Re: ncurses 4.1

From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 00:05:27 -0400

    I *never* gave consent for the rogue 4.0 to be issued. Nor did Zeyd.

Free software means that everyone is allowed to release a modified
version; no one needs to ask for consent from someone else.

Each group working on a separate version is entitled to decide who is
in their group. They can include a "list of maintainers" which
consists of them and them alone. They don't have to include the
people in a different group who are maintaining a separate version.

Denying credit to the people who have worked on the program in the
past is clearly wrong (whether it is legal or not). But the list of
current maintainers is not (necessarily) the same as the list of
people who have contributed in the past. So changing the list of
current maintainers is not (necessarily) denying credit to anyone; not
if something else in the release gives credit. (I don't know whether
Dickey's release does contain something else to give credit to ESR and
others; but if it does not, adding it cannot be very hard.)

So all I can say about the actions ESR has just now described is that
they are not illegal as far as I know, and not clearly wrong as far as
I can see. They are the kind of things people do when there is a
dispute. They show that there is a dispute, but they don't help
understand the origin of the dispute or how to resolve it.

I don't know how things came to this pass, or who could have done what
to avoid it. I hope ESR and Dickey can bury the hatchet.
Received on Mon Jun 02 1997 - 00:05:07 EDT

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