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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] Documentating hosting requirements

From: Nicodemo Alvaro
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] Documentating hosting requirements
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 18:15:42 +0100

On Fri, 27 Nov 2009 15:53:04 +0100
Sylvain Beucler <address@hidden> wrote:
> Look, if you want to do it your way, how about you just implement it,
> install it, and deal with the consequences?
> Then I'll be in position to propose to fix what disappeared in the
> process.
> Just validate possible new official requirements with RMS.
Not at that point yet.

It should be understood that the online document not only is missing
things, but it is unclear. My revised version is at the end of this
document and not attached so that it is less likely to take me out of

The document should limit its use of advanced English usage to help the
readability of the document. It could do better by setting apart
outlined requirements with a brief explanation on why we choose them.
The requirements should be written with simple sentences and be

There are many unclear, long sentences with repetition. No where in the
document should there be contractions. Free software is not a proper
noun and should not be capitalized.

Some of the requirements have a similar phrase that says "to be hosted
on Savannah." The beginning of document should have made it clear that
this document holds the requirements for hosting on Savannah.

Some of the requirements are not so obvious.

'Should' < 'must' for requirements. Why not replace it with 'must' or
'is required to'?

"The program should deliver its full functionality and convenience on a
completely free platform based on a free operating system, such as
GNU/Linux, working entirely with other free software."

Saying 'distributing' instead of 'using' would make it more clear on
what the subject is. As I know now, we are not against free software
projects that use works in non-free formats.

"Using a format such as Flash, RealPlayer and Quicktime, that can only
be created or played using non-free software is, in effect, to
recommend use of that non-free player software. ... Therefore, your
package shouldn't contain or recommend materials in these non-free

This is a beg and not a requirement at all.

"Please label it as 'free software' rather than as 'open source'."

The requirements seem to address calling the operating system as
GNU/Linux only when the applicant references the operating system to
Savannah. Here, 'it' and 'package' are vague.

"Savannah is part of the GNU Project, developer of the free software
operating system GNU. The GNU/Linux system (GNU with Linux as the
kernel) runs Savannah now. While using our hosting services, please
acknowledge our work, by referring to this system as "GNU/Linux", not
as just "Linux", when you mention it in connection with this package."

The thoughts I have totally removed from the original version.

>From section "No on dependencies on non-free software"
"In other words, at no time, in no way, should your program put free
software users at a disadvantage compared to those willing to use
proprietary software." Way too redundant.

>From "No non-free formats software" now "No non-free formats"
"When the free software alternative is not as good as the proprietary
one, using such a format is also implicitely recommending the non-free
solution." I can not say I agree with this. When you see that non-free
software works better than the free software version that works with
the format, it does not always say we should use the non-free version.
It can actually make me think of how people are being divided and hence
commit me to using free software; however, if the non-free software
user is given a non-free format file, then they are encouraged to keep
on using the non-free software.

>From section "Speaking about free software"
"Savannah is a free software hosting site: we host projects such as
yours for the sake of the ideals of freedom and community that the free
software movement stands for. We offer Savannah hosting to free
software packages, as free software packages;" Again, phew, too

>From section "Free software licenses" now "Free software,
documentation, and supporting file licenses" "You will be presented
with a choice of Free Software licenses for your project. For hosting
on Savannah, you must use one of these licenses." I removed this
because I wanted to make sure it was understood which licenses are


To be a little bit more clear what I have I revised and what is new, I
placed REVISED and NEW tags at the end of lines.

I'm not sure if I should add the section "Why the Legal Checks".

Does this appear to cover all the rules that are being discussed up to
now? (No distros, GPL any later version, all files and media must be

Does anyone see anything at all wrong at this moment?


Please read these usage terms carefully. If you do not follow
these terms, we will not accept your project. If we do not have enough
information to determine whether your project follows these terms, we
will have to ask you to register the project again with more details.
Once your project is accepted, we expect you to continue following
these terms. Minor revision: switched semi-colon with a period.

Our intent is to provide a permanent home for all versions of your
project. We do reserve the right to discontinue hosting a project.
Minor revision: Added 'is' and removed ', however,'

For the motivations on why Savannah hosts free software and
documentation projects, please read the Philosophy of the GNU Project.
REVISED, Philosophy of the GNU project link previously under "Use of
Project Accounts".

A. Use of Project Account
1. You may not use it to host non-free software or documentation.
2. No storage or back-up-only project. NEW (1)

The space given to you on this server is for the expressed purpose of
advancing free software that can run in free operating systems,
documenting that kind of software, or creating free educational
textbooks. Using this space to host or advertise non-free software is
considered harmful to free software. Minor revision: removed 2nd
'given', added comma, and switched 'it' with 'this space'

Other hosting services offer storage space. We expect to be used
primarily and not as a back-up, although we do not require all parts of
the project to be hosted at Savannah. NEW (1)

B. No dependencies on non-free software. 
1. Your software must be free software.
2. It must be kept independent of any non-free software.
3. It must not refer the user to any non-free software. Minor revision.
4. It must not automatically download or install any non-free software.
5. It must deliver the full functionality and convienence on a fully
free platform and free operating system environment. REVISED
6. Non-free platforms, non-free operating systems, and well known
non-free applications may be supported provided that the free software
support is equivalent or better than the proprietary counterpart.

