to FTP It
The latest distribution version of C Scheme is available via anonymous FTP
from swiss-ftp.ai.mit.edu in /pub/scheme-X.X/ (where X.X is some version
number).
Read the files INSTALL and README in the top level C Scheme directory.
* TeX and How to Obtain It
We don't distribute TeX now, but it is free software.
TeX is a document formatter that is used, among other things, by the FSF
for all its documentation. You will need it if you want to make printed
manuals.
TeX is freely redistributable. You can get it by ftp, tape, or CD/ROM.
** For FTP instructions, retrieve the file
ftp.cs.umb.edu/pub/tex/unixtex.ftp. (We don't include it here because it
changes relatively frequently. Sorry.)
** A minimal TeX collection (enough to process Texinfo files, anyway)
is included on the GNU source CD-ROM. See the file ORDERS in this
directory for more information.
* VMS FTP sites with GNU Software
You can anonymously ftp a VMS version of GNU emacs from:
- ftp.vms.stacken.kth.se:[.GNU-VMS] - GNU Emacs and some other VMS
ports (and some VMS binaries) of GNU software
- mango.rsmas.miami.edu has a VMS version of the GCC/G++ compiler.
Contact angel@flipper.miami.edu (angel li) for details.
- RIGEL.EFD.LTH.SE [130.235.48.3] - GNU Emacs
* Getting GNU software in Great Britain
jpo@cs.nott.ac.uk is willing to distribute those GNU sources he has
available. The smaller items are available from the info-server (send
to info-server@cs.nott.ac.uk); the larger items by negotiation. Due to
communication costs this service is only available within the UK.
BattenIG@computer-science.birmingham.ac.uk (aka
I.G.Batten@fulcrum.bt.co.uk) is also willing to distribute those GNU
sources he has.
wizards@doc.ic.ac.uk is willing to distribute those GNU sources they have
along with most other freely distributable software. The SunSITE archive
on SunSITE.doc.ic.ac.uk (193.63.255.4) is available via ftp, http, fsp,
gopher, NFS and Lanmanger over IP (SMB), and telnet.
UK sites with just anonymous FTP access are in the above list.
* Getting GNU software via UUCP
OSU is distributing via UUCP: most GNU software, MIT C Scheme,
Compress, News, RN, NNTP, Patch, some Appletalk stuff, some of the
Internet Requests For Comment (RFC) et al.. See their periodic
postings on the Usenet newsgroup comp.sources.d for informational
updates. Current details from <staff@cis.ohio-state.edu> or
<...!osu-cis!staff>.
Information on how to uucp some GNU programs is available via
electronic mail from: uunet!hutch!barber, hqda-ai!merlin, acornrc!bob,
hao!scicom!qetzal!upba!ugn!nepa!denny, ncar!noao!asuvax!hrc!dan,
bigtex!james (aka james@bigtex.cactus.org), oli-stl!root,
src@contrib.de (Germany), toku@dit.co.jp (Japan) and info@ftp.uu.net.
* If You Like The Software
If you like the software developed and distributed by the Free
Software Foundation, please express your satisfaction with a donation.
Your donations will help to support the Foundation and make our future
efforts successful, including a complete development and operating
system, called GNU (Gnu's Not Unix), which will run Unix user
programs. For more information on GNU and the Foundation, contact us
at the above address, or see our web site at http://www.gnu.org.
Ordering a GNU Source Code CD-ROM or Source Code CD-ROM Subscription
is a good way for your organization to help support our work.
Copyright (C) 1985, 1993 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to anyone to make or distribute verbatim copies
of this document, in any medium, provided that the copyright notice and
permission notice are preserved, and that the distributor grants the
recipient permission for further redistribution as permitted by this
notice.
Modified versions may not be made.
The GNU Manifesto
*****************
The GNU Manifesto which appears below was written by Richard
Stallman at the beginning of the GNU project, to ask for
participation and support. For the first few years, it was
updated in minor ways to account for developments, but now it
seems best to leave it unchanged as most people have seen it.
Since that time, we have learned about certain common
misunderstandings that different wording could help avoid.
Footnotes added in 1993 help clarify these points.
For up-to-date information about the available GNU software,
please see the latest issue of the GNU's Bulletin. The list is
much too long to include here.
What's GNU? Gnu's Not Unix!
============================
GNU, which stands for Gnu's Not Unix, is the name for the complete
Unix-compatible software system which I am writing so that I can give it
away free to everyone who can use it.(1) Several other volunteers are
helping me. Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are
greatly needed.
So far we have an Emacs text editor with Lisp for writing editor
commands, a source level debugger, a yacc-compatible parser generator,
a linker, and around 35 utilities. A shell (command interpreter) is
nearly completed. A new portable optimizing C compiler has compiled
itself and may be released this year. An initial kernel exists but
many more features are needed to emulate Unix. When the kernel and
compiler are finished, it will be possible to distribute a GNU system
suitable for program development. We will use TeX as our text
formatter, but an nroff is being worked on. We will use the free,
portable X window system as well. After this we will add a portable
Common Lisp, an Empire game, a spreadsheet, and hundreds of other
things, plus on-line documentation. We hope to supply, eventually,
everything useful that normally comes with a Unix system, and more.
GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identical to
Unix. We will make all improvements that are convenient, based on our
experience with other operating systems. In particular, we plan to
have longer file names, file version numbers, a crashproof file system,
file name completion perhaps, terminal-independent display support, and
perhaps eventually a Lisp-based window system through which several
Lisp programs and ordinary Unix programs can share a screen. Both C
and Lisp will be available as system programming languages. We will
try to support UUCP, MIT Chaosnet, and Internet protocols for
communication.
GNU is aimed initially at machines in the 68000/16000 class with
virtual memory, because they are the easiest machines to make it run
on. The extra effort to make it run on smaller machines will be left
to someone who wants to use it on them.
To avoid horrible confusion, please pronounce the `G' in the word
`GNU' when it is the name of this project.
Why I Must Write GNU
====================
I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I
must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to
divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share
with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this
way. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a
software license agreement. For years I worked within the Artificial
Intelligence Lab to resist such tendencies and other inhospitalities,
but eventually they had gone too far: I could not remain in an
institution where such things are done for me against my will.
So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have
decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I
will be able to get along without any software that is not free. I
have resigned from the AI lab to deny MIT any legal excuse to prevent
me from giving GNU away.
Why GNU Will Be Compatible with Unix
====================================
Unix is not my ideal system, but it is not too bad. The essential
features of Unix seem to be good ones, and I think I can fill in what
Unix lacks without spoiling them. And a system compatible with Unix
would be convenient for many other people to adopt.
How GNU Will Be Available
=========================
GNU is not in the public domain. Everyone will be permitted to
modify and redistribute GNU, but no distributor will be allowed to
restrict its further redistribution. That is to say, proprietary
modifications will not be allowed. I want to make sure that all
versions of GNU remain free.
Why Many Other Programmers Want to Help
=======================================
I have found many other programmers who are excited about GNU and
want to help.
Many programmers are unhappy about the commercialization of system
software. It may enable them to make more money, but it requires them
to feel in conflict with other programmers in general rather than feel
as comrades. The fundamental act of friendship among programmers is the
sharing of programs; marketing arrangements now typically used
essentially forbid programmers to treat others as friends. The
purchaser of software must choose between friendship and obeying the
law. Naturally, many decide that friendship is more important. But
those who believe in law often do not feel at ease with either choice.
They become cynical and think that programming is just a way of making
money.
By working on and using GNU rather than proprietary programs, we can
be hospitable to everyone and obey the law. In addition, GNU serves as
an example to inspire and a banner to rally others to join us in
sharing. This can give us a feeling of harmony which is impossible if
we use software that is not free. For about half the programmers I
talk to, this is an important happiness that money cannot replace.
How You Can Contribute
======================
I am asking computer manufacturers for donations of machines and
money. I'm asking individuals for donations of programs and work.
One consequence you can expect if you donate machines is that GNU
will run on them at an early date. The machines should be complete,
ready to use systems, approved for use in a residential area, and not
in need of sophisticated cooling or power.
I have found very many programmers eager to contribute part-time
work for GNU. For most projects, such part-time distributed work would
be very hard to coordinate; the independently-written parts would not
work together. But for the particular task of replacing Unix, this
problem is absent. A complete Unix system contains hundreds of utility
programs, each of which is documented separately. Most interface
specifications are fixed by Unix compatibility. If each contributor
can write a compatible replacement for a single Unix utility, and make
it work properly in place of the original on a Unix system, then these
utilities will work right when put together. Even allowing for Murphy
to create a few unexpected problems, assembling these components will
be a feasible task. (The kernel will require closer communication and
will be worked on by a small, tight group.)
If I get donations of money, I may be able to hire a few people full
or part time. The salary won't be high by programmers' standards, but
I'm looking for people for whom building community spirit is as
important as making money. I view this as a way of enabling dedicated
people to devote their full energies to working on GNU by sparing them
the need to make a living in another way.
Why All Computer Users Will Benefit
===================================
Once GNU is written, everyone will be able to obtain good system
software free, just like air.(2)
This means much more than just saving everyone the price of a Unix
license. It means that much wasteful duplication of system programming
effort will be avoided. This effort can go instead into advancing the
state of the art.
Complete system sources will be available to everyone. As a result,
a user who needs changes in the system will always be free to make them
himself, or hire any available programmer or company to make them for
him. Users will no longer be at the mercy of one programmer or company
which owns the sources and is in sole position to make changes.
Schools will be able to provide a much more educational environment
by encouraging all students to study and improve the system code.
Harvard's computer lab used to have the policy that no program could be
installed on the system if its sources were not on public display, and
upheld it by actually refusing to install certain programs. I was very
much inspired by this.
Finally, the overhead of considering who owns the system software
and what one is or is not entitled to do with it will be lifted.
