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[AUCTeX-devel] Re: New auctex version coming, and the freeze

From: Frank Küster
Subject: [AUCTeX-devel] Re: New auctex version coming, and the freeze
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 16:15:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:

> Frank Küster <address@hidden> writes:
>> "Davide G. M. Salvetti" <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> yes, I knew from the developers' list.  I will be able to work on
>>> it next week.  We're going to have a problem, though, the same old
>>> problem of the new DFSG interpretation WRT the GNU FDL.  David will
>>> release the manual for 11.54 under the GNU FDL
>> That will mean that I will no longer contribute to AUCTeX
>> documentation.  Bad enough that I have signed the paperwork and
>> cannot prevent my old texts from being incorporated in a document
>> under a misdrafted license.
> Well, it is not like this should come as a major surprise, since
> AUCTeX has become a GNU project.

I knew that the FSF started to force GNU projects to license new manuals
under the GFDL, but I wasn't aware that they started relicensing
existing manuals.

> I don't particularly like the
> license in its current state, but it is slated for change, anyway, and
> it has been accepted by a Debian vote as being GFDL-compliant when
> used without invariant sections.

But only under the assumption that Debian, the FSF and everybody else
who uses that license does read it as the FSF intended it, not as it is
written.  Although that's the outcome of the Debian vote, it's still
logically flawed.  And I still do not want my work to be licensed under
the current GFDL. 

And as for the "slated for change", the FSF could have done that months
(years) ago, but they didn't.  So why should I believe that it's going
to happen, and when?

>> however that doesn't matter for my decision.
> Of course, you are free to ignore the vote done by Debian developers
> in your decision of what you want to work on.  I try balancing my
> duties as a GNU maintainer with the real world including Debian
> developers, and reactions like that make me wonder why I bother at
> all.

Of course this is also a political reaction, you are welcome to tell
this to the FSF representatives.  

>>> At this moment David is talking to RMS to try and have an exception
>>> (i.e., pure GNU FDL without front and back cover, no invariant
>>> sections).
>> I was under the impression that if a manual was under GPL, it could
>> stay, and need not be relicensed.
> The manual never was under the GPL.  I recommend you need the previous
> license notes.

Actually, it was licensed under a very simple copyleft license, not the
GPL, but in effect very near to it.  

>> Anybody on the auctex developers' list feeling like forking from the
>> last GPL'ed manual?
> There is no such thing as a "last GPL'ed manual".  

That's right, but there's a last manual under a (IMO) non-flawed license.

> Naturally, such a
> fork would not get distributed with the main distribution of AUCTeX.
> One of the points of turning AUCTeX into a GNU project was to make use
> of the infrastructure of the FSF, and to make it possible at one point
> of time to include AUCTeX into Emacs proper.

Doing a fork would show the FSF that the (some) AUCTeX developers feel
that proper free licenses are more important than infrastructure. 

> AUCTeX is not useful without Emacs, so it is not like there is much
> sense into trying to make AUCTeX closer to Debian 

I'm not speaking about Debian.  Debian users and developers can well do
with an auctex package without the manual, and a separate non-free
auctex-doc package.  The point is free software, free documentation, and
non-flawed licenses.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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