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Re: inetutils ChangeLog doc/Makefile.am doc/inetuti...

From: Simon Josefsson
Subject: Re: inetutils ChangeLog doc/Makefile.am doc/inetuti...
Date: Fri, 08 May 2009 08:06:07 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.0.93 (gnu/linux)

Bruno Haible <address@hidden> writes:

> [Trimmed down the CCs]
> Simon Josefsson wrote:
>> So in gnulib, I propose we deprecated 'fdl' and ask maintainers to
>> depend directly on 'fdl-1.3' or whatever version they need.  Thoughts?
> I think gnulib supports all possible ways the maintainer prefers:
>   - If the maintainer wants always the newest fdl.texi, he uses the
>     'fdl' module or takes the 'fdl' module.
>   - If the maintainer wants always the newest version of a specific FDL
>     version (usually typographical corrections only), he can use
>     "gnulib-tool --copy-file doc/fdl-1.x.texi".
>   - If the maintainer wants a stable copy of a specific FDL version,
>     he can copy and commit it into his project.
> If "gnulib-tool --copy-file" gets more used, we can remove the 'fdl'
> module entirely.
>> the only problem is that the gnulib 'fdl' module is a moving target.
> People who don't like the moving target will not use the 'fdl' module.
> That's not a reason to change anything in the 'fdl' module.
>> Note that gnulib does not contain a 'gpl' or 'lgpl' module, only
>> 'gpl-2.0', 'gpl-3.0', and 'lgpl-2.1'.  (Although no lgpl-3.0..)  So it
>> seems the 'fdl' module is sub-optimal.
> The situation with GPL and LGPL is different: A change in the license of
> the code is a very careful decision. Whereas the FDL license version does
> not matter for many developers. This explains the difference in module
> structure.

I don't think there is any situation where a maintainer can blindly
import fdl.texi when the version changes -- any manual that uses the FDL
license must include portions like this (quoting the gnulib manual):

  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
  any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
  Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.  A
  copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free
  Documentation License''.

If the fdl module in gnulib changes from v1.3 to vX.Y, any package that
imports the gnulib module 'fdl' would be in an inconsistent state until
the maintainer updates the above licensing section.  For license issues,
an inconsistent state is problematic.

Thus, I believe it is better if gnulib didn't change licenses
automatically for maintainers.

However, I can live with making sure I always use a fdl-X gnulib module
in projects I contribute to.  If you still believe there is realistic
and useful uses for the fdl module, I won't pursue removing it.


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