>>>> "Gary" == Gary Bickford
Gary> It appears that RMS complaints about XEmacs have more to do
Gary> with licensing issues than design.
RMS has no complaints about XEmacs licensing. How could he? It's his
own GNU GPL.
The problem is that RMS believes in a legal theory that means in
practice that the FSF must monopolize free software copyrights for
those programs that it wishes to defend in court.
Gary> If so, couldn't this be accommodated by the XEmacs gang?
Gary> Unless those folks have completely faded away.
No. All accommodation must come from the FSF side, or from third
parties. RMS's objection is to the fact that some XEmacs copyrights
are controlled by something other than the FSF. Most (but not all)
current XEmacs developers have assigned their copyrights to the FSF.
However, much of XEmacs is copyrighted by Sun Microsystems Inc, which
no longer seems to have much direct interest in XEmacs, but which sees
no point in assigning its copyright in XEmacs to the FSF.
"The XEmacs gang" does not own those copyrights, and therefore is
powerless. It is between Sun and the Emacs maintainers; either Sun
assigns, RMS relents, or the status quo continues.
 Theoretically the FSF could sign a contract to cooperate with
another copyright holder; it has done this with the Electro-Technical
Laboratory of Japan for the Mule subsystem used in both Emacs and
XEmacs. But this seems unlikely to be common practice, since most
free software programmers are free-lance hackers, and if they are
going to assign copyright, they may as well do so to the FSF itself.
University of Tsukuba Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
_________________ _________________ _________________ _________________
What are those straight lines for? "XEmacs rules."