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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Front page to wiki now modifiable again

From: James Blackwell
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Front page to wiki now modifiable again
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 16:47:43 -0500

> Is not FDL intended more for physical books and other tangible property,
> than for intangible software documentation like man pages or README's?
> My understanding is that FSF always stated clearly, GPL is more than fine
> for everything to which the "source" meaning may be applied.

Yes on all of those points. That is what allows the website to be gplv2.

> I fail to understand why people use FDL as an example against GPL v2+.
> This is bogus. GNU FDL is designed for adoption by commercial publishers.
> Surely, GPL and FDL are two different licenses, use the most appropriate
> for you. If you don't write and sell books, GPL v2+ is more appropriate.

The FDL comes up because of the old adage "where there's smoke, there's
fire".  The FDL is a work by the FSF that is under contention. Regardless
of whether or not you like or dislike the FDL, there is an ongoing
discussion on whether or not the FDL was a wise decision.

I've seen plenty of discussion on what the rumored gplv3 is going to
attempt to solve and how its going to attempt to solve it. The gplv3 is
going to attempt to solve the problem of proprietary content being
distributed with free software. This loophole would be closed by having
a gplv3 license which essentially states "If you use this free software
to manage your content, then you must distribute the content as well as
if its free software".

On the surface, this seems like a nifty idea. However, in my humble
opinion, the devil is in the details. For example, one could reasonably
argue that passwords are part of the content of the site. After all,
even with a wiki, the pages are made under accounts, and those accounts
are necessary to correctly preserve the content. A few years ago I read
something that was supposedly an alpha gplv3 license (though I can no
longer find it). 

Because I am not the sole contributor to the wiki, other people can
demand of me a fully reproducable copy of the wiki -- which would
include the passwords (after all, all of those accounts are necessary to 
make an accurate copy of the site). Though the passwords on the wiki are
(probably) encrypted, how many of you have passwords that are safe from
dictionary attacks? 

So now, lets zoom back to the FDL. Remember how its been contentested
for over a year? The Debian developers have tried very hard to work with
the FSF to fix up the problems with the FDL to no avail.

No, I am going to stick with a known entity -- the gplv2 -- rather than
put myself and others at the risk of an unknown entity -- gplv2+. The
grass is *not* necessarily greener on the other side, and no amount of
"If A > B" quasi-mathematical magic incantations are going to prove to me
that later versions of the gpl are going to be as good as the gplv2.

What is so wrong with the gplv2 that you want to give it up before its
supposed replacement fully exists and has been debated in the community?  
This argument is silly.  You guys are arguing for something that doesn't
exist in a proper form. I'm not coming back to this debate until there
is something more substantial to debate than these 'later and greater
than gplv2' ghosts.

James Blackwell      Using I.T. to bring more             570-407-0488
Owner, Inframix      business to your business

GnuPG (ID 06357400) AAE4 8C76 58DA 5902 761D  247A 8A55 DA73 0635 7400

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