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Richard Stallman, leader of the Free Software Foundation and the
GNU Project, today announced the first developers release of GNU Visual

“It’s been nagging at me for years,” Stallman told freshmeat news
correspondent Jeff Covey, “Why do I keep clinging to lisp?  <b>Lisp</b>
of all things?  I mean, who even <i>writes</i> in lisp any more?  Look
at all that lisp code the AI community churned out for years and years
-- did it get us closer to a machine that’s any smarter than a
well-trained bag of dirt?  It’s just time to move on.”

Last year, Stallman started looking around at the alternatives.  “We’ve
abandoned Scheme, and will slowly be removing Guile from all our
projects over the course of this summer.  We had to find an extension
language to replace it.  I looked at Perl, Python, Eiffel, LOGO...
even at TCL.”

“Then one day I was in a doctor’s office and I saw the receptionist
running all these neat macros in her word processor.  I investigated
further, and came to realize that this was exactly what I was looking
for -- a language already in widespread use that would come with its
own user base.  We just had to clone it, and there would be a whole
community right there ready to use it.  I started work on it that
night, and it’s consumed most of my time in between speaking
engagements ever since.”

The first large project which will adopt GNU/VB will be one of
Stallman’s most famous works, the GNU/EMACS editor.

“Preliminary work is complete on our elisp-to-GNU/VBscript converter,”
Stallman said.  “Once all the .el files in the EMACS distribution have
been converted to .gvb files and tested, the next release of GNU/EMACS
will be extensible only in GNU/VBscript.  I realize this will cause
some preliminary inconvenience to our users, but they’ll have to accept
that they can’t stand in the way of progress.”

While Linus Torvalds has declined to comment at this time on the
question of whether the Linux kernel will be rewritten in GNU/VB, other
GNU developers have been enthusiastic in their support of Stallman’s
decision.  GNOME project leader Miguel de Icaza declared this “the
groundwork for a monumental leap forward for the GNU desktop”.  Reached
by IRC, he said, “We’ve been coordinating with the GNU/VB team for
months to create the GNU/VB bindings for GTK+, and are very excited
about the features it will allow us to incorporate into our work.  Take
AbiWord, for instance.  In the next release, whenever you open a Word
document, any VBscript macros found in it will be automatically
executed.  You can imagine how powerful this will be in combination
with the GNOME address book and the mail clients.  This compatibility
with the Windows desktop will give us an edge that we think will help
us to finally overtake that other desktop environment.”

“Look, will people stop DCCing me the DeCSS code?  I’m trying to
talk here,” he concluded.

As a homage to the authors of Microsoft Visual Basic, Stallman has
decided to depart from his usual practice of releasing software under
the GNU General Public License; the GNU/VB compiler (gvbc), the
GNU/VBscript interpreter (gvb), and the GNU Foundation Classes will be
available in binary format only, and will not be available for download
from the Internet.

“More and more, I go into stores like CompUSA and Best Buy, and I
see shelves filled with ‘Linux This’ and ‘Linux That’,” Stallman said.
“Why aren’t we getting any of that action?  Distributing GNU/VB
strictly as shrinkwrapped software will not only lend an air of
legitimacy that software can’t have when it’s free, it will get the GNU
brand name out there to the general public.  It may even get us to my
ultimate dream -- seeing a box with ‘GNU’ on it on the shelves at

The GNU Project welcomes any developers who wish to participate in
beta testing the upcoming builds; anyone interested should contact to request a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement.


This article was originally published on
<a href="">Freecode</a> (formerly known as Freshmeat) on
1 April of one year. It was since misplaced there. This is a copy of it that
is placed here for posterity. It was not written by me (= Shlomi Fish).