Arrangements to make people pay for using a program, including
licensing of copies, always incur a tremendous cost to society through
the cumbersome mechanisms necessary to figure out how much (that is,
which programs) a person must pay for. And only a police state can
force everyone to obey them. Consider a space station where air must
be manufactured at great cost: charging each breather per liter of air
may be fair, but wearing the metered gas mask all day and all night is
intolerable even if everyone can afford to pay the air bill. And the
TV cameras everywhere to see if you ever take the mask off are
outrageous. It's better to support the air plant with a head tax and
chuck the masks.
Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as
breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.
Some Easily Rebutted Objections to GNU's Goals
==============================================
"Nobody will use it if it is free, because that means they can't
rely on any support."
"You have to charge for the program to pay for providing the
support."
If people would rather pay for GNU plus service than get GNU free
without service, a company to provide just service to people who have
obtained GNU free ought to be profitable.(3)
We must distinguish between support in the form of real programming
work and mere handholding. The former is something one cannot rely on
from a software vendor. If your problem is not shared by enough
people, the vendor will tell you to get lost.
If your business needs to be able to rely on support, the only way
is to have all the necessary sources and tools. Then you can hire any
available person to fix your problem; you are not at the mercy of any
individual. With Unix, the price of sources puts this out of
consideration for most businesses. With GNU this will be easy. It is
still possible for there to be no available competent person, but this
problem cannot be blamed on distribution arrangements. GNU does not
eliminate all the world's problems, only some of them.
Meanwhile, the users who know nothing about computers need
handholding: doing things for them which they could easily do
themselves but don't know how.
Such services could be provided by companies that sell just
hand-holding and repair service. If it is true that users would rather
spend money and get a product with service, they will also be willing
to buy the service having got the product free. The service companies
will compete in quality and price; users will not be tied to any
particular one. Meanwhile, those of us who don't need the service
should be able to use the program without paying for the service.
"You cannot reach many people without advertising, and you must
charge for the program to support that."
"It's no use advertising a program people can get free."
There are various forms of free or very cheap publicity that can be
used to inform numbers of computer users about something like GNU. But
it may be true that one can reach more microcomputer users with
advertising. If this is really so, a business which advertises the
service of copying and mailing GNU for a fee ought to be successful
enough to pay for its advertising and more. This way, only the users
who benefit from the advertising pay for it.
On the other hand, if many people get GNU from their friends, and
such companies don't succeed, this will show that advertising was not
really necessary to spread GNU. Why is it that free market advocates
don't want to let the free market decide this?(4)
"My company needs a proprietary operating system to get a
competitive edge."
GNU will remove operating system software from the realm of
competition. You will not be able to get an edge in this area, but
neither will your competitors be able to get an edge over you. You and
they will compete in other areas, while benefiting mutually in this
one. If your business is selling an operating system, you will not
like GNU, but that's tough on you. If your business is something else,
GNU can save you from being pushed into the expensive business of
selling operating systems.
I would like to see GNU development supported by gifts from many
manufacturers and users, reducing the cost to each.(5)
"Don't programmers deserve a reward for their creativity?"
If anything deserves a reward, it is social contribution.
Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society
is free to use the results. If programmers deserve to be rewarded for
creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be
punished if they restrict the use of these programs.
"Shouldn't a programmer be able to ask for a reward for his
creativity?"
There is nothing wrong with wanting pay for work, or seeking to
maximize one's income, as long as one does not use means that are
destructive. But the means customary in the field of software today
are based on destruction.
Extracting money from users of a program by restricting their use of
it is destructive because the restrictions reduce the amount and the
ways that the program can be used. This reduces the amount of wealth
that humanity derives from the program. When there is a deliberate
choice to restrict, the harmful consequences are deliberate destruction.
The reason a good citizen does not use such destructive means to
become wealthier is that, if everyone did so, we would all become
poorer from the mutual destructiveness. This is Kantian ethics; or,
the Golden Rule. Since I do not like the consequences that result if
everyone hoards information, I am required to consider it wrong for one
to do so. Specifically, the desire to be rewarded for one's creativity
does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that
creativity.
"Won't programmers starve?"
I could answer that nobody is forced to be a programmer. Most of us
cannot manage to get any money for standing on the street and making
faces. But we are not, as a result, condemned to spend our lives
standing on the street making faces, and starving. We do something
else.
But that is the wrong answer because it accepts the questioner's
implicit assumption: that without ownership of software, programmers
cannot possibly be paid a cent. Supposedly it is all or nothing.
The real reason programmers will not starve is that it will still be
possible for them to get paid for programming; just not paid as much as
now.
Restricting copying is not the only basis for business in software.
It is the most common basis because it brings in the most money. If it
were prohibited, or rejected by the customer, software business would
move to other bases of organization which are now used less often.
There are always numerous ways to organize any kind of business.
Probably programming will not be as lucrative on the new basis as it
is now. But that is not an argument against the change. It is not
considered an injustice that sales clerks make the salaries that they
now do. If programmers made the same, that would not be an injustice
either. (In practice they would still make considerably more than
that.)
"Don't people have a right to control how their creativity is
used?"
"Control over the use of one's ideas" really constitutes control over
other people's lives; and it is usually used to make their lives more
difficult.