We do not want to induce free software users into installing non-free
operating systems and non-free software. REVISED

C. No non-free formats REVISED
1. Your project must not create formats that can only be used
with non-free software. REVISED
2. It must not be used to recommend non-free formats. REVISED
3. It must not contain any non-free format files. REVISED

We value supporting free media files such as Ogg. We discourage the
distribution of non-free formats such as Flash, RealPlayer, and
Quicktime that cannot be created or played using free software or that
are patent encumbered. Distributing those formats encourage the use of
the non-free software. REVISED (5)

D. Speaking about free software
1. Clearly describe your project as free software. REVISED
2. Do not use the term "open source" for describing free software.
3. Do not name your project with the word "open", as that
refers back to the term we do not approve of. NEW (1)
4. Refer to the free software operating system as GNU/Linux and not as
"Linux", which is a kernel. NEW (1)
5. Please consult the list of confusing terms to avoid. REVISED

On Savannah services, we want to make sure your project promotes the
free software movement and gives credit to the GNU project. Savannah is
part of the GNU Project, developer of the free software operating
system GNU. The GNU/Linux system (GNU with Linux as the kernel) runs
Savannah now.  REVISED

E. Free software, documentation, and supporting file licenses REVISED
1. All files must have a free license. Choose a standard, free license.
NEW (4) 
a. Free software licenses NEW
b. Free documentation licenses
c. Free supporting file licenses NEW
2. The license you choose for software must be compatible with the
latest version of the GNU GPL. NEW (1)

3. The license you choose for documentation must be compatible
with the latest version of the GNU FDL. REVISED
4. Include a verbatim copy of the license in your project as
plain text. Do not point users to an external source to get the
license. NEW (1)

These licenses give the freedom to anyone to use, study, copy, and
distribute the source code and distribute modified versions of it.
You may use a non-standard license, but the Savannah administrators'
will review it on a case-by-case basis.

F. Applying the Licenses NEW
1. It must be clear for every file who is the copyright holder
and what the license for each file is, including media files. NEW (4)
2. Your files must have the author(s) name or the legal
entity that can be assigned the copyright to apply the license. NEW (6)
3. Read the document on "Copyright Notices". NEW
4. Read the "how to apply" section of your license, which is
usually towards the end of the license. NEW
5. If it is a small license, include it as the section for
your license notice in your files after your copyright. NEW (1)
6. If you are using a license from the GNU GPL family, the
license notices need the "any later version" clause. NEW (4)

We want to make it easy for others to understand the project
files comply with the free software definition. Having copyright
ensures that the file is legally yours to attribute as free. NEW

G. Advertisements
1. Commercial advertising on Savannah is limited to two
exceptions. REVISED 
a. You may point to commercial support offerings for your free software
project. Minor revision 

b. You may advertise fan merchandise about your free software that you
sell directly to your users. Minor revision

Savannah provides its services at no charge to users. Using your
project solely for monetary gain is not acceptable. NEW

H. NonGNU and GNU hosting NEW
1. The rules above apply for both nonGNU and GNU applications. NEW
2. GNU type applications must be first accepted as GNU software. New
GNU software projects must go through the GNU evaluation before being
going through the Savannah registration. NEW (1)
3. Only projects that have been accepted through the GNU evaluation may
place the acronym GNU as part of their name. NEW (1)

I. Why the legal checks before approval? NEW (2)

Sending code via CVS is publishing your project, since it will
be available via anonymous CVS access. That's why we want the legal
parts of the packaging job to be done before the project is approved at
Savannah - which notably includes proper copyright notices and
inclusion of the full text of your project's license. Release in the
legal sense is not just packaging a tarball.

J. Requirements Threshold NEW (3)
1. Your project does not pass our requirements just because of tiny
2. You understood how to fix those details.

We usually accept the project instead of requesting a fixed
version from you. For example, if your project is free, does not have
non-free dependencies, has consistent licensing, carries consistent
copyright and license notices, but uses an old FSF address or lacks a
complete copy of the license, we will notify you, yet approve the
project without having you wait any longer.

K. Helpful Resources NEW
         * What is free software?
         * The basics about copyright and license notices
         * Legal Matters
         * How do I apply my copyright?
         * How do I apply the GPL license?
         * Where do I go for GNU evaluation for GNU inclusion?
         * Confusing terms to avoid?

Foot notes
* "or any later" clause mandatory?
* Re: campaign against mpeg codec
6) Savannah.el script sv-problem-copyright-holder


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