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Ethical Editor / IDE ?

devverto profile image devverto ・1 min read

I'm a long-time Emacs user. Generally, I'm happy with it. I enjoy using it and I'm productive.

However, I've recently noticed that some (many?) of the Emacs maintainers and users hold opposite political views. For example, they seem to want the community to be mostly men, while I want to be part of a more diverse community.

It's true that the community around an editor is less important than the functionality and usefulness of the editor. However, I'd like to be proud of my editor's community, not just tolerant of it.

This isn't just a rant against the Emacs community. Both Atom and VS Code are owned by Microsift. Even though they're both open source like Emacs, their connection and ultimate control by Microsoft makes them problematic to me, as a GNU/Linux user. Sublime Text is not open source and Vim has a similar community problem as Emacs.

My question ... what are the editors that are developed and maintained by more left-leaning communities who value open source/Free Software and inclusion?

Discussion

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Editor guide
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iamschulz profile image
I am Schulz

Is microsofts ownership of vscode problematic to you or their control over the software?
There's VS Codium (vscodium.com/), which is like Chromium to Chrome. Its FOSS, but highly controlled by their original corporations input.

There's also Notepad++, whose ethical stance got it into headlines recently because of their pro-Uyghur opinion.

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thearianit profile image
theArianit

Chromium is the engine where chrome is based. Using a Chromium browser is the purest form of using Chromium.
Codium is just a "fork". It's some automatic scripts that makes a build based on the open source vs code project. But the difference is that codium does not add the hudden tracking and telemetry and other stuff that microsoft adds to vscode

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs

☑️ Replaced VS Code with VS Codium

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devverto profile image
devverto Author

Thanks.

Is microsofts ownership of vscode problematic to you or their control over the software?

My concern is more along the lines of Ben Sinclair's comment about the binary distribution not being open, among other things. Generally, the main goal for Microsoft, like any other for-profit corporation, is to make money. I don't agree with that politically.

So, ideally, the editor I'm hoping exists is developed and maintained with more of a community effort than a corporate effort.

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koehr profile image
Norman

Interesting point you got there. What makes you think that the communities around Emacs and Vim want to be white and male?

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devverto profile image
devverto Author

What makes you think the communities around Emacs don't want to be white and male?

There's a little snark here, I couldn't resist. However, all it takes is a cursory look at who's doing videos and writing blog posts to see that it's almost all men.

Almost all of the speakers at the recent conference were men: emacsconf.org/2019/

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avalander profile image
Avalander

What makes you think the communities around Emacs don't want to be white and male?

I mean... you made a claim and someone asked for proof. There's no proof of the contrary is not really a solid argument.

Getting back on topic. Is the fact that most visible people around the community are men the only thing that brought you to the conclusion that the community is actively trying to be mostly men? Can you point to any sources (tweets, youtube videos, blog posts and whatnot) where people are explicitly doing gender gate-keeping?

Don't get me wrong, I fully sympathise with your concerns and I'd like to avoid supporting or being part of communities that do any kind of discrimination as much as possible.

But seeing that most of the community are men in any software-related field is, in my view, not enough to conclude and active attempt to drive women away. It can be as simple as the female user base of emacs is simply that small.

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koehr profile image
Norman

I see where you want to go with this. But I'm not sure if this can be seen in such a black and white way. There is, unfortunately, still a much smaller amount of women in the field, especially in the not-so-hip area of lisp users. And I'm not at all an emacs user and also not part of the community, so I might be wrong but I know these people as cult of meritocracy. They usually don't care about the who but much more about the what.

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5anthosh profile image
Santhosh Kumar

What? software has political views ?

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devverto profile image
devverto Author

Everything is political.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

VSCode is open source, but not like Emacs. The binary distribution is explicitly licensed as not reverse-engineerable.

I think that's as good an ethical reason as any to avoid using it.

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saul_bt profile image
Saúl Blanco Tejero

Stay on Emacs,
The solution to the diversity problem is advertising, talk about Emacs, if we have this philosophy more and more people will discover this powerful tool :)