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Re: Scratch buffer annoyance

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Scratch buffer annoyance
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 07:33:02 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup writes:
>  > I should think it Debian's rather than our job to deal with the
>  > ensuing breakage.
> I didn't know that either Debian or Emacs paid their developers.
> Seriously, do whatever results in the least effort and acrimony in the
> long run.  There are at least four options:
> 1. Spend time fielding the FAQs and explaining to the users that
> Debian is at fault in hopes that they will complain and get Debian to
> do something;
> 2. Save the users' time and bitch at Debian directly;
> 3. Do nothing; and
> 4. Make it harder for Debian to screw up this way.
> My preference would be 4, in the form of GPLing the docs, but I
> guess my self-interest is showing there! ;-)

GPLing the docs would mean that people could, for example, "adapt" the
GNU Manifesto to what they consider changing circumstances.  Or omit
it altogether in a print publication.  Which is a concern not just in
countries like China: "Open Source" has as one of its goals not to
frighten people away by talking about freedom and similar things.

I have just taken a look at the XEmacs manual.  It retains the
manifesto, but actually the license (the pre-GFDL-one) requires this
section to stay unmodified.  Would it be in there still if not
required by the license?

As a note aside, it is sort of amusing that the XEmacs documentation
is classified as "free" by Debian in spite of indelible, inviolate
sections, while Emacs documentation is "non-free" because of them.

I guess the GFDL by any other name smells sweeter.

Personally, I'd rather prefer at least a dual licensing of the manual
under the GPL, to make it possible for third parties to exchange
documentation between DOC strings and the manual.  However, this would
require then that they relicense the resulting manual under GPL only,
since moving DOC strings from GPLed material into something licensed
as GFDL would not be allowed.

As long as the GFDL has different aims to serve as the GPL, I don't
see that there is an easy way out.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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